When I was pregnant with you, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like having two children. Your Auntie Lauren told me that the moment I first saw you, my heart would double in size, and she was so right! I instantly fell in love with your squishy face, your dark hair (just like mine) and your sweet nature.
Having you, my second baby, was so different from when I first had your brother. I knew what I was doing this time around. I was calmer, which I think made me a better mother. Carter may have gotten more of my undivided attention as a baby, but you benefitted from my experience, your Dada’s experience, and from having your brother around, too. (Though I do give YOU most of the credit for your easygoing nature.) Having you around as a newborn was never a struggle, and you were just so content as a baby. You loved tagging along with me in the Baby Bjorn as I chased Carter around the playground, and as long as you were close to me, you were as happy as could be. You fit easily into our family, the missing puzzle piece.
Now, at 18 months, you are still my sweet little guy. More often than not, you are happy, engaged and on the move. While Carter spent most of his younger days at home, you are always out and about with us, visiting friends, traversing the playground, experiencing the world first hand. Everyone is totally charmed by you, my sweet Collin, with your big green eyes and ready smile. You are always full of energy and adventure.
You love your favorite people: Mama, Dada, Carter, CeeCee and Grampy. Oh, how you love Grampy! As his namesake, too, you can’t get enough of him, which he just adores! You also love our kitties: Bailey, Kenny, Zoey and Sophie, and while you don’t have names for them yet, you will say Eee-Ow, Eee-Ow at them since that’s what cats say. They are less scared of you than they were of Carter, probably because you are a bit quieter and gentler. You also love your friends! All of our little girl friends of course adore you because you are the “baby” and you love it when they love on you. Clare Bear and Alena are your favorites, and you have recently been seen with your fellow baby girlfriends Sophia and Alyssa, who you gave your first kiss to this past weekend.
You are such a comedian, and you love to make us laugh. And YOUR laugh is so contagious! It’s a bit rusty and raspy, and just so delicious when we’re tickling you. You also love to dance, and just wiggle around whenever you hear music. CeeCee and Carter just taught you Ring Around the Rosie, and you spin around in circles then fall on the floor, which is adorable!
And while you may not be talking very much, you certainly understand much more than you care to say. You quickly learned how to shake your head “no” then to nod “yes” so you are great at answering our questions without saying a word. You’ve recently started a little “mmm hmm!” sound when nodding yes, which is so adorable I just want to eat you up. You are great at following our directions, finding things in books, and pointing to various body parts. We know that you will talk more when you’re ready, and also when your brother lets you get a word in edgewise!
You are sooooo physical! You crawled early, walked early, then quickly graduated to climbing on everything you could. Carter was a lot slower to hit all of these milestones, and he’s never been a climber. But since you had him to look up to, you were off and chasing after him before we could say “toddler.” You absolutely love the playground, and thankfully you’re starting to learn some limits…like those big ladders for the big kids to climb up? You should NOT try to dive off of them from the top and take 10 years off of Mama’s life like you did at Wall Springs Park as you dangled off the side and I grabbed your arm just as you were about to let go (my stomach still clenches when I think about this!). I can finally stay on the ground and follow you around there instead of hovering over your every move as I’d formerly been doing. You are starting to be able to do slides on your own, but you still make me nervous, and most days you’d rather go look at the slide then move on to another part of the playground without actually going down it. The other day you climbed all the way up the corkscrew ladder to the point that my arms were completely outstretched, my hands grabbing your ankles, and I didn’t know how I was going to get you down! But I did. Even so, you are my monkey, 100 percent.
One of your favorite things to do is have bathy water time. If I even say those three words out loud, you’re instantly off to the bathroom, trying to get in the bathtub or trying to get out of your clothes. You and Carter have bathy water time together, and the two of you just have a blast playing with squirt bottles, cups and toys. You aren’t wild about having your hair washed, but getting you in the bathtub has never been a battle.
Speaking of Carter, watching the two of you together is one of the greatest joys possible. While you don’t always get along—I know that will probably happen even more as you get older—you both adore each other… most of the time, at least. You love giving each other hugs and snuggling on the sofa in the mornings, and chasing each other around is one of your favorite activities, always with laughter trailing behind you like music. I often look at the two of you together and just can’t believe that your Dada and I MADE you both from scratch. We are just so, so lucky to have you both.
You’ve always loved books, and you followed in your brother’s footsteps by sitting in front of the bookcase and pulling all of the books down off the shelves into one slippery mass of literature that you would flip through, pointing excitedly at Mickey Mouse, kissing the black sheep (babababa) in Brown Bear, Brown Bear, or ripping the pages from Knuffle Bunny that we taped back together again just as we did when Carter ripped them (only this time, Carter excitedly ran to the junk drawer in the kitchen to fetch the tape for me). Recently you’ve started to focus a bit more on your reading material. You love the square, purple Potty book (tinkle, tinkle, TOOT!) and Time For Bed, and you love it when I read these over and over (and over) again at bedtime.
While I “babied” your brother for a lot longer when it comes to food, you have demanded that we let you have more control over the situation. You always want a spoon and fork when you’re eating a meal, and you do a pretty good job of using them! You’re not the world’s most adventurous eater, but you’re not awful either, so I let you be. You love most fruits; your favorites are watermelon, blueberries and grapes, and you recently starting loving broccoli and green peppers. You love green smoothies (yep, with spinach in them!) and love to help me put the fruits and spinach into the blender, even dragging the chair over to the counter yourself. You also love yogurt, and you fully inherited the family sweet tooth, loudly demanding dessert after lunch and dinner!
You aren’t the most prolific talker yet (we refer to you as our “strong silent type”), but you’re getting there. Your favorite word is Dada, and every time you hold a phone up, you say “dadadada” like you’re talking to him, which is so cute! You will also frequently say Mama, and sometimes buh-buh for brother. And the B words are pretty easy for you, too. Your first non-family word was ba-ba-ba for sheep, and you’ve since gotten buh-buh for bubbles, bah for ball, booh for book. You are getting pretty good at your animal sounds, too: eee-ow-eee-ow for cat, ruh-ruh-ruh like a yappy dog, bababa for sheep, hahaha for monkey, mooo for cow, raaaaaah for lion, a trumpeting sound with both arms in the air for elephant, eee-aw-eee-aw for donkey; and you’ve got all kinds of motions, including waddling side to side for penguins and ducks, rocking back and forth for turtle, bouncing up and down for frog, inhaling and exhaling for bunny, sticking your tongue out for lizard, pursing your lips for fish, shaking your head like a whinnying horse, and probably a few more that I’m forgetting. You’re not a fan of “performing” on command, but you’re certainly cute when you are willing to share!
Which leads me to sleep. We fought with Carter to try and make him sleep in his crib, but still exhausted after that unsuccessful battle, we didn’t even try it with you. Whatever you wanted, you got, which included sleeping swaddled for hours at a time in your bouncy seat or pack n’ play, then sleeping snuggled on Mama’s chest for the rest of the night when you were a newborn, then abandoning the pack n’ play for a more permanent spot in our king sized bed, snuggled on my right side while Carter was on my left and Dada was way over on the other side. It’s not the way I ever envisioned my family sleeping, but it generally works for us. I recently stopped nursing you at night, which you were not happy about, and you still wake me up at 5:30 or 6 for an early breakfast. Sometimes it can be annoying to have four people in one bed, but mostly your Dada and I love sleeping with you and Carter. We know that you are only little for the blink of an eye, and we love how much you both love us right now. We know that eventually you will both sleep in your big boy beds, and you will also sleep more in general!
I’m sure there’s much more I could add here, but I will just finish by saying how much I adore being your Mama. You make me so happy every day, and I’m so lucky that you chose us to be your family.
Lots of love,