To my Sweet Buttery Boo:
You are 16 months old today. SIXTEEN MONTHS! When that happened, I have no clue. Thursday is the one year anniversary of the day I went back to work, a/k/a, the worst day of my life. No offense to my job, but it is true. Leaving you was the hardest thing I've ever done, hands down.
It might be a coincidence, but just these last two weeks you've developed a spot of separation anxiety. We'd gotten into a routine of setting you up in a high chair with a breakfast Nutri Grain bar in the mornings. I'd get you settled, put your lunch bag in the fridge, put your backpack in your cubby then come back for a kiss and a wave goodbye. You'd kiss, smile, wave back and shout "BYE BYE!!!" as I walked down the driveway. A few times recently, though, you've lifted up your little arms to be picked up out of your high chair, stolen a few extra minutes of snuggles then, heartbreakingly, cried when I've passed you off to Maria. Thankfully, all of those times, I've paused at the end of the driveway and listened to find you'd stopped crying. I had a chat with you while you nursed in the car after pickup yesterday evening . . . I promised I'd always come get you (except, of course, for the times when your daddy would). You looked up at me intently with your huge baby eyes, and I like to think you understood. You didn't cry this morning, in any event.
You are wicked smart. Seriously. You blow my mind practically every day. The other night, you were putting away your toys in the bath and you knew that the bottles should be lined up on the ledge while the toys went in the mesh bag. At one point, a big plastic bathtub book was filling up the entire opening of the toy bag and, in order to get a smaller bathtub book in, you took out the bigger book, put the smaller book in, then put the bigger book back. Maybe I'm easily impressed, but I seriously thought that was the craziest, smartest thing I've ever seen a wee toddler do. Your other tricks include being able to place all 5 shapes in your shape sorter, stacking up to 6 blocks and being able to open all the childproof locks we've tried for our kitchen cabinets.
Your vocabulary is . . . like, whoa. You can say about 45 words and you understand hundreds. You've been putting together a few simple sentences. For example, you used to say "down" when you wanted off the big bed or out of your high chair. You started saying "get down" about a month ago and, lately, it has become "I want get down". Your newest "word" is "Ummm", which is HILARIOUS. We'll ask you a question and you'll say "Ummm . . . DAT!!!" or "Ummm . . . DES!!!"
Last night your dad and I were playing with you in your room before bedtime. Your dad attempted (quite successfully, actually) to juggle, which made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe. Then we set you up with three different drums and a pair of drumsticks. You passed your dad a whistle and me a harmonica for a little playtime jam session. I thought that simple nights like that one, where we were all having fun together, were the ones I wanted to remember. We've got piles of photos from big days out and trips away, but 30 years from now, when you're grown and maybe even married with kids of your own, the moments I'll want to remember are much smaller and simpler than the ones we have documented.
I'm going to keep your happy giggles, wet baby kisses and 1,000 watt smiles locked in a box in my heart.