You are officially a toddler. You have been walking for a couple of weeks now and you are getting better and stronger every day. You have been very near for so long, surfing the furniture as you move your little body from A to B but now you can do it on your own. You are a careful walker though. You are not pelting from one side of the room to the other, helter skelter and tripping over your own feet at every opportunity. You are stepping one foot at a time, placing each down before you take the next step. Occasionally falling back on your bottom but moving further and further each time you venture forwards. You have the core strength that stops you looking like an orangutan with its chest puffed out and its arms seemingly flailing at the sides but really there to keep balance. You march more than you waddle and I am aware that this stage of your life will pass so quickly turning you into my little cheetah that is so fast…and hides everywhere.
So it becomes ever apparent that you not only like to climb places still but you like to hide as well. Or perhaps not hide exactly as you are not yet fussed whether we know you are there or not but you like to secret yourself in small spaces. Frequently. I am used to you playing with the plastic bowls and cups that sit at the bottom of one of our cupboards in the kitchen. I came into the room the other day though to find you actually inside the cupboard with most of the plasticware on the outside. That is not the way it’s supposed to be, buddy. And every Sunday in crèche, there is usually some point at which you will be found inside the toy kitchen. I have been told it is where you seem happiest in the midst of the cacophony of sound and movement that double digits of children generate. The toy kitchen is unfortunately missing most of its shelves but this makes it perfect for your little body. As are the shoe lockers by our front door your father tells me. I would have thought you’d be a little too big for these but he assures me no. You can disappear inside one of these completely. So there is a new place that we can lose you until you get too big. At least we can keep you indoors at the moment. We will be in for some real trouble when you can open the front door by yourself.
You have taken a real liking to being outside. If one of us deigns to go outside without you, you will stand at the screen door and bang and shout as loudly as possible. You want out. And you’ll throw a tantrum if you don’t get your way. Like you always do now. If we put you down and you want to be held, you scream. If Genevieve tries to take something off you that you are still playing with, you scream. If we pick you up but you want to be on the floor, you throw your body away from whatever it is you don’t like and if we ignore your demands and tell you no, you headbang whatever suitable surface is available. I am hoping that last one is a phase that is going to dissipate more than it is going to develop. Screaming as a response to displeasure is not preferable either but it’s also not something we’re going to get rid of anytime soon as that is precisely how your sister deals with it and we haven’t cracked that one yet either. Although at least you sometimes scream because you’re happy.
For some reason, when you see me after being apart for a while, you have taken to screaming in excitement. It’s not really a conventional way to greet people, just so as you know, but it is always nice to know that you’re happy to see me. It’s nice to get your cuddles and giggles and it still brightens my day to see you smile. I still not sure if we’re actually getting purposeful words yet but you seem on the verge of speech as well. If prompted, you have Mama, ta and car and we think you try and say bottle and chicken but unbidden, what comes out of your mouth is more like babble so I’m not sure. But neither am I paranoid. You are a boy, you are a second child and you are exposed to far too much tv so you get more leeway before we start to question your development.
One thing we certainly do not have to question developmentwise is your teeth. You have cut all four of your molars! No wonder you have reverted to waking 3 or 4 times a night. Your teeth are probably giving you grief. Those molars that most kids see between 15 and 16 months? Yep, you decided you needed them at 13 months. Got to be able to rip into those steaks, huh? On the down side though, they probably don’t feel so great when you’re trying to go to sleep. I get it. I’d be unsettled too if I had that many new teeth. Actually, I’d probably be worried because I’m not supposed to get any more teeth at all but you know what I mean. You are handling it brilliantly. But it’s still be nice if you slept in longer stretches at night.