A Painted House

Dear Edison: Month Eighteen

Posted on: May 22, 2012

Dear Edison,

Happy eighteen months!  Half way through your second year already?  Incredible.  I took you for your eighteen month checkup last week where we found out that despite your unceasing appetite, you’re so far below the average growth chart that that upward trending line probably starts somewhere around the cloud line and disappears into the heavens.  I think perhaps the problem is less to do with the amount you eat and more about WHAT you’re willing to consume these days, which amounts to little more than fruit and pretzels.  You’ll eat buckets of foods you like, begging for ‘nanas and cackas and bringing me the pretzel jar a dozen times a day.  But put any meat, potato, vegetable on your tray and you’re suddenly just stuffed.  How do tiny children know to become picky eaters, Edison?  Even the most agreeable, versatile eater eventually succumbs to the idea that they can wait out their short-order cook for more agreeable fare.  You’re in the unfortunate position of following a brother with miles of food/texture/eating issues in his wake, meaning you get a lot less, “Oh, you don’t want peas ? Here, have an animal cracker instead,” and a lot more, “Eat your food, breakfast is a long way away.”  I’m sorry about that.  You should by all rights get away with these things a bit longer because you’re so cute.  But your picky, picky brother has ruined it for all future siblings because this Mama is not interested in going down that road again.  Eat your peas.

This month you became prolific at letting us know that you’re All Done.  Not only can you say the words but you made the connection that waving your outstretched hands also means “I DO NOT WANT ANY MORE OF THIS.”  So somewhere about three bites into that undesired meal you start repeating All Done and flapping your arms around with all the vigor you can manage.  Your lightweight body combined with all that effort often has us wondering if you’ll lift yourself right out of that high chair and circle the chandelier.  We’ve started leaving the video camera handy at the dinner table, just in case.

Your vocabulary has exploded this month, Edison.  A quick tally of the words we’ve heard you say often enough to count came up with forty.  Granted, a good chunk of them sound a) the same and b) not like English, but as parents we understand their subtle nuances.  An example: “ah-bee” means both ‘open’ and ‘airplane’.  But lucky for you, your parents are both in possession of  college degrees and are able to discern when you are identifying  a passing aircraft (pointing to the sky) and when you’d like free access to the animal cracker container (chucking said container into our laps).

Not that we’re complaining one iota that you’re letting us know in no uncertain terms what you’d like, Edison.  By far the most challenging part of toddler hood (of which you have a LOT left) is the frustration with communication.  You know EXACTLY what you want at any given moment; it’s the same specific thing you wanted ten minutes ago but still can’t figure out how to properly request.  This results in lots of whining and Mama’s ears falling off and being accidentally kicked under the refrigerator.  So, for now, I’ll respond in enthusiastic support anytime you throw your shoes in my lap and proclaim , less a question and more an edict, that you’d like to go ‘SIDE!’   (Translation: I want to go to the patio and empty every grain of sand out of the sand/water table onto the cement and then track it back into the kitchen.  God love you.).  Because for every ten toddler demands there is also a morning where I tiptoe into your room and peek over into your crib and you pop up with a loud, “HI!”  And when I lift you up ask, “Edison, how was your sleep?”, you look right into my face and say, “Good!”.

Love, Mama

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