The number 19 has never sounded so large. I mean, a 19 month old is almost two. Having a daughter who is a year and a half sounds right to me- but having a daughter who is almost two is really blowing my mind. Sometimes, though, I can see the two year old in you showing itself- like when you refuse to let me feed you, insisting that I put down the fork so you can accomplish the entire task of feeding yourself by yourself. Or when you steal an off-limits item from my purse, then run into the bedroom to hide, closing the door behind you.
Much like your avoidance techniques, your play is becoming more sophisticated. One of your favorite games right now is to usher Ziggy into your room, then close the door; then you knock, open the door to see Ziggy staring at you, say brightly, "Hi Ziggy!" and burst into hysterical giggles. You generally repeat this pattern about 20 times before tiring, I imagine because your stomach hurts from laughing so hard for so long. You also love to feed your stuffed animals now, whether you offer them a cracker or water or, your new favorite, hold them up to my breast to nurse.
Over the past month, your canines have grown in, giving you a significantly more grown-up looking smile. Add to that the sweet ringlets on the back of your head, and you look like you could be two already.
Last weekend, Gram babysat you while Daddy and I went out for a date. She couldn't believe how much clearer your words had become in the past two weeks. Spending every day with you and hearing new words in context, I can almost always understand what you're trying to say, but I think you'll find that communicating with others as easily is extremely rewarding. If you think I get excited when you point to new items, just wait until your grandmas geek out over it.
As we move into summer, I can't help but remember everything we did together last summer. Just look at how scrumptiously adorable you were exactly one year ago, taking your first bath sitting up. Now I can hardly get you to sit down in the tub. Last year when we went to the playground, you played with the wood chips. This summer, you run from one attraction to the next, requesting activities by name. Just last week, you and I had a gorgeous morning at the Green City Market near the lake. We picked out some delicious, local strawberries, then found shelter from the hot sun in shaded chairs as we listened to the peaceful live flamenco guitar. As we soaked up the beauty of the morning with all our senses, I was sure I was being shown a little glimpse of Heaven. It was one of those moments I want to bottle up and take with me forever.
I'm so looking forward to a wonderfully busy summer exploring Chicago and beyond with you, Tye. You remind me to look at the world with fresh eyes- to look up at every plane and bird and to literally stop to smell every flower, because we never know which ones will amaze us with their sweetness. Most of all, you remind me that love is infinite. Just when I think I can't love you any more, you pucker up to ask for a kiss and I remember that there's no limit to loving you. Thank you for making me a better person every day of your life. And yes, that will even be true when you're nine years old and even nineteen years old. Especially if you pucker up and ask for a kiss then.
Happy 19 month birthday, Tye. I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.