As Cole approaches his birthday in January, I can’t help but marvel…yes, marvel…at the changes that have come over this little guy in the last six months. I was working on catching up my Project 365 album from the past six months and found a photo of Cole taken by my sister, Kara, on the weekend that I got sick back in May. He was sitting with our dear friend, Melissa, who was in town visiting and stepped in to take care of Cole while Jason and my sister took me to the emergency room. He still looks like a baby at that time – he WAS a baby still at only 15 months old!
I compare this photo with how he looks today and the difference shocks me. During these months of being sick, my baby has turned into a little boy, with more and more glimpses of his personality shining through as the days pass.
Cole, you are learning and growing and changing right before our eyes. Here are some of the things that make you who you are at 22 months old:
CHATTER: Although many of your monologues leave us in the dark as to what they mean, you are saying new words all the time. “Please,” “thank you,” “drink,” “choo-choo,” “outside,” “watch,” “Donald Duck,” “more,” “sit,” and “papa” are among your favorites. You also love to say “no!,” and “stop!” but those are definitely not your Mama and Daddy’s favorites to hear.
CLIMBER: We have given up our quest to keep you from climbing up the bar stools and onto all the furniture and have decided to teach you how to be safe doing it instead. Your climbing skills have come in handy, though, as you have finally figured out how to climb up Mount Daddy. You can now get yourself onto Daddy’s lap without the aid of a chair or stool to do so. Between you huffing and puffing your way up and Daddy helping you the last half of the way, you make a pretty good team to get the job done. This made it possible for Daddy to take you to your first BYU football game without Mama. You stayed on his lap the whole three hours!
PERSONALITY: Everything you do is big. Although you have started being a little clingy in the first few minutes of meeting new people, it doesn’t take long for you to charm your way into the hearts of everyone you meet. You have a flair for the dramatic that solicits giggles and laughter from adults and kids alike. And it doesn’t hurt that you blow kisses freely when saying goodbye to all of your friends. People can’t help but love that!
INDEPENDENT: Of course we knew this stage was coming but *sigh* you are determined to be independent. You have developed the classic toddler “arch the back and scream” move to perfection. Annoying? Yes. But I keep telling myself that being independent and determined will serve you well as you grow older so I try to be patient and teach you appropriate expressions of that independent streak. Now we know how every other parent out there feels when we see their children throwing fits in various public places. Life with a toddler – we understand it now, folks!
FRIENDS: You love older kids. Most of your cousins are teenagers and they run and wrestle with you. They build you forts and swing you in a parachute blanket. They don’t steal your snacks. They don’t get in your space or paw at you. Kids your age kind of confuse you so we are spending a lot of time at playdates these days so that you can get used to little friends, too. I like it because I get to spend time with other mamas while you play together. You and I hang out together a lot these days. I’m so lucky!
HELPER: We are working on teaching you to put away your things and to help keep things clean and organized. You have decided that taking your stinky diapers out to the garage is officially your job. And heaven forbid if I clean out the dishwasher without you because you like to be in charge of putting away the silverware.
TOYS: I just had to clean out the toys again and put a bunch in storage because the things you like to play with has really changed over the last few months. Although you still often prefer technology to toys, you love trains and so Santa will be bringing you your first Thomas set this year for Christmas. You like to play with cars, running them along anything that seems like a road and making all those engine noises that seem to be inherent to little boys. You’ve never been interested in carrying around a blanket or stuffed animal but you choose a toy every day that becomes your best friend and has to go everywhere with you – including into the bath and your bed. Yesterday it was a plastic golf club. Today it’s a drumstick from Rock Band. It’s always an adventure to decipher what you will feel so possessive about next.
You are Daddy’s little buddy and you stick to him like glue. Good luck trying to get you off his lap – it pretty much won’t happen without a fight or serious negotiation. We are so blessed to have a live-in aide these days to help Daddy and even luckier that it is Daddy’s cousin “Uncle Ben.” He loves you as much as we do and doesn’t mind if you hang out with him. He teaches you all the basketball moves that you need to be the next NBA all-star and you love it when he plays hide-and-seek with you around the house. It’s that hiding/chasing combo that you can’t get enough of.
Cole, Mama has been working really hard at being able to take care of you without needing so much help from babysitters. I’m getting stronger and stronger and I love being with you so much these days. We try to do an activity every morning – sometimes we go to the store or to visit at a friend’s house. It gives you something to do and it helps me to build up my stamina. Whatever we do, it is fun with you around. I am the luckiest Mom to have such great men in my life. You and Daddy are my favorite people and I am so grateful for our little family.