Thus far in your life, you have seemed to be more intellectual than physical. While other kids your age run around, getting into everything, you prefer to watch and talk about what you're observing. Now that you are becoming more interested in socializing, you're taking more chances and stepping outside of your usual comfort zone. At a squadron picnic this weekend, there was a bouncy castle. You screamed with joy - "TOY!" while laughing and pointing at the other kids "BOUNCE!" You wanted to try, so we took your shoes off and placed you on the edge of the castle... but the first two times we tried, you got scared and immediately asked to get down. It was apparent that you still really wanted to try. The third time, you connected with another toddler who was throwing herself joyfully around on the bouncy castle and you joined her, tentatively at first. By the time we left you were bouncing around all by yourself.
On top of this new breaking of your old boundaries, you are further amazing us with full sentences. For example, the other day you patted my arm and told me "it'll be okay," as a loud motorcycle went by us. You are asking for specific food items that you want, such as "cheese and bread?" We usually walk to the market together every few days, and you excitedly name the fruits and veggies in the product section, "carrot! apple! tomato! pepper!" while also saying "hi!" to everyone we pass. You've also got remarkable manners for your age, demonstrated by your energetic "thank-you!!!" every time one of your needs or wants is met. You are also learning to say "please" when asking for something. When you want one of us to do something for you, you push our legs in the direction you want while commanding, "go!" or "come!"
Your favorite foods at home are yogurt, oatmeal and waffles. When we go grocery shopping, you know to ask for your other favorite foods - "a yummy?!" I usually buy you a little treat to keep you entertained while I shop, such as a carton of raspberries or a little chocolate pastry. You enjoy lounging on the beanbag in your play area while talking to your stuffed animals. You've learned to simultaneously run across the lawn and kick your ball while exclaiming, "kick it!" We draw with chalk on the patio almost daily, and you tell me that you're drawing "blub blub" (fish) or "meow" (cats), even adding recognizable little details such as eyes and whiskers. When you want a change of scenery, you will ask to "go room?" to play upstairs in your room.
You have also learned to tell your first knock knock joke! You say, "knock knock!" and we reply "who's there?" You throw your arms open wide and say "...a little baby!!" Your newest word obsessions are pointing to an insect and saying, "a bee!" or "a fly!" and you shoo it away. You have also started being a copy-cat for language, repeating things that we say like "not cool!"
The most illustrative and surprising change, is your own decision to night-wean. Since your birth, you have woken multiple times a night for me to nurse you. I would go to bed with your Papa, and you'd wake me crying not long after. I would spend the rest of the night in your bed with you, and I so enjoyed those nights we spent snuggling. You whimpered and nuzzled me a few times every night, until your need for milk and comfort was met, and you would fall back asleep. The last two nights, instead of crying out for me to come to your room for milk, you took a different route. You found your ladybug nightlight, turned on her soft light and fell back to sleep all by yourself. Without me. Without milk.
I got the first full nights of sleep I've had in two years - except for when I abruptly woke up wondering how I could possibly still be in my own bed! The first night, your Papa and I jumped up to make sure you were okay.... and there you were curled up in bed, bathed in a blue glow and fast asleep. I never imagined you would give up your nightly feedings and cosleeping so easily, that you would transition so beautifully. This is truly an example of my belief that children will hit milestones when they are ready. I have been so patient, and this reward is more than I could ever have asked for.
I am so very proud of you.