The Way You Are Now {Charlie age 16 months}

2013-06-23 17.31.05

You are 16 months old.

Today Daddy was holding you and your legs hung down past his arm almost to his belly button. Last week the doctor said you are now 25 pounds and almost 34 inches tall.

You are no longer my baby.

You run at top speed through the house swinging just the one arm with your one little fist all balled up like you are cranking yourself along.  And you do this running with a little prance that makes the floppy curls on your head bounce all over the place.

Unless they are shellacked down with syrup from that morning’s breakfast.

2013-06-23 13.47.19

You are 16 months.

It’s hard to get a non-blurry picture of you these days.  You are in constant movement.

Except when you’re not.  But in those moments, you are usually glued to my side or my lap or in a hiding place all your own.

Or you’re thoughtfully in your own world figuring out a toy or something you’re not supposed to be touching.

2013-06-28 16.27.04

You are 16 months.

I try not to compare you to your brother, and really, there is no comparison.  You two are just so different. I’d heard it said that just because you have one child, you learn to be a mom all over again with the second.

That is true.

All the things that comforted Eddie are not the things that comfort you (except that dang pacifier.  Both of you had/have a mad love affair with the Pipey).

And all the things that did nothing to comfort Eddie are like home to you.

Where Eddie has never had an ounce of sit in him, you can chill in a chair or on a lap or in a baby carrier forever without complaint.  Your older brother has to do ALL THE THINGS. You like to watch all the things and decide to maybe do the most ridiculous things that you will probably get hurt doing, yet you don’t care because LOOK AT YOU DOING ALL THE THINGS!

2013-07-12 12.58.48

You are 16 months old.

We chose your middle name wisely, Charles Thomas.  You are like your Grandpa Tom (my dad) in ways that make me giggle all the time.

The biggest similarity though is the way you putz around outside.

Most kids find toys and play with them. You walk around like you have a never-ending To Do List out there.  You are a gatherer and an organizer.  You find things (plastic golf clubs, pinwheels, sidewalk chalk, bubble wands, sticks) and you try to carry all the things around.  You even have a little net and wagon that you will put things in to transport them around the yard.

I could sit and watch your little process all day.

2013-07-08 08.31.56

You are 16 months old.

You like to do your own thing. Run wild to the beat of your own drum.  Hide when you want to be alone…or silly.

Your dancing brings joy to anyone who gets to see you do it. Twirls and fist pumping and clapping and giggles and knee bends and head shaking. You love music. Your brother loves music. Yet it seems to be a different kind of love.  I can’t really explain it other than it’s a different type of joy I see come out of you. Both of you are joyful when music is played, but it’s different. Wonderful.

2013-06-09 11.18.56

You are my serious one.

It’s not that you are unhappy…far from that. You are one of the most joy-filled children ever, but you can be quiet…serious…thoughtful…contemplative.

You “take it all in” as your Granny has said.  She sees a lot of your daddy in you.  I do too.

You are the observer.  The watcher.  You pay close attention to things that Eddie never did. I think it’s why your fine motor skills developed so quickly (you were stacking blocks with just one hand before you were a year old) and why you started climbing so early.  It’s why you learn to shake your head and stomp your feet just like your brother.

And it’s why you know what “no” means but choose to ignore that meaning.

In fact, just this weekend you brought me the remote control and my phone all the while repeating “no, no, no, no,” quite matter-of-factly.

You know what you’re not supposed to do. You just don’t care much.

2013-06-27 09.12.11

You are 16 months old.

You have found your voice.  You know what you want (milk, snack, my phone) and you know what you do not want (to hear the word “no”).

You have learned by watching Eddie that the fridge is where the milk comes from and you walk up to it, throw your Pipey out of your mouth, and grunt “uhhhh!  UHHHH!!!” while standing there.

You have developed what Emily calls a BossyFinger. We are not sure if you are bossing, requesting, or just pointing things our for our entertainment/general knowledge, but you do it a LOT lately.

You hate when we say “no” or when we redirect you. You are our tantrum thrower, but it’s sort of funny. You stamp your feet and cry a little bit.  Sometimes you’ll even through yourself on the ground onto your back. But it’s always over in a matter of minutes. And then you’re onto the next thing.

2013-07-13 12.48.39

You are 16 months old.

At this age Eddie had no words.  He signed to us, but did not speak. And he did not say “Momma” until he was nearly 2.5 years old.

You are already spilling with words.  Your first word was “Hi”, but a close second was “Momma”.  Granted it was more like, “muh muh muh…” and it usually involved you clinging to my legs, but I’ll take it.

You say “no” a LOT lately and you are trying so hard to duplicate animal  noises when we go through them (although you already knew what the dinosaur says for about six months now…RAWRRRR!!!”

You have also started to say “buh bye” and doing the cutest little wave.

This weekend I got you to say “nose” (nuhz) and “toes” (tuhz”) when we pointed them out.  You know where your tummy and button and eyes are too, but you haven’t started saying those yet.

2013-07-04 16.03.09

You are 16 months old.

You are my sweetie boy.  You want cuddles and to be held even though you are incredibly independent. After watching things, you can totally toddle in and feel confident, but when you are tired or just need a moment with mommy, you have no qualms about snuggling up next to me or backing up into my lap for a quick sit.

You are a mommy’s boy through and through and I will take it.

Even when it means you wake up in the night and need me as a buddy for a few hours.

Oh how I wish to be your buddy for always.

2013-06-13 17.07.40

You are 16 months.

You have the best laugh I have ever heard in my entire life.

I am not sure where it comes from but it’s a very deep chuckle…it borders on crazy dude laughing and your dad and I love it.  Eddie loves to make you do it.

When the giggling gets too much for even the chuckle it turns into squeals.

And then as you gasp for breath, you are known to put your face against my face and make a kissy noise.  Or take out your Pipey and plant a big one right on my mouth.

2013-06-26 08.07.53

You are 16 months old.

And you want to be big.

But I want you to stay small.

Because even though you are getting tall and Big Boy-ish, you are still mostly baby.

My baby.

8 months gone by

Dear Charlie Bird,

8months ago I walked into the OR to have you removed from my tummy parts.  Since your arrival was planned, you never had the chance to “drop” like your brother did, so you were lodged high in my rib cage.  In fact, there was much use of…leverage…to de-wedge you.

I cuddled you and swooned all over you all day…and for the next six months.

In the past couple months, we have spent most of our time apart.

I’d be lying if I said it’s been easy.

You are developing a sense of independence…and a strong attachment to your daddy.

I’m proud, but my heart gets sad that I miss so much of your day and then you would rather laugh and play with daddy than cuddle with me.

In fact, your days of cuddling seem to be gone.

You and I were inseparable in your infant stage, but now–when you are ready to sleep–you want to be put in bed rather than roll into me and slow your breathing until your asleep.

It’s easy…but it’s sad too.

It’s getting harder and harder to get a clear picture of you since you are constantly moving.  Although you are not crawling yet.

You have discovered that rolling will get you anywhere you need to be, and that you can move your body around in circles with your arms when you are on your tummy.  You have no used for being on your knees.  In fact, if we put you there, you just launch yourself forward and back onto your belly.

Looking back, I see that Eddie wasn’t full on crawling until just a couple days before 8 months, and daddy thinks you will just get up and do it at any minute.  I really hope it’s at home with us and not at daycare.  But if it is, it is.

You have mad upper body strength though.  Your grabbing skills are second to none.  Really, I don’t remember Eddie grabbing stuff like this.  You are crazy about snatching things and PULLING.  I think if you grabbed the couch and pulled?  You could move it across the room.  That is how strong you are.  Many times you have grabbed my pant leg and pulled so hard I thought I would tumble!

You are hilarious.  There are no two ways around it.

When daddy is around you flap your arms and start doing this little growling thing since daddy always buries his face in your neck and growls at you.

Your laugh is…it’s just so you.  Sometimes you have a breathy sort of giggle like when Eddie is dancing around or when you see me first thing in the morning over daddy’s shoulder.

Other times your laugh comes from deep in your belly.  Like when you are being tickled or bounced around.  You LOVED to be bounced and flown through the air…you just love rough-housing!

You have been clapping for awhile now…especially when we say “YAY!” to you.  And just this week you re-discovered looking at your hands.  You get very intent and you start to practice opening and closing them.  You even wave your arm sometimes.  Soon you will be waving hi and bye, I think.

Some days…ok most days…I can’t believe you ever got the nickname Bird because you were tiny.

You are so not tiny.

You have put on weight like a trooper, big guy.  You are mowing down puffs and sucking on banana and melon in your nubby.  You suck down a couple tubs of baby food a day along with a bit of cereal.  And just for good measure you are still packing away about 28 or so ounces of formula a day.  You are comfortably fitting in 9 month clothes.  In fact, we just switched out all the remaining 6 month clothes.

It’s a weird thing to put away items that I am not sure will ever see another Sluiter Boy.  In fact, I try very hard not to think about that.

Currently you have five teeth (one on top, three on the bottom) through, but two more (one more top and one more bottom) are definitely working their way out.

You are pretty good about all this teething.  We keep your amber necklace on and other than a little fussing at night, we don’t get much crabbing out of you on the subject…although you do get a little fever,  less of an appetite, and a touch of the butt rash when a new one is about to break through.

My favorite thing about this phase is that you lunge for us.  When you want to be held, you will put your arms out and rock back and forth as if you just can’t stand to sit alone anymore.

And while you don’t need me to cuddle you in my arms in order for you to fall asleep, you definitely know that being in mommy or daddy’s arms when you are tired, hungry, or just sad is WAY better than being on the floor or in your saucer by yourself.

When you are tired, you put our hands up and bury your face in our chests.  You don’t want a cuddle, but to be fed and put down.  But you convey that with a quick cuddle and an eye rub or ear tug.

As much time as we spend apart now, I can still read your signs like a book.

You seem to be hanging on to your “baby” longer than Eddie did.  And I am totally Ok with that.

But I hope you know I will be your front-row biggest fan for every single milestone you achieve too.

I love you, my sweet Birdie Bird.


Ps. I didn’t forget the compare shot of you at 8 months with your brother at 8 months.  So much the same…yet so much different.  Which really means you are both exactly perfect.