The Personality of a Toddler
I have been thinking a great deal about this job of parenting lately. It is a lot of responsibility. I am, in effect, in charge of another human being. I need to keep him well, feed him, protect him, and really, mold him into the best kind of man he can possibly be (more on that subject here).
With my main man Jack turning 18 months old on Wednesday (WTF! Slow. Down. Time.) I find myself being faced with new challenges in parenting. Jackson has always been curious. I have always thought of him as the Go! Do! See! type of kid, and have always enjoyed watching his independence take hold, continually trying to reign him back in when he pushes the limits too far. In recent weeks this task has become more difficult. This kid is IN-DE-PEN-DENT. It is no strange action for him to run away from me as fast as he can while squealing with delight (it’s all a game to him), he surprised me at around 7 months by climbing up the entire staircase without my knowledge. In fact, just tonight he scampered into the kitchen and within three seconds was sitting in a bar-height chair shaking salt all over the table. He is sneaky. He can push chairs to the counter and climb on them to get whatever he wants at the moment. I am thanking my lucky stars that he hasn’t started habitually climbing out of his crib yet…just a few examples of his daily antics. Needless to say, I am exhausted when bedtime rolls around.
^concentration face - could you just die?!^
Even with the exhausting nature of his daily activities and games, I adore all of the things he does - I feel like when he is truly being himself, I can see his true personality shining through all of the crazy. I have already mentioned that he is independent.He likes to hold the rail and walk down the stairs on his own. He gets mad that I brush his teeth for him and wants to do it himself. Will only eat with a fork or spoon, and he really doesn’t like to have help on many things, and will scream “NOOOO!!!!” “JAAAHHHHSOOOONNNN” or “MINE!!!” when someone tries to help, or god forbid, share his toys.
But I can also see that he is curious. So darn curious. He constantly wants to know how things work. He is in love with “toos” (tools), and is constantly trying to unscrew various things, pulls off vent covers and “hammwahs” the table daily. He loves building towers with blocks and taking his train tracks apart to reconfigure them in wavy tracks.
Jackson is SMART. Just the fact that, at 18 months old, he can push a chair to the counter to climb and get what he wants astounds me. Further, he understands every single word I say, and can follow two and three step directions. It’s unbelievable. He counts to three all the time, and mimics everything we do, his itsy bitsy spider moves are my fave so far. Also, he has taken a liking to calling me Christy (issty!), and my husband Zac (zat!). He also has mimicked his grandpa in….disposing of stink bugs wtih a fly swatter. He took a spatula out of the kitchen drawer, and walked into the living room the other day and hit a piece of dirt and said “BUCK!!!” (jackson speak for bugs).
My boy is also very…regimented. He likes things to be a certain way all the time, including his daily schedule. He is very punctual, waking up at the same time every day, and if I miss naptime by more than a half hour, he will either come to me and say “nigh nigh?!?” or he will grab his blanket and lay on the floor and say “nigh nigh mamas!”
I can also see how much of a littleboyhe is. It is seemingly inherent to him. Never in his life has he shown any interest in the toys and things that society would deem “girl toys” (I wouldn’t mind at all if he did - he can play with all the barbies he wants). Even when having play dates with his lady friends, he gavitates to the more “manly” toys. He is OBSESSED with trains, tractors, and trucks. He loves mickey mouse, but has no idea who minnie mouse is, and I swear he spends hours each day riding his “truck truck” which is a yellow, construction ride on toy that makes all sorts of beeping and gravel crushing noises.
Most of all, what I see from his personality each day is that he is sweet. So very sweet. A million kisses. That is what I get every day. I get endless hugs, and a bazillion cuddles. He says “luh you” regularly, and his genuine, unabashed love of life is the most refreshing, invigorating, inspiring thing I have experienced. I am so very lucky to have him. And, as much as a responsibility as this parenting thing is, it is the most rewarding, wonderful, exhilarating job I could have ever dreamed of. I don’t think I ever really grasped the purpose of my place in this world until he joined me here.