One and a half!? How did we get here? Some days I can't believe how quickly this has all gone but for you it must feel like a lifetime. Ha! Ha!
Okay, seriously. You are getting so big and as much as I hate to admit it, you are no longer a baby. You can run now and turn on the lights and are starting to talk. You point to kids younger than you and say "bay-beee" with delight. Every time you do it I am filled with a mix of delight and sadness. I am in awe that I get to watch you learn to label things and make sounds that actually mean something. I am sad because even you recognize that somehow, you are different from those tiny, dependent creatures.
The past few months have been full of walks, swimming, and sliding. Oh the sliding. There is a big yellow twirly slide just behind our house and it holds an allure for you that even the strongest distractions cannot break. The minute you get out the door, you head for the slide. You climb the ladder without fear and go down on your tummy, feet first. And then you want to do it again. "Again" unfortunately, is not yet a word. It is a squeal with intonation. Something like "Aaa-yiiii" which has become the soundtrack to my life. You love life, and being thrown and swinging around and being tickled and being sung too and being hugged and I will accommodate you and do those things again, and again.
You went to the Stampede for the first time this year and loved it. You loved the animals and the Superdogs and of course, the rides. You are such a brave little kid - even though you are so little, you loved the big slides and the merry-go-round and I loved only having to pay two tickets. You got on stage with all the other little kids and danced to Splash 'n Boots and your Dad and I watched and laughed and kept the camera rolling. (The term "rolling" comes from the olden days when video cameras actually had tapes in them.) Living in Calgary, the Stampede is likely something you will do every year. I am so excited to watch you grow and discover new things and have so much fun at such a ridiculously over the top place.
Your words are coming rapidly now and we are always so amazed at your ability to mimic. Until recently it took ages for you to earn a word and now you can repeat things you've only heard once. Like "antidisestablishmentarianism" or "kiwi". You like to make us laugh and you do it very well. You know that blinking your eyes like a cracked-out owl will do the trick. So does howling like a wolf or making fish faces. You enjoy nothing more than sitting in your highchair and performing a one-woman dinner show for your Mom and Dad and you always get an encore. We don't really follow the "laughing will only encourage her" philosophy, because feeling funny is good and kiddo, you are a riot.
You are so social and love being around people a lot. You seem to be at your best when there are a lot of people around. You prefer that they all be giving you their undivided attention, and they usually are. You say "Hi!" to everyone we pass in the store or on the street and I love it because I do the same thing. Your Dad always gets a bit embarrassed by the way I go out of my way to greet complete strangers. Now we can tag team the world and brighten everyone's day - one "Hi!" at a time.
I remember when you were first born, how much my shoulders hurt from carrying you around all the time. Although you didn't weight much, the constant added weight was a painful adjustment but one I eventually made. Since then I have carried you around a lot. We don't use the stroller very often and I let you walk as much as possible but I also hold you and carry you every day. Now that you are getting older, and heavier I can't believe that I ever had sore muscles from that little baby. I also know that soon, those "carrying" muscles will start to atrophy and that my body will make another adjustment - one of being a mother to a child, and not a baby. This idea makes me feel sad and nostalgic - how is it that having you has made me feel so strong and at the same time, so very weak?