June 24, 2011

one step at a time

Malcolm turned twenty-one months old yesterday.

He is only three months away from being a full-blown two-year-old.

While he hasn't shown too many "terrible two" type behaviors, he has gradually become more and more independent with each passing day. Through the use of his two words ("Mama" and "Dada"), the handful of signs he has picked up, and his expert use of pointing and body language, Malcolm is pretty good and communicating what he wants to do. He lets me know when it is time to read, to eat, to play outside, to watch a particular DVD, or even (sometimes) when it is time to take a nap.

In addition to these communicative skills, Malcolm is becoming quite good at physical tasks as well. He likes to build with his blocks, assemble puzzles, throw balls, swing (plastic) golf clubs, climb on the furniture, slide down his slide in the backyard, and, just recently, walk down the stairs ...

By himself.

Yes, it's been a process. We've been "working on" this skill little by little (when I decided I was getting tired of carrying him up and down all the time). I've shown him how to use one hand to steady himself along the wall, to carefully slide one foot at a time, to move slowly and cautiously ... But it's easy to see he's catching on.

He has surprised me on multiple occasions by choosing to play quietly in his room and then, moments later, returning to the living room all by himself.

Proudly walking down the stairs.

What happened to the baby that was just starting to crawl (at this same time last year)?

Before I know it, he won't need me at all.

Dramatic motherly statements aside, I couldn't be happier with the little boy that Malcolm is quickly becoming. He has such an energetic spirit, a good heart, and an upbeat personality. He is easily adaptable, playing rambunctiously one minute and then quietly reading the next. He's sweet and affectionate and quick to give hugs and/or kisses to anyone who asks. He's laughably goofy (and he knows it).

There is hardly a negative thing that could be said about him ...

As much as I'd like to take credit for everything (I contributed half of his genes, after all), in many ways his little quirks are all Malcolm.

He is his own person.

He is uniquely himself.

But, even so, growing independence aside, Malcolm will always be my little baby.

I will never forget the moment I learned he was residing in my womb. Or the day I learned the "heel" that kept digging into my rib cage was actually his pointy baby butt. Or the twenty-three hours of labor before he decided to arrive ("sunny side up"). Or the way he fit perfectly in my arms on that early September morning ...

Those days may be behind us now, but like individual steps on a staircase, they are still part of the big picture.

Our big picture.

Important parts of our journey from baby to toddler to boy (and beyond!).

And with each step of the way, I have to pinch myself.

I still can't believe how lucky I am.

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