This week you turned 18 months old. That's right, E-I-G-H-T-E-E-N months. A year and a half. A full fledged toddler. Not a baby no mo.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, time has flown by! Seriously. There's something about having a baby that accelerates life, and I'm having trouble keeping up. Wait. Did I just say that? I'm Mommio Andretti, for crying out loud.
I don't know exactly how big you are, but boy have you grown! When I hold you, your cheek rests against mine and your knees hit my waist. I try not to spoil you by holding you every time you ask, but I'm sure I hold you more often than my parents would think is appropriate. It's just that I can't get enough of your chubby, soft, cool skin against my own.
Last night, right before I put you to bed, I was standing at your crib, holding you, singing to you, and rubbing your back. And, guess what you were doing? Not squirming. Not talking. But, ever so gently rubbing my back in return. I lingered just a little longer before laying you down and peered over my shoulder in order to get a glimpse of your sweet, plump, little hand moving back and forth in time, imitating my affections toward you.
Be still my heart.
Your obsession with music continues, but now you dance whenever you get the chance. And by dance I mean run in place and then swing your arms from side to side. Let's just hope that your mad dance skills improve as you get older and that you don't inherit your father's dancing genes. That man cannot dance.
Don't get me wrong, he's got rhythm. He writes music, plays guitar, tinkers with the piano, and sings like an angel, but he CANNOT dance. When he dances, he snaps. His fingers. That's right, he simultaneously snaps his fingers while he dances. Got the mental picture yet? It cracks me up every time, but I don't think he even realizes he's doing it until I point it out.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, your hair is growing like crazy and is redder than we thought. Also, you now have a freckle or two on your nose.
Sorry about that. You know, the fact that you're a red headed freckle face.
I was a red head at birth and I'm still a freckle face. Your dad is neither. His beard grows in red, but that doesn't count. And, he doesn't have any freckles on his face.
Everyone comments on your hair. Some people even touch it. It's like they've never seen a red head before. Even your grandparents who see you a few times a week can't get over your hair. No one can believe that your father and I have a red headed child. And, everyone asks where you got it from.
I always want to correct their grammar, "you mean, from whom did he inherit his red hair?" But, I refrain, because I'm cool like that.
I mean, I could be a jerk and tell them that you're adopted. That'd make 'em feel bad. But, what can I say? I'm a proud mama, so instead I smile and say that it runs on both sides of the family, er, your family.
My hair was red at birth. My great grandmother had red hair. Your dad's great grandmother had red hair. Your dad's brother has red hair. And, your dad's beard is red (or was, depending on when you're reading this.) (I'm sure it'll be white one day.) (Oh wait, there are already a few white whiskers in there from time to time. Ha!)
Point is, you inherited your red hair from both sides of your family. You get it honestly, and while I don't notice it day in and day out, everyone else does. The funny thing to me is that your daddy and I used to always say that we could have a red head. We just had a feeling. I don't think anyone believed us, especially your grandpa, but here you are, my handsome little cardinal.
Speaking of, the cardinal is your favorite bird. You love to look at pictures of cardinals and I think it might be your favorite word to say. Surprisingly you say it very clearly, "CA-DIN-A".
Your vocabulary continues to expand and you've started to put two words together...Light on. Light off. Fan off. Fan on. TV on. TV off. Wax on. Wax off.
No, just kidding about the wax part, Foster-san.
Sometimes you channel your Latino side and put the noun before the adjective...Truck big. Thunder loud. Coffee hot.
Si, muy bien, Foster.
Either way, I usually know what you're talking about. Your daddy does too, but your grandma and grandpa don't always understand and that leads to some frustration your part.
Besides the increasing frustration, which leads to occasional tantrums, we've been dealing with eight teeth coming in at once. Your four eye teeth and your first four molars. Hey, ya think you're getting EIGHT TEETH to celebrate EIGHTEEN months? Nah. I'm just a sucker for a good play on words.
Anyway, poor Bear-Bear has become a chew toy, and a handkerchief for your runny nose. YUCK!
Saliva + snot = Bear-Bear stinks! As do your feet when you wear a certain pair of hand-me-down sandals. Your daddy calls it "some other kid's funk" and I agree. We've had a few good laughs over your stinky feet, but have decided to retire those particular shoes. Shoo wee!
It's been hot as hades here this summer, so we've been cooped up inside. It's a shame, too, because you love to be outside; in the yard or on the playground.
On the weekends we go to the lake or pool to cool off and you love it! The only problem is your fair skin. We have to work at keeping you protected from the sun. I don't think I could handle the guilt if you got sunburned. And I dread the day that you're in the sun without me to smother you in sunblock. I'm sure there's a bad sunburn in your teenage, I KNOW IT ALL, future, but for now, it's my job to protect you and that I will do.
A life without love is like a year without summer. ~ Swedish Proverb