22.5 months may not seem like an important milestone to mark, but it’s the age Carter was the day you were born and this time around it just so happens to be the same time we started trying to have your future brother or sister. It amazes me when I look back at little Carter and how big I thought he was at this age, then look at you, my baby, for whom I’m unwilling to mentally flip the page from baby to boy. (Don’t worry, I’ll get there eventually.)
It’s so special to watch your personality develop as you find your voice and choose your words. Speaking of words, your favorites are: NOOOOOO! MINNNNNE! STOOOOOOOP! and MEEEEEEEE! Which goes to show that you are most certainly a toddler now, and entering into those perilous terrible twos. After months and months of the mellow boy, you’ve decided that it’s time to stand up for yourself and have Opinions (yes, with a capital O) about life. You and Carter had your first real dialogue this month, which consisted of each of you shouting “MINE!” at each other at the tops of your lungs. It was precious. 🙂
You also have Opinions about what you eat. While you’re generally pretty good about eating what I put in front of you at meals, if I left it up to you, you would eat: American cheese (deeeeeeeee!), yogurt (yuh yuh!), bananas (be-GAH!), yogurt raisins (reeeeeee!) Oreos (Yoreo!) and lollipops (bop!). Oh, and drink juice (juuuuuuuu!). Perhaps your food preferences will become more varied once you have words for other foods, but right now if I ask you what you want, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you will pick one of these delicious selections. Never mind that you’ve probably had five lollipops in your whole life…you seem to think you deserve MORE! (You actually just asked me for one: “Bop!” you said. “Bop?” I answered. “Bop!” you confirmed, nodding your little head emphatically. Sorry, not happening, but nice try.)
You have definite Opinions about your clothing choices, too. Namely, you want to be comfortable and you want to make the decisions. More than once now we’ve left the house with you wearing part or all of your jammies from the night before because you absolutely refused to change out of them. Your FAVORITE is an old Cars shirt with a plastic-covered Lightning McQueen (I think it once lit up?) and Mater that was a hand-me-down from your buddy Lachlan (it’s the one you’re wearing in the picture in the background of this post). You also love a tacky brown Cookie Monster shirt I got at the thrift store because I knew you’d love it. Thankfully you will often let me make the decisions, and you seem to enjoy when I dress you and Carter in coordinating outfits. This makes it easier for me to keep track of both of you when we’re somewhere busy, and you also look absolutely adorable! And oh, Collin, every morning you have the craziest bed head. All of the hair on the back of your head gets all fuzzy like a big bird’s nest and I have to wet it down and brush it before we go anywhere, which only nominally fixes the problem. Your hair, it has a mind of its own, just like you.
You also have your favorite people…Mama and Dada of course, and Carter (Bubba). CeeCee (which you pronouce DeeDee) and Grampy (who still doesn’t have a name). Your favorite friends are Lachlan and Alena McGill, your fellow McKids. Lachlan calls you his “little buddy” and you just ADORE him. And Alena is your “older woman” girlfriend (she’s a year older). When we go to the movies with them, you take turns sitting next to Lachlan who dotes on you as his vicarious little brother, next to Alena who always shares her popcorn with you, or in my lap.
Your vocabulary is growing slowly but surely as you make connections in the world. You’ve started recognizing your letters and associating them with sounds (thank you, Letter Factory) and you’re getting pretty good at saying your colors–not necessarily getting them right all the time–including purple (puh-ple), yellow (yeh-woh), red (reh) and blue (boooo). You still insist that your name, and Carter’s name too, is Bubba. You love, love, love watching movies, and right now your favorite (that we are watching as I type) is Meet the Robinsons (Rah!), followed by Monsters, Inc. (Mon), and the Toy Story movies (Buhhhhh, said with crinkled nose, for Buzz). Any time we record a new movie, you want to watch it over and over again until there’s another new favorite. You still refer to animals by their sounds or motions. My favorite is chicken, for which you flap your little arms with the cutest smile ever.
You are oh-so physical, little man. The other day, you climbed onto the toilet, opened the medicine cabinet, got a bandaid out of its box, opened it, put it on your leg, and ran out to proudly show me. Your motor skills are just divine, even if you were being naughty by going into the medicine cabinet! You can climb, bounce, run, fall and get back up again, taking playgrounds and bounce houses by storm and holding your own against bigger kids like a champ.
Sometimes you just want your mama though, which is ok with me. While my left arm is often burning from carrying you around attached to my side like a koala bear to a tree (my little Koallin), it’s easier to keep track of you when you’re not off getting into trouble. And I know this is another phase that will soon be ending, so I try to enjoy each time you cling to me, rest your head on my shoulder and give me hugs.
And of course you know I have to get a little sappy with you, my sweet boy. Last night you woke in the middle of the night, crying hysterically. While you won’t let me look inside your mouth (like EVER), I’m guessing–since it seems to be the only reason you wake screaming–that your final two molars are finally coming in. All you wanted was for me to wrap my arms around you and stay there, holding you until you fell asleep. Part of me was, honestly, annoyed that I was being kept awake from the preliminary adrenaline rush of a screaming baby in my left ear followed by the restlessness until you fell back into dreamland. But then I stopped and thought about it, realizing that this was probably one of the last times you would really need me in the middle of the night. I snuggled up with your warmth, breathed your sweet baby shampooed hair, felt your snuffling breaths melt into evenness, and thanked God that I was chosen to be your mama. I never want to forget those sweet moments between mother and son in the cloak of nighttime, and I’m filing this one away for safekeeping.
I love you so, so much, my sweet Collin. It is such a privilege to be your mama, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.