In the past 6 months, from age 1 to now, my baby has gone from not-much-hair to beautiful humidity-induced-curly blonde locks, from crawling to walking to running, from babbling to understanding to talking more and more. I have had pangs in my heart when I glimpse a not-so-much-of-a-baby anymore but a little boy! I have decided that I am not going to dwell on the fact that someday before I know it he is not going to want to hug and kiss and cuddle. Someday he is not going to want to be held. Someday he is going to prefer his friends over me. (Oh, perish the thought!) I am going to cherish each and every moment of each and every stage, and no looking back! Because he sure isn't! He is a raring to go toddler who loves his independence. And there's no stopping it anyway. My baby is growing up and I am going to love it!
Here are some of my growing boy's "favorites":
Favorite book: Wheels on the Bus and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Favorite word: truck, pronounced "guck" (which also means duck)
Favorite food: grapes (everything else depends on the day)
Favorite phrase: uh-oh and all done
Favorite tv show: Sesame Street with Curious George a close second
Favorite toy: any/all trucks and musical ISU bottle opener
Favorite thing(s) to do: open up the fridge to get his sippy cup or just take a look around, push the start button on the dishwasher, play in the backyard, play in the rock pile
Favorite person: Mama at bedtime, Daddy at church, Papa when he visits
After playing in the rock pile. Notice his face...and what his shirt says...
More words he can say:
hi, bye-bye, wow, eat, hot, hat, no, up, dog, ball, snack (nack), bottle (baba), cup (cuck), please (tsease), book (gook), bird (caw), Elmo (Melmo), Papa, and of course, Mama and Dada
He understands so much! Like when he hears "Time to change your diaper..." he shakes his head no! If he wants to be finished with something such as a long car ride, diaper change or sitting at the table, he'll say very fast in one word "ahduh" (all done). I fail at hiding my laughter most times, it is just the cutest thing.
One of his most unusual quirks is his strong need to pull things down, ie. hand towels, clothes, etc. and throw things in a filled tub. We have to be careful or he will throw his beloved blankie in the tub before he gets in! He threw one of his shoes in there the other night.
Blankie is usually found in Gage's mouth. One morning he would not take it out while I was dressing him so his shirt ended up going over Blankie. He walked around that way for a long time! Such a stinker!
I just don't know how to even adequately describe the joy we have in life with Gage. He is so funny and cuddly and lovable. He goes to bed with a smile and wakes up with one too. He gives kisses with a big smack: "mmmah". He makes motor sounds as he drives around his trucks. He repeats everything we say, our favorite: please, which he says "tsease" with his hand on his heart. He makes funny faces and sounds to get attention. He laughs with delight at tickles and funny faces made at him.
One day not long ago we were walking in the park side by side. I wanted to stick out my hand and walk together holding hands but I knew that my little monkey would not go for that one bit when he can do it all by himself! A metaphor struck me right then. This is what parenting is all about, isn't it? Walking right next to your child through life. Sometimes they will want to hold your hand, sometimes not. But no matter what, you are there. Right next to them. And my prayer for my children is that they always know that. And not only am I on one side. Their Heavenly Father is right there on the other. I think it's a beautiful picture! Something to remember when it's not as easy as it is right now. Like when I'm not first on the favorite list anymore...