Goodness me, you’re 1.5. One point five. A year and a half. Half-way to three, which means potty-training and preschool. Ay yi yi.
You’ve learned so much in the last month. You haven’t quite hit your vocabulary explosion yet (though I think that’s coming up), but you’re definitely getting new words and communication tools. I especially like how you’re not limited by English-language phonemes to get your points across. For example—and this is just my closest approximation using the letters on this American keyboard— you call a banana a “ba-ladl-ladl.” The second two syllables are mostly tongue-flapping.
You have also recently taken to imitating the sing-song intonation of “all done” without actually producing the words. You just do a rise and fall “ah-ah” while making something close to the ASL sign for “all done.”
And let’s not get started on the head-shaking. Sometimes it actually means no, and other times I think you just enjoy sloshing your brain around, but there has been a lot of that going on in our house lately.
You continue to surprise me with your eating habits. Sometimes you can’t get enough of one thing (this week it’s Corn Chex), and then you abandon it in favor of something else. One type of food you consistently enjoy is Asian food. You liked bites of my rice and sauce from the Indian booth at Jazz Fest last weekend. You also love Mongolian beef with lots of onions and Thai duck noodle soup. We’re going to see your great-Auntie Lily next week, and I’m sure she’ll be so pleased.
Lately you love to get wet. Maybe it’s the hot weather, but we’ll often find you dragging your bath sponge into the tub, as if requesting a bath, and you had so much fun at the family party at the Albia pool. You laughed and splashed and let your Aunt Shannon zoom you all around. We’re looking forward to getting you into the pool here soon. In a less hygienic manifestation of these desires, you also like to get your hands into whatever beverage you have in front of you and then rub the contents on your head. This isn’t such a problem with water, but chocolate milk can be a little outrageous.
You are on the move something fierce these days. You can go up and down the basement stairs with no help, which eases our minds a lot, since we don’t worry so much about you tumbling to your doom anymore. And let me tell you, it’s nice not to have to be paranoid about shutting the door behind me immediately after heading down the steps, because do you have any idea how difficult that is with a giant laundry basket in one’s arms? You also crawl in and out of bed on your own, which includes standing up, jumping, and plopping down with glee. You run and jump and do dances that feature stomping and kicking. Jazz Fest offered lots of opportunities to dance—you really love music, and you clap when every song ends (that is, when you’re not distracted by doggies and people and lemonade).
You probably won’t remember MIchael Jackson dying, much like I don’t remember Elvis Presley dying during my babyhood, but I bet the general public uproar is similar. It serves as a reminder that it’s tempting to exploit talent, and bad parenting and too much money and fame too young can really destroy a person. You might not be as good a dancer or pop star as Michael Jackson, but I want you to know that whatever your talents end up being, they are your own. They don’t belong to me or your dad or the rest of the world.
Sharing your strengths is a wonderful thing to do, and I hope you find something to do with your life that benefits others as well as yourself. But you don’t have to look or act a certain way or fulfill anybody’s idea about what you ought to be doing except your own. I can already see an independent streak in you, and maybe that’s just an early glimpse of a contrary two-year-old, but I admire it and hope to help you cultivate it. Maybe, though, could we find more interesting ways to be independent than shaking your head NONONONO when I offer you milk, only to stop and take a giant swig?
We have a big transition coming up. Jessa and her family are moving away, which means you’ll lose your special caregiving friend. We have a new person lined up, a really fun and sweet and silly Bean, and we’re excited about that, but we’ll miss Jessa. She was there as you went from a timid little one-year-old who cried when your dad and I left to the kid you are now. This morning, you barely even noticed as we said goodbye, because you were having so much fun playing with a stack of hangers in Jonah’s room.
It’s almost time for me to go pick you up, now. It’s the best part of my day, when you drop the blocks or book and coming running to me, your arms outstretched, and give me a big hug.
Happy half-birthday, Little Scoop. You’re the greatest.