I was thinking today about how confusing life must be for toddlers. As a parent, I spend half my time encouraging my son to play with stuff and throw stuff and eat stuff, and the other half trying to get him to not play with stuff or throw stuff or eat stuff. How much can an 18 month old really understand about that? This cookie is delicious, but no to the unidentifiable thing I found on the carpet? Yes, let's play catch with this ball, but no, I can't chuck around rocks from the driveway? Yes to this fun blinky toy but no to Mom's much more fun blinky iPhone?
I concluded at times he must just think I'm a colossal asshole. But he's getting to the point where he can communicate, and that has been pretty fun. I always try not to rush development, ever since I kept saying "When is he going to crawl?" and then he did and I've spent the time since then chasing him and remembering fondly when he was immobile.
But the language thing is good, because he can finally tell me what he wants. Generally it's a snack. Sometimes it's Dad. Sometimes it's a long string of things that I can't really understand. But he's sitting there playing with his toys and having a conversation that he certainly understands, and I am kind of anxious to find out what it's all about.
He also busted out his first curse word, which I was less proud of, though he used it appropriately. He turned too quickly and tripped over the dog, and said "DAMMIT" in a tone identical to his father. (Seriously the delivery was identical, he can't even try to blame me). I glared at Ben, who made a credible attempt to blend into the couch like a chameleon. Such a proud moment.
I'm also about to be an aunt again, which is really exciting, and from hearing my brother talk, one more little one won't be too far away. My mom and I had to laugh when he said they were going to "start trying" in the spring. In my family, there really isn't any "try". For the most part, that's one medical problem we don't run into. We have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, migraines, and premature gray hair on our genetically unavoidable giant domes, but fertility is not an issue. Pretty much as soon as you say "we're going to try" and then get within two feet of your partner's genitals, congratulations, in forty weeks you're going to be a parent. My ladyparts are completely scarred and broken and it still only took us one try, my dad is one of nine and I'm sure that number would have been higher, but my grandfather died.
So it looks to be an exciting new year. I will continue with the resolutions I've already started-healthier living to try to avoid the above-mentioned genetic problems so I can be around to laugh when Henry's kids say dammit for the first time. Happy New Year to all-I hope this is a great one.