Today, sweet tyrannical toddler-beast, you are nineteen enormous months old. We are all surviving. The past thirty days and change have brought some major progressions in your ability to perceive and live in the world around you—you speak almost entirely in complete sentences now, albeit often still of the non sequitur variety—and one major regression that’s knocked both you and your parents sideways, backwards and (your favorite position) upside-down. Sure, at basically a year and a half old you can now type a few of your favorite words (CAT, JET, ME), and spell out a few more using your fridge magnets (FROG, YES), and even scrawl out a few of the easiest letters to write when you’re “working in chalk” as you call it (V is the one you’ve perfected: “I’M WRITING V!!!!” you’ll say, before covering the chalk side of your easel with a massive check mark). This is duly impressive and we’re very impressed. But you know what’d be even MORE impressive, my tiniest dear? If you’d still take a goddamned nap every day. Apparently there is a thing called an “18-month sleep regression” (REALLY? like, when does this shit stop? Am I currently in a 480-month sleep regression?), and in honor of yours, you’ve decided that not only are you going to read like a four-year-old, you’re going to sleep like one, too. Trouble is (or shall I say FLUFFY TROUBLE IS), the rest of your brain is very much its earliest early toddler self, complete with level-9 tantrums that come out of nowhere, and a level-negative-fifty-jillion attention span that made it so that when we decided to channel your constant desire to climb the furniture and be flipped upside down into a tots gymnastics class, you took every conceivable opportunity to make a break for it and crash the Level 8’s practice. (Side note: it was a TRIP for your mother to be back in a gym after all these years. The smell of chalk and sweat sets off some serious sense-memories of competitions all over the greater Pacific Northwest industrial suburban hinterlands.)
I’m just going to do a mini-update every month until 22, so here is my most beloved development in August:
- Your self-taught pronouns. Currently you are “you,” which makes perfect sense, since that’s what we call you. Your demands are also sometimes still given Jeopardy-style, which again makes sense because that’s how you hear them. YOU WANT SOME MILK? (to dump all over your high chair?) YOU WANT SOME PURPLE DUCK? (who doesn’t?) YOU WANT TO RAID SOME SAMPS? (this last one courtesy of your mother, who has taken to the neighborhood’s erection of a massive Whole Foods a block away with the aplomb of a person who has never seen solid food before, and who multiple times a day takes you on a journey to “raid the samps,” or sample the fluxuating multitude of free nibbles the folks there have on offer, which SOMETIMES include cake, I’m just saying.) SOMETIMES, however, you use “she” when talking about yourself (“She loves you!”) (“She likes to nurse!”), and when talking about your parents, you will use “him” and “her” interchangeably, and sometimes “IT,” especially when commenting on what we’re doing. “IT’S SLEEPING.” (No, it WISHES it were sleeping, my dear.) “IT’S EATING SALAD!” (Yes, that’s right, salad. Not cookies. Salad.) And, my personal favorite, because you haven’t quite figured out what flossing is yet: “IT’S EATING ITS TEETH!” Close enough.
All right, little one. Your ill-timed snooze (which you are TAKING IN A CRIB, HALLELUJAH!!!) will be done soon and I’d like to get a twenty-minute power nap in to fortify myself for the endless hours ahead, so I’ll just add a bunch of photos and call it a day. Happy 28th. I love you and your no-sleeping, almost-reading, room-devastating, frog-noise-making, “flop” counting, tantrum-escalating, high-chair-massacring, life-grabbing self. You make me a better person every day, except when I’m so tired I can barely see straight, and then at least you make me laugh.