Silas is officially a toddler–has been for a while. And he’s a high-energy toddler at that! He has two speeds: turbo and asleep. It’s way too boring to sit still. Once he’s on the couch, it’s a constant wiggling, climbing over Daddy and back again, sliding off, and hopping on again!
Since he’s been walking for six months, his running and climbing skills have taken off. The sectional has been his latest climbing feat. It’s a few inches higher than the ottoman, so it took a little longer for him to wriggle on top. He’s taken to sitting and standing in drawers, baskets, and buckets. More than once he’s started to scale the bookcase. Playground equipment doesn’t deter him. He’ll find a way to go where he wants or at least give it his best shot. Earlier this week he managed to go down the slide by himself–on his belly!
The other day he was throwing his tummy against the ottoman to fling himself on top. Then he’d slide off the edge facing forward. Sometimes he’d land upright, but often he tumbled over on the floor. Silas recently figured out how to reach the light switches by climbing on the arm of the sectional. His baby bike also lets him reach the lights!Silas is now playing with toys as they’re supposed to be used. He loves stacking blocks and reading books. He’ll hand me a book and then start backing up towards me to sit on my lap. Before naps we read My Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Amazingly, Bitty Boy sits still for a long time as I read. Maybe it has something to do with him going down for a nap afterwards? Hmm… I like to think it’s the cadence of the rhymes.Mealtime adventures are always changing. Silas was loving holding a fork and even eating from it, but now he prefers using his fingers. His attention span is pretty short with food, so we try several different kinds of food each meal. Milk is by far his favorite drink–we’re (ever so slowly) working on expanding his repertoire to water and juice.
We try to make it to the park on weekdays when I’m not babysitting. If nothing else, we’ll try to take a walk around the neighborhood or up to our mailbox. Silas does a super job at staying on the sidewalk while walking. It always helps if he has a stick in his hand. Usually as soon as we get outside, he’s looking for a stick to pick up. Sticks are a prized commodity in the desert.No mistake about it, Silas is a friendly munchkin. He flashes his smile and expects that everyone will be his friend. We’ve gone to baby/toddler activities at two different libraries, and we’re hoping to join the playgroup in Verrado.Bitty Boy has been cracking himself up! He laughs and laughs and that makes him laugh more! Just this week he’s learned to say, “uh-oh.” He also said, “done” when I said, “All done.” And he repeated, “ba-ba,” when I said, “baby.” I do hope this means he’ll be talking soon! Can’t wait to hear his little words. Already, just hearing his unintelligible declarations cracks me up.
Along with these many joys come many exasperations with parenting a one year old. Between crabbiness, screaming, fussy nap times, messy mealtimes, constant whining (some days), a language barrier, neediness, and lots of mobile energy, I’m feeling the stress of mothering a toddler.
You know what’s been helping me through it? I pause for a moment to really, truly look at Silas. I see his tiny body, his adorable legs and feet running on our tile floor, his charming smile that spreads across his entire chubby face, and I think, “He’s only one once.” Yes, sometimes that means, “Thank goodness we won’t always have these toddler struggles!” But mostly that means, “This is the only time of his life that he’ll be one year old. I’d better tuck these moments away in my heart before they’re gone forever. Look at my baby–this little person that is both Stephen and me. He’s only one once.”
As I hold him, rock him, read to him, bounce him, or sing to him to push through some nap time or wakeful night, I’m reminded of what a precious boy I’m holding. When the stress of it seems too much, I think about the words of a lullaby written by my friend. Silas is a “priceless gift, eternal soul.”Thank you, God, for this eternal soul you’ve put into our home, our hearts. Help us shepherd him to know Your love and our love for him.
He’s only one once.