We've turned a corner, and it's dumped us out onto a rocky, bumpy street. I think you'll agree that things have been hard lately, dude. I'm having a hard time, and you've certainly been better. You're so busy now--growing taller by the minute, getting teeth, trying to walk, wishing I'd figure out your "words"--and it's driving you a little insane. You grunt at me and furrow your brow, and reach and fuss and thrash. I shake my head wonder what the hell to do next, wonder how I can possibly keep up when you're suddenly so needy and clingy and not-distractable. The baby who was still in my belly a year ago is becoming an opinionated, independent person. Every day, your "baby-ness" seems to fade a little as you test your world. And me.
You flop down on my lap and smother me with "kisses," which are really bites because you don't know better. You want one apple slice for each hand. You squirm and kick when I try to get you to nap, and you decide when bath time is over by climbing out of the tub yourself. You fight like hell when I have to put you in your car seat, and scream bloody murder when I try to change your diaper. When you gesture to something in the world and grunt, I guess a million things while you stare at me like "Really, woman? How can you be so stupid?"
I feel stupid a lot of the time. Because you change the rules on me! When I think I get it--I finally feel like I understand what you need--the old tricks stop working, the old soothing routine stops helping, and I sometimes cry right along with you, wondering if I'm ever going to understand you again.
Because I want nothing more than to understand you. I want to hear your thoughts, and know what you believe, and share stories. I want to know how you see the world. Sometimes I feel like I don't know much about you because you don't have words to describe your life, but you really tell me more about yourself every day. You love birds, and would very much like to hold one. You don't mind getting rained on, as long as it's only for a short time. Your favorite food is avocado. You're almost certainly left-handed. You can drink water from a cup but you'd rather shake the cup and throw your head back and laugh. You're incredibly challenging and incredibly wonderful.
It's hard, and even on the days when I don't like you, I still love you like crazy. I'm lucky to know you, West.