A couple of weeks ago you turned 15 months old. When I first starting writing these letters I planned on doing them only once every three months for your second year, lately I’ve been wondering if that was a mistake. You have changed so much in the past three months that sitting down and writing this has felt like a daunting task, where do I even begin? I guess I’ll begin with this; three months ago you were a little boy quickly moving towards toddler hood, today you are a full-blown toddler, in every sense of the word.
Mother Nature blessed us with an early spring this year and this could not have made you happier. At 15 months I think it is safe to say you are an outdoorsman. You love to be outside and would spend the entire day there if possible, running around at top speed, picking up sticks, or “helping” daddy clean up the flower gardens. And by help I mean throw all the bark that belongs in the flower beds onto the lawn. Unfortunately it is still chilly in the mornings here so when you bring your hat and coat to us or Busha at 10 am and then walk to the door we have to figure out a way to distract you for a few hours. Luckily for you, Busha also loves being outside, so during the week the two of you frequently spend your afternoons in the yard. She showed you how to load up the yard trailer with sticks and leaves and you have become quite the little helper. Over Easter weekend we went to Papa and Busha’s so you could open your Easter gift (a wagon for their house!) and they hid it in the woods for you to find. As soon as we walked out the door you spotted it, ran to it, and lifted up the seat. But before you got your other gifts out you saw a leaf on the ground and you instantly abandoned the gifts to go pick up it up and walk it across the lawn to put it in the trailer.
You understand so much these days and even if you aren’t talking yet you are definitely communicating with us. There has been lots of pointing and grunting at things lately and you are pretty insistent until we figure out what it is you want. I recently read something online that said living with a 15 month old is like having a small caveman in your house and I thought, yes, that’s it exactly! You’ve also started mimicking everything we do. Although we’ve always prayed before dinner these days we ask you to pray with us. You put your hands together, usually holding your right fingers in the palm of your left hand, and look up at us with wide eyes as we begin, Bless us O Lord….. We finish the prayer with “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit” and you have started pointing to your head and chest, for Father and Son. And then we usually clap and cheer before actually eating because it is so awesome to see you go through these motions.
Watching you morph into a full-blown toddler has been awesome in so many ways, but of course with the good comes the bad. You’ve mastered the tantrum, complete with screaming, crying, refusing to stand, throwing yourself on the floor, and my personal favorite, banging your head against anything and everything, including doors, the couch, the wall, you name it. Usually we know the cause of the outburst - making you come in from outside or closing the mud room door so you can no longer dig in the dog food or pull out all of the brooms/mops. This past weekend though we went to the water park with your cousins and after breakfast on Saturday morning we went back to the room to get changed before heading down to the pool. You didn’t quite understand the plan though, all you knew is that you wanted to be with the other kids and we took you away from them. Oh boy did you let us have it; you threw a tantrum of epic proportions. You have not been that inconsolable since you were an infant and honestly, your Daddy and I were dumbfounded. Nothing calmed you down and by the sounds of the howls coming from your mouth we thought for sure you were in pain (you’ve been teething again lately). We gave you a dose of Tylenol which seemed to work for a minute but as soon as I set you down you ran to the door and threw yourself on the floor, wailing at top volume. It was then that I put it all together and realized that you just wanted to be with your cousins. We opened the hotel room door and like magic your tears were gone and you were a happy, enjoyable kid again.
The thing is, I’ll totally put up with the occasional tantrum if it means you’re going to freely dole out hugs and kisses. You’ve been very lovey lately and will often lay your head on our shoulders, wrapping your arms around our necks. Sometimes it only lasts a second, but every time it melts my heart. At 15-months you like to look through books and point out items to us, you climb on everything, love to look out the windows and go for wagon rides, are learning your body parts, love brushing your teeth (you have all your molars now and are currently working on your eye teeth), your favorite treat is marshmallows (you shove them in your mouth by the handful), you’re just starting to get into watching cartoons/kids dvds, you like to help me clean by bringing me the dustpan or pulling all of the laundry out of the dryer (and then climbing in), and you’re very shy in front of new people. Every time we move into a new phase I fear I’m going to miss the previous one, but that never seems to be the case. You’re growing and changing and learning new things every day and instead I find myself falling in love with the exact stage you are in. Your Daddy and I talk frequently about how much our lives have changed since you arrived and how happy we are right here, right now. You make life even more enjoyable than we ever expected.
I love you Stink,