ralph robert at 15 months
I think I've been a mother long enough now to understand that there's a certain sort of ebb and flow when it comes to a little baby's life. There are the hard times-- the phases of teething, or growth spurts, or nap strikes, or mysterious low-grade fevers and general fussiness. The times where life feels frustrating and confusing and the days are long for both momma and baby.
In between those tricky few weeks are these wonderful sweet spots. Happy days. Easy nights. Everything clicks.
And my friends, we are in the middle of a very long, very marvelous sweet spot. Right at this very moment, Ralph and his toddlerness are everything wonderful there is and ever could be in the world.
Ralph at 15 months has a tiny voice and a glorious lisp. He still can only say a handful of words very clearly, but he talks non-stop in a language all his own, and is surely telling me all sorts of very important things when he speaks, often with his pointer finger wagging in the air for emphasis. He takes two naps a day, and when I open the door to get him when he wakes up, he makes sure to hand me his blanket first. Only when the blanket is draped over my shoulder will he lift his arms to be picked up, and then he buries his head into it and pats my back with his chubby hand, happy to be awake again.
We're still nursing a few times a day-- always before bed or naps, and always first thing in the morning. And pretty much whenever he feels like it during the day. It's become a bit of a habit and source of comfort for him. His pediatrician suggested weaning him soon, before he gets pushy about it, but it's already too late for that. He loves it, and I love providing that little bit of comfort and warmth for him. We're in no rush.
Right now Ralph's favorite foods are blueberries, pineapple, pears, toast, and pretzels. He will not choke down an avocado if you paid him in a billion packs of fruit snacks. His favorite toys are not toys, but kitchen utensils. My salad spinner and tea kettle are getting a lot of action these days, and I usually have to wash my pots and pans again before using them because they've been dragged around the house all day long.
Ralph loves episodes of Baby Einstein and Thomas and Friends, but only during the music parts. He leaves a trail of cheerios wherever he goes. He can fold his hands to pray, and tries to say thank you ("ttthhh!") Some of his favorite songs are I am Jesus' Little Lamb, La La Lu from Lady and the Tramp, and the good morning song I sing when he wakes up, the one I remember my Grandma singing to me. I'm also pretty sure he loves every Katy Perry song he's ever heard.
He's a funny little guy, and has perfected a loud fake laugh. If your attention is not completely focused on him when he's performing that fake laugh, he'll keep laughing and get his face as close to yours as possible until you acknowledge it. He loves music and will sing to himself all day long. I've seen him pretending to play a horn with both an empty cardboard tube and my watering can. He loves to kick balls and stack things and run around the dining room table. He loves trains and his bath and when Ryan comes home from work. Changing his diaper is like wrestling a piglet. His fluffy hair smells like honey and curls up at the slightest bit of moisture.
He is such a little buddy. I want him to stay this way forever. He won't, of course, which is why I have to write it all down now.