Dear Leo, 18 months

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(I wrote this in December, when Leo really was 18-months old, but I never posted it before we left on our whirlwind Colorado-to-Cancun trip. I figure better late than never…)

Dear Leo,

You turned 18 months old this week. Just thinking about you as I write this makes my heart swell with joy. You are such a wonder – so sweet and loveable and very smart! You are so interested in how things work – how pieces go together and come apart, how they move, or float or spill or  break. You are observant and curious about everything. The more new things you get your little hands on the happier you are. Even the tiniest speck of debris interests you and you’ll happily bring it over to share.

You are a good eater, which brings your mama much relief. You rate normally for height and weight, unlike your petite big sister. It does seem like you’re getting pickier as time goes by, though. You have your front four upper and lower teeth in, and the other day I saw one of your top back left molars peeking out. I bet it will be a lot of help for grinding up food you can’t quite eat on your own yet.

You’re fast and mobile. Oh boy. You were able to climb onto our bed and the sofas early on, and now that you’re up on the chairs you want to get onto the table, too (eek!). You’ve had lots of tumbles, but they don’t seem to deter you much.

Now that you’re big enough, Chloe has had to get used to you “sharing” toys that were once free whenever she wanted. She still grabs things out of your hands, but she is learning that is getting harder to do, and your not afraid to make a fuss. On the other hand, you give her quite a bit of grief, too, always wanting what she has, or being where she is. Or pulling her hair – you have definitely yanked both of us good. Not just strands, but clumps.

The thing that concerns me most about your development right now is the fact that you don’t talk. I mean, you can say mama and dada and dog (da!), but you don’t do it very often. The word you say most (and quite clearly) is “ball.” Oh, but you are good at sounds and noises – vroom, vroom, ruff, ruff, and meow along with many others.

Despite being a little man of few words, you certainly communicate. You point like a champ, nod and shake your head for yes and no to answer a question, tap your bowl or hand me your cup when you want more, rock in your high chair when you want to get down, and grab and tug on your diaper when you need a diaper change. See? Its all so clear. And maybe your dad is right, that its my fault you don’t need to talk. In my quest to become a good mother, I have learned to read your body language and other subtle (and not so subtle) cues to interpret your needs and wants, or I simply anticipate them. I’ve tried to wait and make you talk, but it doesn’t seem to work and we both get frustrated.

The delayed talking thing concerned me so much that I took you to see some specialists. And you know what happened? You wowed them in every other way. Your fine and gross motor skills are very well developed for your age AND you passed a test in cognition as well as a three year old. So. You have a lot going for you. I guess maybe I just need to be patient. You’ll talk when you’re ready, I think.

Love you my darling boy,
Mama

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