So, as you mount up for your 19th month here, I must say you have exploded with a different kind of energy. You are brimming, your soul all fired up and spilling out like a steaming teapot. You are always on the move; climbing or running or bouncing or dancing. You are beginning to grasp the fundamentals of sentence structure, trying hard to hold conversations with me. You are either in a non-eating or tirelessly picky food phase. You are becoming aware of your bodily functions, holding your diaper as you suddenly say “Poo-Poo” or “Pee-Pee” and sprint to the bathroom. You tell us, in a huff of one moment, “Nigh-Night!” and run to your room when you are totally done in. Your entire being is morphing before my eyes into a girl confident in her skin; though you definitely prefer that skin to be naked as a jay bird. And I admit, many times you practically annihilate me with your energy level and I’m left at night so tired that I’m standing in the kitchen staring blankly into space. It seems I have nothing left. And yet, in my quest for wisdom, I know there’s always a little bit left.
You now can say a few phrases: The inquisitive “Wha’ Happened?”, the surprised “Oh My!”, the sincere “Buh-Bye Daddy”, the sweet “Tea-n-Honey”, the playful “Where’s Kaia?”, and the most endearing “Love You!” You’ll have to get good at wiping my mushy heart off the floor when you say that one!
Typical for this age, you crave routine, which is so difficult for your non-routine parents. However, Daddy has created a lovely bedtime ritual that involves preparing your crib and tucking you in softly, and your half-moon eyes squeeze shut in utter anticipation and joy. You also want to watch a “mooofy” (movie) almost every morning and even sometimes in the middle of the night when you wake up with a snotty nose and a cough. I have to tell you “Ohhh, movie is nigh-night. The moon is out; it is dark, time for you to go back to nigh-night. When the sun it up and it is light, the movie will be awake”. Then, in the mornings, I attempt to distract you from the looming DVD player. Now, you even say “Cars” – your recent favorite movie to watch with Daddy. When you see the Cars characters in your sippy cups, you pipe out loudly “Carrssh, Carrssh!” Please forgive me for the many times I let you sit mesmerized in front of your movie because my worn and weary pregnant body just needs to lie down and rest.
On our morning drive to work, you seek out the hot-air balloons floating magically in the sky and call out enthusiastically “Balloon!” as if you had spotted a UFO. Near the airport, you also look for the airplanes (airplane!) and the little ball-thingies on the power lines (ball!), and the billboard with a cow on it (moo!), chiming out the words as if you are a teacher performing roll-call. It is all so familiar to you in your growing mind, passing by like your beloved movie scenes.
You shocked me a few days ago when you pulled your Sesame Street tool belt and tools out of your toy box and called each of the characters by name: “Ernie, Oscar, Cookie, Elmo”. I have no idea how you learned their names. Sure, you’ve watched Sesame Street before, but I don’t think it’s been enough to engrain their names in your 19 month old mind. When I asked your sitter if you watch Sesame Street, she said “No, hardly ever”. Hmmmm.
And while I won’t bore you with an entire list of words in your repertoire (like I did last month) I’ll give you my top five favorites: “please, socks, hiney, boobies, yoni”. Oh, and one small request: please keep calling me “Mama”. You’ve recently taken to “Mommy” and somehow…I just don’t want to be there yet. You already weaned yourself from my milk almost two months ago…won’t you let me be Mama for you a little longer, my baby?
You are a copycat. You copy words, you copy intonation and conversation, you copy body language, you copy how to smile for a camera. Mostly, you make me laugh my widening ass off.
You still love your binkys, though Daddy has been awesome at trying to limit your bonding time with them during the day. Daddy also thinks it would be a great idea to wean you off of this before your sibling arrives, as well as transition you to a toddler bed. All of this makes the Mama in me slightly anxious and nervous. Am I losing my tiny little baby? Your Daddy is wise and I trust that whatever happens, the transition will be gentle and loving and just right for all of us.
You have a cold and cough again, which seems to cycle through you every quarter. This is why you now say “Tea-n-Honey”, as I’ve been giving you nightly, warm Sleepytime Tea with honey and lemon to soothe your throat. You clutch the sippy to your chest and finish it by morningtime. (Oh, have I told you that you’ve been blowing your own nose for months now? Such a blessing to not have to use the blue sucker thingy!) Amazingly, you are always in great spirits through this icky cold. But, you tend to wake in the middle of the night needing juice or just some lovin’. Other than that, I am so proud that you have finally seem to have found some kind of sleeping rhythm, gladly going down by 8pm and getting up around 7 or 8am. You still mostly take 2 naps a day and you (like me and your Daddy) crave this special time of peace and relaxation.
Kaia, you are solely and completely and totally my only little baby for the next four months. But only four months, four full moons. How is that possible? How is it possible for the Earth to turn on its axis and shift in a matter of a moment, shaking the very core of our world? Yes, I waffle between this powerful curiosity and excitement of what life will be like with another little baby and the sheer terror of losing even one shred of our tight, singular bond. I know every Mama goes through this. I know it is normal and good to be split open like a ripened fruit, fibers exposed, and juices flowing out all sweet and bitter at the same time. But I promise that this new life within me loves you as much as I do and will broaden our family circle. I promise to nuzzle you tightly, for at least two more seconds longer than normal. And I promise that you will always remember how the beating of my heart keeps time with the fluttering of yours.
I love you.