I wish I could bottle up the essence of who Kadon is right now and keep it in a safe place. Babies grow up so fast. They learn and change and discover every day. It makes me sad to think that the small things he does to make me laugh, smile, or make my heart burst out with love are passing moments. In 18 years I may not remember them. Thank God I’m a writer.
Kadon didn’t learn to walk so much as he learned to run. He also runs without looking where he’s going. In fact, sometimes he runs while looking behind. I’m convinced he’s made of rubber, which is a good thing, considering how much he falls. He also has a habit of stepping on a toy and doing a slide and half backflip and landing on his back with his feet in the air. Most of the time he doesn’t even cry. He just lets out an offended sounded roar, sometimes stomps on the guilty toy, and heads off to his next adventure/mishap. I can’t help but think if that was me and I slipped and landed like that, I would be lying there for awhile, fighting tears, the breath knocked out of me, and would probably have to visit my chiropractor.
He is mastering stairs. Luckily, since he inherited my gracefulness (as in, he inherited NoneWhatSoEver) he actually is a little cautious. He goes down the stairs backwards, and the only stairs he walks down are the two steps at Grandma and Grandpa’s, which he does quite nicely while holding on to the rail. He has now started attempting walking up stairs, instead of crawling, all while holding securely to the rail. He even goes down his slide backwards. I never taught him to do that. I may have encouraged him to go down forward on his tummy, because I’m awesome like that and enjoy raising rulebreakers apparently, but he prefers to slide backwards.
One time, at a family photo shoot, we were positioned on a slight incline. He was still crawling at the time and he wanted a toy at the bottom of the hill. I use the term hill very generously. He actually scooched around and started crawling backwards down the “hill” to safely get to the toy. This from the kid who also used his toy quad to stand on to get on to the table. But I guess everyone has their own ideas about what’s safe and what’s not.
He enjoys opening cupboards. I thought we’d get away without safety locks. And technically, I could, as there’s nothing really dangerous in there. (Now that I’ve moved the Brandy Beans, anyways. Nice try, kid!) But I do get tired of leading him back into the kitchen to put away the cling wrap/Tupperware/various candy. He figured out how to operate the garbage can. Open the cupboard, pull the garbage can out on the rails, deposit trash, push back in, close cupboard. Very nice. What’s more adorable than a toddler throwing away his trash? Yeah. It’s all fine and dandy until he decided the garbage is also full of treasures like used Keurig cups and digs his tiny little finger around in there and starts eating coffee grinds because that’s obviously delicious.
Kadon will use anything as a phone. Even his hand. It kind of gives me a complex because everyone assumes I’m on the phone all day long. Maybe I am and just don’t realize it. But he is the best talker-on-the-phoner. He says HI! And then laughs at the appropriate places and gives you his best jibberjabber and then laughs again. I’m thinking I must laugh on the phone a lot.
It’s actually kind of nerve wracking sometimes, when I realize what he’s doing is what he’s seeing me do. He hums all the time. He has since he was very little. I don’t even realize I’m humming until I hear his tiny little voice joining in. And of course, I think he’s some musical genius because many times he’ll actually repeat the melody. And when he sits at his little piano, he doesn’t pound all the time, he will actually use one finger to hit one key and it sounds like he’s trying to truly play.
He also stomps his foot. I don’t know what to think about this. I’m fairly certain I don’t go around stomping my foot. But I did make a joke about wanting something and how I should teach Kadon that the sign language for “please” is stomping ones foot. But it was a passing phrase… but it was in front of him. And he does stomp his foot when he wants something. And it’s not aggressively stomping. More like… matter of fact stomping. Anyways, I just ignore it because it’s kind of funny and I’m hoping it’s an inherent kid thing, not that I accidently taught my kid that it’s polite to ask for something by stomping.
In the discipline area, I am aware that I shake my finger at Kadon. I am aware of this because he shakes his finger at me when he is displeased. Wonderful. I have also noticed he has the death glare that yours truly was famous for when I was a kid. I also realized when I am displeased I give him my “most displeased with your behavior” look. Which could be interpreted as a death glare. Which got me to thinking that perhaps glaring at your kid is not the most efficient way of disciplining, especially when all they do is start glaring back. I have better things to do than have a glare off with my 17 month old.
That’s also the kind of funny thing about toddlers. They don’t come with manuals and they’re not all the same. And they keep changing, so what worked yesterday might not work today. But since they emulate your own behavior back at you, it kind of gives you a blueprint of what will help you raise them. It’s not always easy, because I see my own weaknesses reflected in Kadon. I have a temper. I am impatient. I am unreasonable when tired. I don’t take the word “no” gracefully.
I sound like a toddler.
But I think that’s because we are all, to some extent. We are just grown up toddlers who were trained how to handle ourselves, how to harness our emotions, how to act appropriately, how to count to ten before freaking out, how to apologize, how to work with people, how to share, how to communicate effectively, and most importantly, when to call it quits and take a nap. I’m pretty sure I’m still learning all of this. It’s kind of cool that I get to be the one who instills the preliminary tools and tips on how to behave for this little guy. And by cool I mean terrifying, confusing, frustrating. But I’m also honored and amazed and excited. Because he is mine, and I want to pour goodness, love, patience, joy, and faith into his heart and watch it grow.
I mean sure, some days when Sheldon comes in, I inform him that he is on supper and bed duty, because I am at the end of my rope and my version of feeding Kadon would involve lots of yelling and tears on both sides and the bedtime routine would be less stories and songs and more unnecessary Tylenol.
Kadon is such a blessing to me. He makes me a better person. No matter if we’ve had a rough day, I still want to be the one to open the door and see his crazy hair, his soggy diaper, and his goofy smile waiting for me. I am the one he gets to call Mama. And he’s lucky, too, because I’m a great mom. And I’m surrounded by other great moms, and I think by sharing our stories, struggles, and victories we make each other better.
Oh my little Kadon. What else can I tell you about him? He’s learning to eat better. Mostly because he’s figured out I’m more stubborn than he is. He’ll whine and complain at the top of his lungs, then sigh and open his mouth. Victory is mine I tell you!
He knows how to ask nicely for something. He’s pretty irresistible when he toddles over with a box of pilfered crackers and holds it up with a smile and questioning grunt.
His version of asking for a story is to throw a book at you, so watch out! He’s learning to be more gentle, but if you’re not paying attention, well. Sucks to be you. But I love to look down and find a book in my lap and Kadon standing there with his arms up, waiting to be lifted up and read to. I’ll never say no.
I sometimes just sit on the floor because I know he’ll come up to me, then turn around two feet away from me and slowly back up to sit in my lap. I don’t know why he thinks he has to start so far away, but it’s the most adorable thing and I kind of want to make little backing up “beep beep” noises, but I don’t want to give him a complex.
When he wants food he’ll go to the fridge and when he sees me getting some for him he walks over the kitchen chairs and pushes them around, looking for the one with his booster seat on it. If I inform him it’s a snack like blueberries or something and tell him to go to his table, he hightails it to his playroom and perches on his little chair and eats his snack at his table. He’s so cute I just want to grab him and smoosh him.
He gives kisses, hugs, high-fives, and fist bumps. He loves to hide and play peek-a-boo. He loves it when people chase him and tackle him and tickle him.
He’s recently learned to vacuum, which at first I thought was genius until he wanted the vacuum on All.Day.Long. And even when he was in another room and I thought, “Oh good, he’s done.” He’d come running along just to turn it back on again. Needless to say I have hidden the vacuum and he was none too pleased with me.
He lays his head on my shoulder and lets me rock him at bedtime. Sometimes only for a few seconds before he’s reaching for his crib, but sometimes he’ll let me do it until he falls asleep. I treasure those snuggles.
He has a love/hate relationship with the dogs. He likes it when they chase him and he likes to pet them/smoosh their noses. He give them kisses. He also steals their toys and gets super angry when they take them back. The dogs of course think he’s playing with them, so they are thrilled. Kadon is not. Unforunately, Kadon discovered that Pippin is a ginormous wimp. A loud wimp who yelps like someone shoved a hot poker up his butt when you drop a fork on the floor in the next room. So Kadon enjoys chasing him around and pretending (or just has bad aim…) to bonk him with stuff so he can hear that delightful, mind-slicing YELP that gives me a heart attack and I have to calmly inform Kadon that it’s bad to be mean to annoying, high-pitched, wimpy dogs. But when he crawls into their basket with Porky and sits there awhile, it’s pretty much the cutest thing in the world.
Well this is getting ridiculously long, but I wanted to get it all out so I would have it always. In all the moments of parenting, of raising, of teaching, of guiding him to who he is to be… I don’t ever want to forget how he is now.