My dearest Wesley, my little fox:
Holy macaroni! 18 months. It’s not until I look through many photographs that I can really see how much you’ve changed. From this at days old…
to a year…
Your hair keeps getting curlier the older the you get – and the longer we let it grow:
And somehow more straw-colored, too!
These days, at 18 months, you can correctly identify hundreds of things in books by pointing, and within the last week, you started to talk a lot more, too. I’m still not sure what happened to the 20 words or so you acquired since way back at 11 months: it is a loss that baffles me. Mama was starting to freak out a bit, but then you went ahead and acquired some new words, like “no” and “sticker” and “yellow” and “tree” and something “-cycle.” You say “aka,” which might mean again; “turkle,” which might mean turtle or circle; and “asta,” which might mean star or what’s that? – I have no idea. But you like to say them, and that makes me smile. So we half not understand you – and then you go and say, clear as day as daddy and I worked with you on a puzzle, “no, not there.” Go figure.
You love all puzzles (and bead mazes). The ones at day care seem to have a special allure – and your teachers have learned to give you private time at drop-off and pick-up times to keep you happy.
If you’re still not saying a whole lot, it hasn’t had an effect on your love of letters. You love the foam sticky ones in the bathtub and the ones that make up your floor mat; you come up to me when I’m reading to point to the letters on the book cover; you finger the book spines on the poetry shelf, as if trying to decide between reading Elizabeth Bishop or Walt Whitman. You sit on my lap to read your favorite books: Ten Little Babies and Speedy Little Race Cars and you still love when I sing Happy Birthday to Little Gorilla.
More than words, like all toddlers, you love to discover the mechanics of things – how a flashlight projects circles, smaller and bigger, and how to try to scoop its light off a wall; you drop objects to hear what sound they’ll make; you roll things on tables to see what direction they’ll take. You have little use for drawing, no matter how much I encourage it, prefering instead to see how crayon blocks fit back into their tin, how caps go back on markers (you’re pretty good at that!); you love shadows and reflections, going in and out our sliding glass door to see how the view changes from each side, walking back and forth to see how the Wesley in the glass changes, too:
You got a new little broom and took to sweeping the kitchen floor with it in no time. Then you dropped some balls and quickly figured out said broom could also be a hockey stick or a golf club, and that was way more fun. Balls are kind of your thing, it seems — kicking them, throwing them. I’m completely athletically challenged, but you may very well be destined to be a sports superstar. Even your lefty overhand throw is already showing promise!
I see a boy obsession with vehicles budding as well: you love bicycles, motorcycles, and school buses. You happily sit in your car seat rear facing still, keeping yourself entertained with a vehicle maze puzzle or Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks from A to Z: you think that hot dog car of his is hysterical and you love to turn the book as needed to make full sense of that upside-down car.
You hate having your nose wiped, having your diaper changed and any attempts to put you on the potty. You aren’t crazy about dirty hands. But you love so many things at 18 months: washing those hands, and playing in water, and taking long baths. Ring around the Rosie and clapping your hands at the end of songs you love (not all are worthy of your applause). Your Tag Junior. Your Little People farm animals. Buzz Lightyear, Tow Mater, and Tinker Bell. Sitting in your own orange chair to watch cartoons. Strawberries and grapes. Macaroni and cheese. Shakes and smoothies. Sleeping on the floor from time to time. Playing with older kids. Bubbles. Your loveys and your paci, still. Blowing on a recorder. Destroying the tall block towers you can now make. Having your neck tickled. Walking up stairs. Picking leaves off the ground. The rain.
Life couldn’t be any more fun that it is right now, right here, with you.
All my love, forever and ever,