Note: the second of the two above pictures should be accompanied by a sound track. You can tell by his lips (and you could have told by the drool all over his chest that used to cause a sheen in the picture, but that I photoshopped out) that he is making a little motor sound that the SYO has yet to learn (gender is DEFINITELY not simply the socialized expression of sex).
While this newsletter may seem a bit of a letdown following the big Birthday Issue, that should in no way imply that your motor and language development was at all languid. In fact, you've made a great many strides this past month.
You're now walking like a pro. Running, really. You can pick yourself up (awkwardly, to be sure) without grabbing on to something. Rather, you do this insane downward-facing-dog and pull up to standing. It is amazing to watch. You can pile two blocks on top of one another. Of course, your preference is to knock down a stack whenever possible. Amazingly, after BioMom and I pointed (emphatically) to a ball across the room, you ran over to it and picked it up, which tells us that we're at least cracking into that skull of yours.
Still no words, but with our loquacious Six (my new alternate name for the SYO), it is somewhat of a relief. (As an aside, while up on the North Shore one evening after the two little gems had been tucked gently into their beddie-byes, I turned to BioMom who was on the open-mouthed, tongue-ready verge of a new sentence and said "Please. I have not had a moment without someone saying something this entire day. Can we have a moment of silence to grieve my lost sanity?").
It would seem that 18 months (and the three months leading two and from it) will be quite a bit of a challenge.
I say this with a large bite of humble pie in my mouth having only stumbled upon that age accidently (with our Six, when I met them) thus never having to really negotiate it from a parental perspective. I, however, have watched the brilliant Cousin navigate its waters twice now and, if I remember correctly, may have, once, actually (horrifically) offered advice.
Please accept my apologies for that, and for what I expect will be our (ahem) "challenge" this summer when we (18 month old in tow) visit your house, Cousin!
Here are a few choice sentences from the book on 18 month olds:
"He shows a strong love of opposites. In fact, he is quite as likely to do the opposite of what you ask as to obey your suggestion. . . We often describe him as walking down a one-way street, and his direction tends to be the opposite of what the adult has in mind."
"Emotionally, as in other ways, your boy or girl tends to be uneven and unpredictable, given to rather violent displays of temper."
"The child of this age is extremely self-involved."
The authors also point out that at 18 months the human and the monkey start to diverge in terms of development, and the personality begins to shine through.
For this, I cannot wait, Big. Although, I have a pretty good idea about your nature and who you are. And I'm pretty happy with you, sweet-pea!
The authors also do not recommend pushing potty training too much. It (literally) cannot be harder than the first time around for BioMom and I (as some of you may have personally witnessed), so we're not about to force anything. It will be entirely up to you.
Speaking along those lines. . .
The other day began with approximately 17 ounces of material evidence of your incredibly diverse eating habits. You woke up with what appeared to be pasta puttenesca all over the lower half of your body. That is, the back AND front halves of your diaper as well as along your still-chubby-but-unfortunately-thinning thighs and (as all of our friends put it) "cankles"**. I instantly regretted our fraternity-esque cheering at all the black beans you were eating the night before.
With much love (despite have to clean up the above described mess), -Baba
*One candidate for our open faculty position sounded so casual and awkward that I started writing down some of his "isms" word for word. At one point, when describing the courses he would like to teach at our mid-sized public university he actually said: "Um. Well, I actually saw this show [he pauses here and seems to try to collect himself. I can't tell whether he was embarrased that he was about to reference television generally as a resource for his potential course or if it was the show in particular that he was nervous about] on the, um, travel channel. . . ? And, um, well, I actually taped it! I think it was about macroeconomics."
"Oh, and, I once heard about a professor taking students to the Federal reserve. Doncha have one of those in Minneapolis? That'd be real cool to do that!"
This seriously happened. I have notes. And witnesses.
**Your godfather (MRM#1) wished, on New Years for only one thing for his 42nd birthday (in september): to see your ankles.