As of Friday, you're an 18 month old. At least, I think so. If my math is right. It's amazing how the facts and figures that seemed so important to keep impeccable track of when your sister was a baby are mere approximations with you. I also don't know how much you weigh, or how tall you are, or how many words you can say (though the most commonly heard are "uh-oh" and "ow").
What I do know is that you are a toddler, through and through. My baby is no more, and yet always will be. Sorry kid. You're stuck with the baby label. Your father says I'll have to stop calling you a baby when you get big enough to wrap me on your back, but we'll see about that.
You love to explore and climb, a little too much, if you ask me. We are trying to ensure that you understand that the back of our dining chairs are not ladders and that the walls are not meant to be scaled, but you won't be deterred. Everything I thought I knew about parenting toddlers is being challenged, and I would like to apologize to every parent I ever said "just use re-direction! It works like a charm!" to, because HAHAHAHA no, it doesn't, not with every toddler, and certainly not with you.
You love digging in the dirt and pulling the petals off of flowers in the garden. That's fine by me, I'm happy to allow you cultivate a love for gardening, and the sweet smile on your face when you present me with the gift of a fist fill of grubby petals is one of the most precious sights I've ever beheld. That smile. It kills me.
In addition to your garden adventures, you're a piano man. Again, with the climbing, but you get such satisfaction from the sounds that emanate with your chubby little hands on the keys. When it comes to music, you're as happy to sit back and bob your head to the beat as you are to be the one making it.
You share a room with your sister now, and if you had your way, you'd share a bed, too. We constantly have to remove you from her sleeping space and return you to your own. Who can blame you for wanting to combine to of your favorite things: your sister, and snuggling!
Speaking of your sister, she is the apple of your eye, and you, hers. She is mostly patient and gentle with you and prides herself on teaching you things. Every morning when you wake up and I ask if you're ready to go downstairs and see Delilah, you flash that heart-melting smile and nod so enthusiastically, it's as if your head could just go flying right off.
You still love to be worn, though not as often as when you were an actual baby. We still get plenty of snuggles in, and you still nurse frequently. You're not terribly polite about requesting "boobah", your methods include slapping my chest and air-chomping in the general direction of the goods. I suppose it works out well that I'm less nervous about nursing around other people as I was when your sister was your age. In addition to mama's milk, pizza is holding strong as your favorite food, and you're developing an appreciation for fresh produce from the farmer's market or own back yard.
Mothering you has challenged and blessed me in ways I couldn't have anticipated. You truly round out and complete our family. Seeing you grow into a toddler alongside your sister growing into a preschooler has been my greatest joy, even if it's all going a bit too quickly for my taste.
I love you, Bubba.