First, I am so sorry I missed your 17 month letter. To be honest, you and I have been at odds for a couple of months now and I may have missed the letter on purpose. I didn't have very positive experiences to write about last month. Of course you were as cute as ever but your little personality was truly starting to come through and I started wondering if you were being a troublesome toddler to make up for the easy infant you once were. After reading SO MANY books and blogs and forums I began to realize that you weren't being extra troublesome or extra ornery...you were just being 16/17 months old. You were EXACTLY as you should have been. You're EXACTLY as you should be today. I cannot begin to tell you how much of a relief that was to hear. So let's begin this letter, your 18 month letter, on a positive note. Today, I fell in love with you all over again.
It's true! I did. We were in the basement playing, jamming to your music on my iPhone, and just being silly and when you stopped to look at me, you said "Mama" so softly and leaned in to kiss me. It was such a tender, sweet moment...a moment unlike any we have had in a long while. My heart swelled and burst into a million pieces. And that's when I fell in love with you all over again. I looked at you and really saw you. Not the cranky toddler you have been lately but the sweet, gentle little baby you once were and are again. It was simply magical. I've been a mother long enough now to know we will always have our days (weeks, months) when we're at odds but I will hold today in my pocket and pull it out every time I need a little extra patience, a little extra strength.
Let's see, this month you have:
1) Started saying multi-syllabic words and stringing phrases together.
2) Begun to understand how to use "Please" when asking for something (Puh!).
3) Grown an inch or maybe two because none of your clothes fit.
4) Learned to catch a ball...two arms out and a big ol' goofy grin on your face when it actually works.
5) Finally stopped crying yourself to sleep after an extra minute of rocking and singing before bed.
6) Know every body part and delight in telling everyone where your (insert random part) is.
7) Can tell the difference between a tractor, a dump truck, and a bulldozer...major accomplishment according to you.
8) Become obsessed with trains (CHOO-CHOOOOOOOOOO!).
9) Learned how to hug back (best thing ever.).
10) And the crowning achievement: stopped crying at the gym daycare!
You're quite an accomplished little 18 month old! Now we just have to work on your incessant screaming to get my attention. Seriously, using your words is a much better tactic to get me to pay attention to you. And grabbing canned goods off the shelves of the grocery store and chucking them to the ground isn't going to get you that balloon at the end of the trip. This I promise you.
Noah, for all of our battles and tears, there are so many happy moments. I am so lucky that I get to experience all of this with you. You've taught me patience, gratitude, and how to love with abandon. I am so grateful to you and so damn lucky. SO damn lucky.
I love you.