I have an eighteen month old baby that does not talk. He babbles. He jabbers. He does not form actual words. This is very strange to me because it does not follow the pattern of any of my other children. Then again, he is breaking the mold in many ways. For instance, he chews gum. And he does not swallow it. He will hand it to me in a sticky, slobbery lump with his little sticky, slobbery fingers when he is done with it.
He also knows how to gargle with mouthwash. Not that I actually let him gargle with mouthwash, but he doesn't know it is just a bit of water in the rinsed-out mouth wash bottle. He is thrilled with oral hygiene.
He is also a champion door closer. He takes it upon himself to close the door to any closet or the pantry whenever he notices it ajar. Same thing with the dishwasher...even when I am trying to load/unload it. He is undeterred by my explanations that I need it open for the moment and goes ahead and shoves that door up as hard as he can. He will not be satisfied he has done his job until he hears it slam. Then he looks at me with a pleased smile on his face waiting for my unenthusiastic "Thank you, Wes". Job done, he'll go on to find the next open door and I will stealthily open the dishwasher again to finish my job.
He does the usual things - he takes out all of the pots and pans and arranges them on the kitchen floor. I will give him a wooden spoon and some magnet letters off the fridge to stir in the pots and he is happily an alphabet soup chef for about three minutes.
He climbs on everything. For some reason that one line of "Ice Ice Baby" always comes to mind..."If there's a problem, yo, I'll solve it" except in my head I hear "If there's furniture, yo, he'll climb it". He gets himself stuck in all kinds of ways with his climbing. Sometimes he's gotten all the way up somewhere and he can't get down, sometimes a leg or an arm will get caught in the rungs of a chair as he climbs, sometimes he'll climb until he gets wedged in a tight space and can't move at all.
His obsession with technology is unsurpassed. The fits he throws when he sees a phone or a computer of any kind are pretty amazing. He is not ashamed to scream and to cry - the turning red, shrieking, limbs clenched and shaking kind of screaming and crying - to get a go at that screen. If you try to be a step ahead and turn your device off before you hand it to him he will find the power button immediately and turn it back on. If for some reason he fails to get it to power up he will throw it, flinging it to the floor with such a look of disgust that I nearly laugh every time...only the thought of how unwise I was to willingly let him handle my electronics again, when he just threw it on the floor again keeps me from true enjoyment of his frustrated face.
I feel like it must be because I'm old now and my energy is gone that this baby seems so active and, well, kind of a mess. I mean, he's cute and dear and I love him more than I can say, but his waking hours require a level vigilance I just don't remember with my other kids. I know he will grow up, and he won't be my little non-speaking, furniture climbing, door closing, electronics nabbing baby forever. I'll miss his squeezable, kissable, babyness - but you know what? I like my kids as they grow up. I'm looking forward to getting to know him as his own person - and besides, my kids never really grow out of their squeezable, kissable, stage anyway.
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