Today, Sam is 18 months old. In 18 months, the tiny helpless screaming little blob that was thrust onto my chest and deep into my life has not only quadrupled in size, he’s evolved to become a little human being. Our days are now pretty routine, and I feel like I have less to say than when he was 6 months, 9 months and even 12 months old.
These days, Sam is a ball of personality. Much like his daddy, he’s a man of few words (he says completely useless things like “Elmo!” and “turtle!” and “more?”) but his non-verbal communication skills are pretty sharp and he can point, nod, shake and gesture his way to everything he wants. Although his new thing right now is slapping himself on the head, and really, I have no clue what he’s trying to say there.
He’s funny. He’s really funny. He loves to make us laugh but probably not as much as he loves making himself laugh.
He’s loving. He gives hugs and kisses on demand, and better than that, he gives them even when they’re not demanded… and there’s nothing that makes my heart sing more than when I see him after a whole day apart and his smile, it breaks across his face the instant he hears me and he launches (currently a combination of crawling, shuffling and unsteady walking) at me and gives me the biggest, tightest hug his little arms can give.
His imagination is developing. We tell him stories with props and toys and he re-enacts them to tell his own stories. His favourite props are trucks. Such a boy. We’d never shown him the iPad or TV until very recently, and over the last month he’s taken a liking for ABC Kids, especially Hoot, Elmo and Fireman Sam. I think he’s going to be a couch potato just like mum:
He scares me. I think that this age (well, until he’s old enough to drive and jump out of airplanes) is the most heart-stoppingly scary. He’s capable enough to climb onto anything but he’s not quite smart enough to realise that he could kill himself when he sits back onto nothing. So I have to have eyes on him every. single. moment. that he’s free ranging about the house and guys, it’s super tiring.
And we still have tough times. There are days when he wakes up in a funk and he’s crying and struggling and He Wants Everything And Nothing ALL NOW! and times like these, I wish he wasn’t 12kgs because damn it’s hard to hold a wiggling, kicking 12kg toddler. And lately he’s been extra clingy to me because well, the urban myth that babies can smell other babies brewing is completely true. I’m pregnant again (20 weeks! It’s a girl!) and Sam wants to be glued to me constantly and daddy? Daddy who? Urgh, it’s nice to be loved but I can tell you that being the favourite parent is utterly over-rated.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing
And now with baby 2 baking away, I’m reflecting a lot and reveling in the clarity of hindsight. So many things that stressed me out with Sam will probably invoke no more than a passing second of thought. For example:
- Enjoy the times when they aren’t yet mobile. I remember there were times when I needed to (sorry for TMI guys but…) do a #2 and I’d lay Sam on his playmat. He’d cry and cry so badly that I literally could not do my #2 and so, I’d stop trying and just go carry him. WELL. Now that he’s actually capable of killing himself if I should take my eyes off him for 20 seconds, it’s far more scary to go do a #2 without him. Lesson? Just let them cry and do your #2. The baby will be fine.
- Appreciate the night feeds. And I don’t mean that in a soppy ‘they need you’ way. When Sam used to wake at night, I’d change him, feed him and put him back to sleep. After some milk, he’d for sure go back down, easy! These days? He doesn’t need a bottle any more and so when he wakes at night (which, luckily, is very rarely) I’m like WTF do I do? Read to him? And scarily yes, usually he wants to read. And play. And you know what, it’s so much easier to just feed ’em and dump ’em back in bed. I miss those days.
- Go to cafes! Oh the days when they would just lie in the pram. Even if they cry! Who cares? They’re stuck!
- Take a shower. Daily. Similar to point one, I used to rush my showers or skip them all together if Sam was losing it on the mat. No more. Showers are back on the agenda.
Ah, it’s going to be an interesting journey with two little munchkins in our lives. Are we looking forward to it? Sure we are. Are we scared? HELL YES. We’ll have two kids under the age of two for a little while and honestly? “It’s so awesome having two under two!” – said no one ever.
Wish us luck!