I realize that since Ethan turned 1, I haven't really done the monthly update letter, and I don't think I've done a great job of documenting all of his new "tricks". I am absolutely the mother who is so excited to buy the baby book--I shopped high and low for just the right one--but then fails miserably to fill it in entirely. Kind of embarrassing. I do rely on my blog for almost all major milestones. Sucks for Ethan, I guess. Most kids just have to flip to a certain page in their yellowing baby book; my kid is going to have to read through screen after screen of gibberish to find out when he started crawling or got his first tooth.
These days, Ethan has abandoned his Frankenstein walk for a full-on, although not graceful, human-like walk. He has even tested out his ability to walk backwards on several occasions and amazingly suffered no bumps and bruises during the test runs. Oh, and he runs. It's wobbly and his cheeks jiggle when he does it, but it is definitely a run.
He is also quite the dancer. We took Music Together classes last spring and he was basically content to sit on my lap or crawl around after his friend Chloe (daughter of Carlin, the "other" mother). We are taking it again this fall and he is a dancing fool. There is spinning, there is knee bending to the beat, there is rocking back and forth (channeling a bit of Ray Charles, perhaps) that can't be mistaken for anything but a pure joy of listening to music.
If he could spend all day in an elevator, pushing buttons and running in and out of it when the doors slide open, he'd want for nothing in life. Right now my biggest fear is that he's somehow going to slip into an elevator without me somewhere and I will drop dead right there from the panic of not knowing how to find him. Irrational mommy fear #130,269,479.
I never know what words are going to find their way to his lips these days, either. He started with mama and dada and graduated to some sort of pig-latin for "kitty" that sounded like "gu-ga", but was unmistakeably mean to be "kitty". Now our days are littered with "apple" and "uhoh" and "up" and "meow" and "eye" and "eat" and "ball" and "vroom" as well as signs for "more" and "eat" and "clean up" and "all done". He's not super-verbal, but each day brings a new word; he knows countless words; if I ask him to go get me the yellow ball, he will go past all other balls until he specifically finds the one I requested and will bring it right to me.
Yes, I know these are all things he "should" be doing and I know there are kids who have done these things at younger ages; but they aren't my kids. So every little new thing he does is such a treat, whether he "should" have done it at 14 months or 16 months or whatever. (Easy, Mama-bear; someone's a tad defensive, eh?)
And none of this takes into account the personality that is blooming every day. I cannot believe, sometimes as I watch him run around the playground or bounce on the trampoline in gym class, that this little man was ever not here, this brimming with character and personality. He seems to live and breathe for his daddy right now--the keys in the door at 6pm bring squeals of glee and Ethan drops whatever he's doing, squirms out of my hold or off the chair he's on and barrels full speed ahead to the back door. The other day he was so excited, he actually ran in place for a minute like a cartoon cat, trying to get traction to take off. I almost peed my pants laughing, but I was afraid he was going to pick up too much momentum and slam into a wall (also like a cartoon cat).
He can assert what he wants now, either with real words and sign language or some fierce Ethanese and gesturing. We are figuring out what to do to make him happy, but also realizing that now we're at a point where we have to draw lines and find the boundaries between making him happy and indulging his every whim. This is not a part of parenting I really enjoy, but you gotta do what you gotta do.
Speaking of what you gotta do; I have to close up shop now because I am blogging in a hotel room and the light of the computer and the intense curiosity of whatismamadoing is keeping Ethan awake.