Thomas turned 16 months two weeks ago. I considered skipping this month entirely, but I’m going to do an update because Thomas has reached the age that all he does is change and learn and in two weeks or probably even by the time I finish typing this, he’ll be doing and saying a hundred new things.
What I’m saying is, I can’t keep up with Thomas. And he thinks it’s hilarious.
We had a busy month — school started for the big kids and we did some traveling. Thomas has taken it all in stride, which is no surprise. He’s a happy companion, then when we arrive at our destination he starts climbing the furniture and scouring the place for breakables and choke-ables. Or better yet, a breakable choke-able placed high on the table — just out of reach.
Thomas is rambunctious, wily, and sneaky. He is always climbing and always up to something. If you’ve ever been around me and Thomas, you’ve seen that I spend my time saving him from near-misses — from falling off a bench, from pulling things onto his head, from choking hazards. It’s like Mindy and Buttons from Animaniacs — the oblivious toddler and her industrious dog. (I spent 15 minutes looking for a clip of Mindy and Buttons then stopped because 15 minutes is longer than the total time I planned on writing this post.) If you don’t know Mindy and Buttons, just come to my house. Thomas and I are in a constant state of imitating the one where the baby almost walks off the edge of a building.
Thomas’s least favorite thing is getting dressed and so, correspondingly, my least-favorite thing is dressing him. His favorite thing is being outside and pushing a stroller, which is a phase all of my children have gone though. (David) I got the stroller for $8 at a consignment sale and it’s gotten more use than any other baby item, including the cribs.
Speaking of beds, Thomas usually takes two naps a day, but is on the verge of dropping the morning nap. Sometimes he needs it, sometimes he doesn’t. Usually he’s fine if we’re out and I can’t put him down. The one constant is his night sleep. Thomas is no where near sleeping through the night, despite our best efforts. It’s the one aspect of our day (night?) that is completely predictable.
Thomas is talking so much now. He says hi, ni-night, bye, wa for water, mo! for more, and fu-ba! for football. When we listen to “Do-re-mi” he says “DO!DO!DO” and when we listen to “Seasons of Love” he says “OOOOOOO” when everyone sings, “Seasons of looooooove!”
Curiously, he does not seem to understand the word “no.”
Thomas copies so much of what we do. In addition to things like trying to trim his toenails after watching me trim his Mary’s (in the photo above), he’s learned to play by watching his siblings. It seems so crazy , but when David was Thomas’s age he didn’t know how to hold an airplane and zoom it through the air. But Thomas does, because he’s seen his brother do it for the past 16 months.
That’s actually probably the biggest difference between a first child and third child. It’s almost like he was born with experience. Or more likely, he has two live-in teachers he idolizes.
Perhaps the greatest thing Thomas does is walk around the house with underwear on his head. Yes, you read that correctly. He gets his siblings’ underwear from the (clean!) laundry basket, or from their drawer, puts it on top of his head, and then runs around.
As you might imagine, we think this is hilarious. We laugh and whenever we laugh he starts laughing. And so, he does it again and again, and then one more time. Thomas has always laughed easily, but his favorite thing is to laugh corporately — to make us laugh. Every time he plays peek-a-boo he does it not just because he thinks it’s hilarious, but because he wants us all to join in.
If you’ve been listening to me at all this month, you might have heard me say that this is my least-favorite stage. It’s because you are non-stop and insane and I’m exhausted. And also you don’t sleep through the night. So what I’m asking is, throw me a bone. Remember that night you woke up like three times, and the next morning you were being whiny so I held you, and when I tried to sip my coffee you knocked it out of my hand and it spilled everywhere?
Don’t do that again.
This is such an intense, physical, exhausting stage but it is also maybe the most adorable. Watching you learn language and interact in real ways is simply magic. And every time I tickle your belly or nuzzle your sweet soft head, I figure that this is why evolution hasn’t phased out the toddler stage. There is no other explanation.
We forgive it in a moment because of your sweet toddler wave, the way you shout new words, the curls above your ear. It’s your enthusiasm for everything, your laugh, and even the way you keep us scrambling.
Even that. We love it all because it is you.