My hilarious, witty, opinionated, darling toddler turned 19 months old yesterday! I can't honestly exclaim "where has the time gone?!" because truly I feel like it's been 5 years since I gave birth, but though the road has been long it has been wondrous. The ceaseless demands of a baby have been 10 times more challenging than I expected mostly due to the fact that we went a solid 15 months with maybe half a dozen full night's sleep (that doesn't even account for the restless nights the last few weeks of pregnancy). Now that he is older we are dealing with temper tantrums, picky eating, and rough behavior. Everyday is a new challenge in channeling his endless energy and curiosity in ways that are appropriate and conducive to turning him into a good member of society, which I guess is the ultimate goal. *shrug* Really I just want him to stop pulling the dog's tail.
Despite the tears, the colds, and the way he tries to hit other living beings when he's frustrated (humans, cats, plants, whatever is closest), he has had a profoundly positive effect on our lives. His shining smile, his wiggly snuggles, the way he still kicks his feet at me to kiss his toes - I want to hold on to these things forever. Since memory is a slippery thing here are 19 special details about my sweet 19 month old's habits so that I can cherish them forever:
1. He tries to pick up more things than he can carry. No matter how full his tiny arms are he will try to pick up ONE MORE TOY inevitably dropping something to the ground and creating an endless [and entertaining] cycle of pick it up - oops dropped it - pick it up - oops dropped it -picked it up - oops dropped it ... until ultimate success or his attention span runs out.
2. His sumo walk. We have no idea where he learned this, but he will walk with his legs stretched out as far as they will go and take one giggly step after another. It starts and stops with no rhyme or reason.
3. The way he mimics our facial expressions. Particularly when we are puckering up our lips for a "fish face" or when Troy is raising his eyebrows up and down Roman will attempt to copy what we are doing. He's not great at it, which is what makes it comedy gold.
4. Pounds his chest and grunts like a gorilla. Troy gets full credit for this gem.
5. Without fail he waves goodbye AFTER we have lost sight of the person we are leaving. We can stand there for 5 minutes saying "Wave bye-bye, Romie" to no avail, but as soon as we walk away that little arm gets a-flappin'.
6. Loves to push anything on wheels. Carts, strollers, lawn mowers, grocery baskets. It doesn't have to belong to us - if it has wheels, he's pushing it.
7. DEMANDS that dog poop be scooped. He will go into our backyard, point at dog poop and say "oo oo" until we get the scooper. Don't bother asking him to ignore it. He can't let that shit go *ba bum cha*
8. Will brings us his shoes (and just very recently learned to say "shoe") and very politely turns around to sit in our laps to get them on. Melts mama's heart every time.
9. Enjoys helping. He loves being given a task. Usually we can ask him to throw something in the garbage, or take an item from mommy to daddy to be put away and he does a very good job. He will also grab wipes and "help" "clean himself off" during diaper changes - this is surprisingly unhelpful. Still cute, tho.
10. Loves anything animal related. All of my subconscious conditioning has paid off! I have a son that is just as obsessed with animals as I am. He loves nature documentaries (we try to stick to nice ones like Baby Animals in the Wild on Netflix), and can make the sounds of several animals (including but not limited to: dog, monkey, duck, frog, and whale). We read a TON of animal related books, and he seems especially drawn to elephants or "eleph" as he calls them.
11. Baby's got the grooves. If he hears even a split second of a song he is gettin' his dance on. He always gets excited and makes eye contact with me too like "Mom, did you hear that? I gotta move to this sick beat!!"
12. He has a very particular way of saying "whoa whoa whoa" when he is surprised by something. Hard to capture it in writing, but it's darn cute.
13. He will point something out to us when clasp his hands patiently in front or behind him, just waiting nicely until we figure out what the hell he's trying to communicate to us.
14. He loves sneezes. He's actually been like that since he was a teeny tiny baby, and one of the first ever videos we got of him laughing was at me saying "atchoo" a bunch of times. Now he can say it himself, and will for entire car rides...
15. He is generous with his applause. Even though logically I know he is a baby with super unrefined taste, it still makes me feel good when he claps after I sing him a song. A few of his favorites right now are "Little Green Frog", "6 Little Ducks", "Kookaburra", and "Senor Don Gato."
16. I love that he can play Ring Around the Rosie with me! The way his tiny little hands grab onto mine and the burst of giggles when we fall...it's magic for such a macabre children's activity.
17. I think he really believe he disappears when he hides behinds the blinds at my mom's house. He's as quiet as a marshmallow waiting for us to find him.
18. While I'm folding bedding he likes to try and wrap himself in the sheets.
19. He started cuddling with stuffed animals at bedtime. He takes great care in choosing the right one, usually his elephant, but sometimes his rhino or orangutan. He then hugs it tight before trying to stuff it under his tummy (belly down is how he prefers to sleep these nights).
He has so many more little personality traits and nuances. It's so fun to see him do something silly and wonder where he picked it up. Sometimes it's no wonder at all, I had a bout of bronchitis lately and after a few weeks of hacking up a lung Roman started fake coughing - he thought he was pretty funny!
Without question he's the best part of our lives. We have tried to show him only kindness and love and in return we have received unconditional trust. A powerful gift that I'm sure to fuck up in the end, but boy, I will do my best to do right by him. I love my little dude with all of my heart.
Hopefully I will fill in a few more picture later, but it's late and I'd rather just post this now.