I mean this in the most loving way possible . . . but you have become a STINKER.
Something just clicked over the last month or so and you are testing your limits and pushing boundaries on a minute by minute basis.
Let me offer a few examples:
- Your brother is learning to wait patiently for you to be done with a toy so that he can play with it. But if he shows even a little bit interest in a toy that you have, you cling to it tightly in one hand, even while you play with other toys. The first few times, I thought it was a funny coincidence. We've slowly learned, however, that you know exactly what you're doing.
- We were at my aunt and uncle's house visiting yesterday and they have a large, flat panel television hung right at your level. You of course went straight for it and I said, "no, no" and moved you away a few dozen times. So you began approaching the television and holding your hand about 1/2" away from the screen and just staring at me. I could just see the "I'm not touching it! I'm not touching it!" running through your head as you looked at me and then laughed and ran away.
- At the end of dinner, you'll give us the sign for "more" even when you're full. Just so you can throw those last few pieces we give you on the ground. And then you giggle about it as we get you down from your high chair.
Don't get me wrong . . . you're still sweet and cuddly. You still prefer me to anyone else.* You still offer unprompted kisses and hugs. You wave at everyone who passes, and if they don't notice, you make noises until they do. You're also a normal toddler, and limit-testing is just a natural progression.
You're progressing in other areas, too. You're saying more words and trying to mimic our actions. You try to wink at us, but it's more of a slow blink. You no longer crawl down the stairs . . . it's much too slow. You just kind of slide all the way down on your belly. And you're starting to climb up stairs on two feet like a big boy.
At the time that I'm writing this, you have a fat lip and nose that resulted from spinning yourself dizzy on a hard wood floor yesterday. It was not your first fat lip, nor your first bloody nose. I suspect they won't be your last, either.
You're normal. You're healthy. And for that, I am grateful.
But you're more than just "normal" to me. You're exceptional. I know I'm your mom, and one might expect me to feel this way, but even at 14 months old, I see a tremendous amount of potential in you. Your empathy and capacity to love exceeds "normal." Your ability to persevere might even exceed mine!
You're capable of so much and I will do everything I can to help you develop and realize that potential. Even when it means showing your your limits and enforcing your boundaries for the one thousandth time.
*About an hour after I typed that, I was holding you and you were crying to go back to your dad. Perhaps your preference for me is waning.