Poopies is now 17 months old, and he's just plain awesome. I'm now getting little koala hugs and kisses, he's got a wicked little sense of humor and, despite growing willfulness, is still the laid-back cool little dude he's always been. Over the last week or so, I've gotten the sense that he's really paying close attention, that he understands most of what's going on and what we're saying, and there's really no mistaking his view that he is completely in charge. It's sort of like having a little spy in your house. Soaking up everything and keeping it all to himself to use against you later. Which also makes it clear that we needed to have cut out the swearing, like, six months ago.
Speaking of speaking...despite being either on- or above-target on all his other developmental milestones, he is still keeping us in suspense with the whole verbalization thing. He knows words, lots of them, but won't make that leap to actually say much beyond mama, dada and mewing sounds for the cats. Actually, that's a perplexing thing. He will mimic sound effects that we make, but not words. He knows the difference and ain't havin' anything to do with anything that actually means anything. Is it stubbornness? Intimidation? A really early Peter Pan complex?
We spent some time this weekend with some friends of ours, who's little girl is seven weeks Poopie's junior. I'd say her vocabulary must be at least 25 words, probably more since they tend to downplay for our benefit, which is totally pathetic. I don't compare the two, not really, but can't help but be floored when this little itty bitty thing says with the clarity of a bell "backpack!" as she's lowered into her carrier. Shit. I think Poopies tried to say "dog" this week, but it sounded more like "Da-da-hhh-ak."
Don't get me wrong, I know that he's smart and normal and everything's good. He's far ahead of his little brainiac friend in other areas, like building, hand dexterity and being really goddman cute. Kids are different, and it's really no surprise that a child of two artists is better with his hands than with his mouth. I guess what's bothering me is how this fits into his overall inclination toward extreme cautiousness. Though it's a good thing to look before you leap, this kid looks twice, measures, puts a toe in the water, looks twice again, and then slowly inches his way in, butt-first. It seems to me that if a person is this way before their second birthday, it pretty much means they're going to be that way forever.
I want him to take chances, to experiencing life to the fullest. I don't want him to be so paralyzed with fear and worry that he goes through life only seeking comfort and the easy road. I want him to accept and revel in life's challenges, otherwise, he's going to be defeated by them. And, I have to admit, a part of me doesn't want him to be that sensitive kid on the playground that won't let go of the teacher's hand. Other kids tend to prey on the careful, the cautious, and my heart aches to think of him getting picked on and feeling bad about himself. Ugh.
I know I'm getting ahead of myself. Worrying is what mothers do. And hey, at least with a kid like this I don't have to worry about broken bones and pregnant girlfriends, right?