There is a phase in a child’s life that is pure perfection. I hope to capture and share just a little piece of it. Kids can be wonderful at all ages, but there is nothing quite like what I’ve experienced with each child in their second year of life. Newborn’s are magical in their own way and I’m mystified by what comes out my almost four year old’s mouth on a daily basis, but, oh, my little 15 month old…
He doesn’t yet express the full range of emotions and that is fine by me. His default setting is joy. He is completely thrilled to play with a ball, a doll or one of his brother’s cars. When he sees me it’s like he smiles with his entire body; eyes lit up, beaming grin, arms aloft just begging for hug. He will even come strutting over brimming with excitement. His walk is also something to behold, as he waddles from side to side, swinging his arms.
He knows a few words, too. First he learned “more,” which he pronounces “muh,” usually used from his high chair. OK, anytime he sees food. Eli eats so much we sometimes call him Eat-li. First, seconds, sometimes third helpings of roast sweet potatoes. The other day he took down 2 eggs w cheese and a waffle w jam. I suspect he’d have kept going if we’d offered more. If you give him something sweet, like a cupcake, he just mashes it into his mouth, and keeps gnawing at it until it’s gone a few minutes later. And then: “Muh! Muh! Muh!”
I think his second word was “bark,” which he pronounces “Bock,” and he announces clearly every time he sees a dog. Or a cat. He loves dogs and chases the dog at his daycare three days a week. When we are out in the world and he sees a dog, he’ll start leaning out of his stroller just to pet it.
Third word is debatable. Tied between “Mama” and “Daddy,” which is easily my favorite sound in the world at the moment. The moment he sees or hears me he yells “DA-EEEE!”
You’d guess he has a small vocabulary being able to speak only about four words, but guess again. He can also nod his head yes and no, and suddenly seems to understand quite a bit. “Eli where is Noah?” Off he goes. If he doesn’t want to get in that car seat, he can arch his back and roar cries at you. Heaven help you if he wakes up in ehe middle of the night, because he can keep up the waterworks for hours.
There is an unlimited source of love in that 24 pound body. A few months ago, he started giving the world’s sweetest hugs. He’ll walk over, put his arms as far around you as they’ll go, and just lay his keppy [head] right on you. He gives them out all day. He recently learned to give kisses and can do it on command. He hasn’t yet mastered the art of pursing his lips though, nor has his nose stopped running since Christmas. It can get a bit messy.
I’m not able to give him the same 100% attention his brother got at this age, but that brother is an incredible playmate. Every night before bed, Eli will climb into Noah’s bed and the two of them will dance together in front of the mirror. Then, they will climb down and hide in the closet. They also started playing a game called runaway doggy which entails running in circles through the house. They laugh with abandon and it’s contagious to everyone around them.
It’ll be just a little sad when he grows into a new boy, then a man. I look forward to meeting the person he becomes, but I will miss the little little guy I know and love today. Fortunately, we have a whole year ahead of us before the terrific two’s begin. He will learn more words and reveal much of his personality in that time. I’ll keep you posted on our progress.