Cameron is approaching the 17 month mark.... wow, where does the time go?! Really, it feels like yesterday that he was a drooly, toothless butterball. And now he's this walking, babbling (and well, still drooling) little boy. He loves cars (cahs), trains (chuggah-chuggahs), and buses (boose) as well as every book (boo-k) he can get his hands on. Other words in his vocabulary include mama, dada, gammah (grandma), Moh (for mowgli), pizza (clearly this came from gammah), banana, berry, meelk (milk) and water. Speaking of water, this kid loves the bathtub and rarely keeps the water in the tub. He also adores pictures of animals, but is rather intimidated by the real thing. A few weeks ago, Brian and I took him to a park I used to frequent as a child. We visited with cows (mooh), horses, goats, pigs (onk), chickens and peacocks. Cameron was most taken with the chickens until the cock-a-doodle-dooing began.
He was not pleased about the following photo op:
Earlier this week I took him to daycare as usual and a somewhat startling event occurred. We were following our current morning routine - stopping at Russell's for a cup of coffee, listening to NPR while driving into the city and pointing out "beeg cahs!" along the way. When we arrive at day care, we stand on the sidewalk and watch more cars drive by - some people are even nice enough to honk or wave. Cameron appreciates these things and usually gives a squeal of delight. Usually we walk down the hallway and I deposit a slightly uncertain Cam in his classroom. He'll get a little upset as I turn to leave and as I walk toward the exit, I can hear his tiny wahs and the occasional "mama?" But this week, I put him down and to my surprise, he walked over to the table and took his seat to have breakfast. No fussing, no tears, no angst. In fact, I'm pretty sure he was casting me a look that said "Ugh, come on, MOM.... buzz off so I can hang with my friends." So as he started to eat his breakfast (cereal with milk and blueberries with his own spoon!) I turned to leave. Still no fussing. I left the classroom but couldn't resist peeking in one last time. He was eating and chatting with his buddies. As I walked to my car, I realized that I felt WORSE than when he cries for me. All of a sudden, I had become the mama of a big boy who didn't need me to stick around and cuddle him or reassure him.... he was comfortable with his friends and teachers and would be perfectly fine without me. What a happy and sad realization to watch your child confidently gain some independence. It's also clear that I'm going to be a batshit crazy person when Cameron leaves for college :)
Later that same day, it was my turn to put Cameron to bed. Since we don't fit so well in the rocking chair these days, I usually just stick him in his crib and let him fall asleep on his own. For some reason, I decided to lay in the regular bed next to his crib and wait till he drifted off. After tossing and turning a bit, he popped his head up to see what the heck I was still doing in his room. And then, much to my surprise, he stuck his chubby fist through the crib rails and grabbed my thumb. I wrapped my hand around his and listened as his breathing slowed and the fidgeting stopped. I swear, he must have a toddler sixth sense. It was the sweetest little gesture and a good reminder that even though he's not a baby anymore, he's still MY baby!
“Through the blur, I wondered if I was alone or if other parents felt the same way I did - that everything involving our children was painful in some way. The emotions, whether they were joy, sorrow, love or pride, were so deep and sharp that in the end they left you raw, exposed and yes, in pain. The human heart was not designed to beat outside the human body and yet, each child represented just that - a parent's heart bared, beating forever outside its chest.” ― Debra Ginsberg