Labor Day came and went. Hurricane season seems ramped up in full force. Students are back at Bates, making the campus atmosphere feel like a contented cat after a sweet summer snooze--leisurely stretching and slowly awakening to see what awaits. Days are warm, nights are cool. I guess it's safe to say that summer is officially over.
When I think about this summer, what comes to mind is how different this one was from the last. Last summer, G was just an itty bitty guy, so dependent on me for everything, unable to appreciate much beyond his immediate needs of food, sleep and diaper changes. Now our guy is 16 months old. A walking chatterbox, he charges through the house to explore all the nooks and crannies. The pitter-patter doesn't stop. He's into everything. He closes doors. He opens doors. He dances in front of the mirror and then laughs at himself. He looks out the window. He taunts Gabby by stealing her rope toy and then holding it out for her to retrieve. He races through the house with his arms behind him, imitating either an airplane or a really tiny mogul skier. He climbs stairs. He deftly shimmies over the barrier we set up to keep him in one room (guess we don't need the barrier anymore). He nods when asked if he's ready for dinner. We'll ask him if it's time for bed and he'll nod, make his way to the stairs, climb them, push aside the baby gate and enter his room, laying down on the floor. The minor details of a diap change and pajama wearing escape him. He has, what seems to be, almost all of his baby teeth. He is, by all accounts, a burgeoning toddler, complete with a toddler personality that can change in a flash.
When I started this blog, I noted that I wanted to capture all the highlights--this includes all the lowlights. Not only the exciting milestones, but also the frustrations, antics, tantrums, etc. We've now reached that point. The rollercoaster ride has begun.
With a blossoming toddler comes the testing of limits (and our patience), random meltdowns and tantrums, and the introduction of a personality that is frustrated by the minimal knowledge of how yet to fully express himself. We've been spoiled this last year+ to having been blessed with a child who was very good-natured, easy to put to bed, easy to wake up, easy to get to nap, easy to deal with during teething, easy to take to restaurants, easy to travel in the car with, easy to travel in general with, easy to feed. But with this new found independence that G's acquired and is still acquiring, comes a new host of challenges.
Feeding times have become less than harmonious as of course he wants to be an independent eater and wield the spoon himself. One day he likes something, the next he hates it. While he's quite good at the spoon and plate, he still maintains the mischievous need to dip his entire fist into a cup of yogurt. Sigh.
Playtime has its moments as well. There are times when he just feels the need to break out into random bouts of crying, or sobbing, and almost nothing will appease him. Except perhaps being held. I am always ok to do this because let's face it, with his new-found freedom comes the desire to NOT snuggle much with mom anymore. But then comes the battle of, well if I pick him up every single time, he's getting his way. Yet why would I want to have him continue crying if by picking him up he stops? See what I mean about testing the limits?
What needs to be remembered, I suppose, is that someday, I'll be wishing for him to need me as much as he does right this moment; when he's a moody, angsty teenager, and when I'm no longer cool to him. So really, I should just cherish these moments; the good, the bad, the frustrating, the worrisome, the scream-worthy, etc, because like the first year that has so breezily gone by, these moments and these early years will continue to flash on without asking permission, without taking notes, without stopping to ask questions. And while I'm not a fan of rollercoasters, I'll maintain my front row seat, hold on tight, and continue to enjoy the ride we embarked on 16 months ago. It may be scary, it may make me want to scream, but it'll never be dull.