Sixteen months

With all the fuss about our new baby R, you’d think it would be harder to pay attention to the other two kids. It’s not, really. K demands attention in such a way that it’s impossible to not give her some. N is a different story. He’s a pretty chill guy, happy to wander around the house relocating objects that I won’t be able to do without next time I go somewhere. But I’m still drawn to watching him closely.

For a few weeks I felt like I was missing out on N’s life at what I call the “peak of cuteness”. He’s a little toddler, on the cusp of looking like a little boy but still sometimes a baby, with a sunny disposition but just weeks away from learning how to tantrum and go all boneless in public places. I want to slow down this time in his life, and yet I can’t wait to see what’s next.

At sixteen months he is walking – no, running – everywhere. He is frequently in motion and will run in circles just for the fun of it. When he gets tired he’ll find a baby blanket, pull it around his shoulders like a cape, lie down on the floor, and suck his thumb.

He can (and will) play with his stacking rings for up to half an hour at a time, but his favourite toy is a large plastic jar and some walnuts, which he’ll empty and refill repeatedly. His new favourite toy is, of course, his baby sister. He wants to touch her. He wants to inspect the inside of her mouth with his fingers. He wants to hug her, which for some reason involves climbing on top of her if she’s lying down. His face lights up every time he sees R and he stretches his hands out to grab her. Today he actually said “den-taaa”, by which I think he meant “gentle”. He probably thinks that’s R’s name, since it’s the one word I keep repeating when he’s near her.

Speaking of, well, speaking… He’s got a few words now. “Ba” for ball and bottle, “mow” for more (he also signs “more”), “myam” for mayim (Hebrew for water), and “hayah” for challah. Oh, and “cah” for car. I think he’s also made an attempt at “chicken”, but it was only once so I consider it unconfirmed. Nevertheless, he’s on his way to speaking – another reason why I’d like to freeze time for a little while and enjoy my smiling, pointing baby who doesn’t yet know how to say “no”.

I love my sweet, sunshiny boy so very much. I just have to say that now and put it out here, on the very public internet, so that I can remember these feelings when he becomes a toddler in every frustrating sense of the word. Because I know that one day he’ll tantrum and say “no” and screech and do the “limp noodle” and it will be impossible to remember that he was ever this angelic:

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