Each day, it seems, Raf becomes more of a toddler and less of a baby. Lucky for us he still likes to snuggle, but the boy is on the move. Today he turned 16 months. Tine has taken on such a different character since Raf appeared. During pregnancy time moved exceptionally slowly, and now minutes seem like seconds. I find myself so often willing time to stop, or, in the very least, to slow down.
But on it goes and Raf gets older and more independent as his personality emerges and his world gets bigger and bigger... Right now, as I type, he's crawling underneath a chair, giggling to himself.. and now he has my foam roller (a large circular piece of foam, bigger than Raf), and he's tottering around, picking it up, falling down, laughing and doing it all over again.
His favourite thing to do, though, is to terrorize his poor brothers and sister - aka the pups and kitty. He likes to walk with his walker trying to bulldoze whatever is in his way, and, yes, he likes to aim the contraption right at them. The poor things. When we tell him to stop doing something - or try and distract him, even - we're also getting a whole lot of tears. It's so unjust, he thinks, that he can't bash the computer, walk into the animals, throw his food all over the floor... and it's terribly unjust that we make him put on a clean nappy. Indeed changing his nappy has come to be quite a 'sport', more specifically, a wrestling match. Poor baby.
On Friday we headed to a toy store and bought Raf a Fropper (a funny looking bike thing) but taking him out the store was a nit of a nightmare with plenty of tears and a lot of sadness and frustration for Raf. The trip to Trader Joes afterward was not much fun, either. But our biggest challenges right now are related to eating and sleeping... He has become quite fussy in the eating department and, well, sleep... while he's never been a tremendous sleeper things have regressed somewhat.
And yet it is all so amazing, watching him grow, watching him navigate the world as he learns and gets to grips with the complexity of social life. It's amazing to see him respond to simple directions and for him to utter almost-intelligible words. And when he find things funny - such as when the dogs are on their joint lead, or when they 'dance' after they poop, and such - it fills you up with so much love. There's not a second in the day when I don't feel extraordinarily lucky, even when he is being a little toddler-monster. And my heart does sort of break when I see him a little overwhelmed when he's with other kiddos or in situations he's not very familiar with, and I suppose that this is the beginning of an ongoing, intensifying anxiety which every parents contends with.