"Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will."
-
George Bernard Shaw

Friday, July 11, 2014

18 Months (Arch)

Little Bubba,

You have been so horrible the past 2ish weeks it's been agonizing to finish this post. By the time you go to sleep (after much crying and screaming and us having to go back in your room multiple times) I'm so exhausted and have so much cleaning and side jobs to get done (and it's so much later) that I can't even think of looking at pictures of you and trying to be thoughtful. If you had started this phase earlier there might never have been a little sibling in your future. You are lucky on that account. I was not created with the patience and empathy to handle your tantrums. It is astonishing to me how many HOURS a day you choose to cry and scream. It will clearly get better at some point, but that's not helpful to know or hear when you're in the middle of it. And the sad thing, for all of us, is that it's going to get much, much worse before it gets better. At any rate, what I wrote earlier this week in a rare moment of feeling nostalgic and very fondly of you is below.

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I've been calling you Bubba for WEEKS now. I have no idea why. Though upon reflecting after your daddy asked me where on earth that came from, I have to guess it's from starting with "bubby", which of course is the companion to sissy. You are Viv and Finn's bubby until Elsa gets here and then you get to be a "real" one. And she gets to be sissy! :) Here's an updated bear pic for you. You have suddenly started throwing yourself on it--pretty fun!!

Dada also lets you go upstairs without a diaper after your bath!
You have grown so much mentally (and perhaps physically--we think your gym-shoes might not fit very well all the sudden!) the past 3 weeks I feel like I need to document it. It's amazing. Your little brain is just exploding.

Which means you are also a little terror about 60-70% of the time. The rest of each day you are the sweetest little boy (or sleeping), but man oh man can you throw a tantrum. We understand that it's hard for you right now with not being able to communicate everything you want or need, and not understanding "rules" and how everything we say no to (and wow is it a lot of stuff) seems extremely arbitrary to you right now. What a difficult way to live!! But it'll get better soon, and hopefully before you legit crack your head open on something during a fit of throwing yourself onto the floor. And, then it'll probably get worse--you can't even talk yet!

I want to try to capture all the words you know now. We just went to your 18-month check-up and your doc said at this point she is thrilled if you were to know 10 words. So, go you!! You know: cat, dog, car, "vroom" (we're counting that--it's the sound cars make!), mama, dada, papa, cracker, bowl, thank you, more, go (usually "go go go!"), ball, woof, flower, outside, bath, night-night, bye-bye, uh-oh, Michelle (your babysitter), eat, ear, eye, nose, mouth.

You also know more animal sounds finally: most animals (like lions and alligators) get a roar (including really funny little ones like squirrels). But you meow now for house cats, you've been "woofing" forever, and recently you have started quacking for ducks.

Bravely petting a turtle with one little finger at the zoo.

This very small, soft, prickly thing got lots of growls from you!

You also use your signs all day long. There aren't too many right now but you are so consistent with them and really understand why and how you're using them: more, please, food/eat, and the newest one as of last night--thank you!! We have been wanting you to start signing and/or saying thank you forever. We want you to be a polite little guy. I was making your daddy a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for his lunch the next day and considering you threw a fit all through dinner and didn't eat anything, I guess you were a little hungry. You signed please and pointed to the sandwich so I gave you the whole thing hoping you might take a bite or two. You signed and said "thank you!" right away and took a big bite!! We were SO PROUD OF YOU. It made me want to cry. And you cheerfully walked around the kitchen and sat on your stool and proceeded to eat almost half of daddy's sandwich!! (I also realized after a few minutes that between bites you were apparently resting the sandwich on the floor--whoops!!)

You are really starting to follow directions. You know we take our shoes off when we get inside and one day you suddenly picked up both shoes with one hand and on a whim I asked you to go put them on the bench by the front door with the rest of your shoes...and you did!! You even tried to line them up like the others. Another time we were out on the porch and I asked you to get your little chair and bring it close to mine (you picked it up and carried it over) and then I asked you to sit on it so I could give you a bite of ice cream--and you climbed right up! You understand so much more than we think and you're surprising us every day.

Very pleased with yourself in your little chair!
Along with following directions you have started to become very "helpful." You can pick up your blocks (though you often want to just dump them out again), you want to vacuum 24/7 (which has led to some major tantrums because we clearly don't want to vacuum all day), and you can help unload the dishwasher (it takes about 20 minutes with you handing me silverware one piece at a time).

You gave a big triumphant "TA-DA!!!!" after helping unload the dishwasher on this particular day.

At bedtime you say "night-night" and then "bye-bye" and wave to us when we're putting you in your crib. And until recently (where we've had some major setbacks!) you had been pointing to your crib and saying night-night when you were ready to stop rocking and go to sleep. And then would actually go to sleep without a peep! I know we'll return to that eventually. :)

You are so big now and my belly is getting so much bigger that you don't quite fit well on my lap anymore, which is breaking my heart big time. There have been many tears at bedtime lately (miraculously not just yours!) as we struggle to get comfortable and snuggle for what seems like forever. We're trying to work out a side thing where you're kind of wrapped around your sissy and that seems to be working decently for now. As soon as we get that big new comfy glider I'm about to order I think we'll be in better shape.

But despite the challenges we've been having, we definitely have to document what a sweet, funny little boy you are. You give kisses (and often when asked!) and hugs. Sometimes you just want to come sit in our laps and snuggle (especially when you work on your animal sound puzzle, which you suddenly know how to complete!) or give us a hug and kiss for no reason at all. You say "uh-oh" so seriously and with such enthusiasm at all the appropriate times it makes us laugh all the time--even when you say uh-oh for doing something intentionally that you're not supposed to. :) You also have this crazy little half-maniacal laugh that you bust out every once in awhile. A lot of times its when you get something you were asking for or we do something you wanted us to. And sometimes it makes us REALLY mad because we can tell you were apparently successfully manipulating us when you do that laugh after getting something.

I got so many random snuggles this day!
A somewhat rare moment of relaxing and watching TV with mama.
One day you could suddenly do this puzzle!! It's now your favorite. 
You are also pretty demanding--especially now that you are so good at pointing. You will carry a pillow next to your play kitchen and then point at me and point to the pillow. I sat on a pillow next to you a couple times to try and preserve my tailbone and I guess you think that's the only way I can play with you now! Or if we get up and you want us to sit back down you'll sign please and point adamantly at where we just got up from.

You LOVE to be outside and would run around on the side porch playing with your water table all day if we let you. You also still love music (especially classical) and conducting like your daddy. As soon as a good song comes on the classical station you smile big and get your little fingers pointing and wave your arms around (JUST like daddy does it I'm sure). You've also added dancing to the mix which mostly consists of spinning in circles and swaying back and forth. But lately we've really seen some moving and shaking and you've even started trying to jump with your feet leaving the ground a bit.

Mama wouldn't fill up the watering can so you took matters into your own hands and tried to fill it up with your water table.
First drink out of the hose.
Playing with your wagon outside on the porch, in just a diaper. Your ideal afternoon! :) 
Intently watching mama's favorite trumpeter (Alison Balsom) play a concert. You were very impressed.
Your checkup today definitely confirmed you are a giant baby. 91% for weight and 94% for height! No matter how mad you make us (me) and how terrible you behave day-to-day, we're still glad you're ours and we love you to pieces!!

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