14 month old Beansprout / by Christina Rosalie

I looked at the calendar this morning and couldn’t believe that you turn fourteen months today. When did that happen? I thought we were still in the BEGINNING of April! Funny how my memory has been compromised, since you hit the scene. Starting with pregnancy, certain things become involuntarily selective in my memory. Appointments were missed (or arrived at late), and multi-tasking became a brain bending feat I was no longer capable of. Then I had you and it went even further downhill. Now, in the shower every morning I start to think of all the things I want to accomplish in the day. I make long, detailed mental lists. Stuff that is really important, that I must remember. Yet, when I towel off and walk out of the bathroom my hair still sopping, the entire list has been usurped by one thought: COFFEE. You’re teething again, nose running fiercely, thrashing about in the middle of the night with your feet in my face, looking for solace, and this only increases the severity of my addiction.

This month in your development has been fascinating from a linguistic standpoint. Your receptive language increases exponentially everyday, and I’m watching you make connections between words and things.

You point to the ceiling light sconce, “Light,” I say. You point to the bedside table lamp, “Light,” I name it for you again.

Then you point outside, up into the sky towards the sun, "La!" you say.

You can follow simple directions now—if you want. You run to find your monkey, or your shoes, or truck and bring them to me, grinning widely—when you feel like cooperating. Other times you totally ignore me, more interested in hauling the broom around the house or pushing buttons on my printer (which you are now tall enough to reach.)

“Go find your socks,” I can say, and you’ll run off and find them and bring them proudly. Or I can say, “Go find your socks,” and you’ll shake your head, run off, and come back carrying the cookie sheet from the kitchen. You know the difference, and seeing your own volition taking shape is at once thrilling and daunting.

I love listening to your first attempts at expressive language: “Ki-gi” you say, pointing to the kitty. “Duhg!” You say, eagerly pointing at every dog we pass. You say “Buh, buh, buh” when you see gulls or pigeons in the park, and “Bath!” when it’s time for the tub. You know what I mean when I say, “Okay, you can pull out the drain now,” and every night you look with a mixture of terror and glee as the water swirls down the drain after your bath. Almost every day you try out a new set of consonants and vowels, and yet I can’t imagine what it will be like to hear you really TALK, just like a few short months ago, it seemed inconceivable that you’d be walking, and now you’re running every place.

You no longer walk with your arms akimbo, and you know now to look down at the ground to help you navigate around obstacles. Tool use suddenly makes sense to you too, and you try to figure out the purpose of everything. You use your little hammer to pound the pegs on your workbench. You use both the fork and spoon and successfully get bites into your mouth. And you love using the broom to knock things off high shelves that you can’t otherwise reach, although you can reach many things now that you figured out how to CLIMB: on the dining room chairs, up the book case (at least onto the bottom shelf), onto the ottoman, the wheelbarrow in the back yard.

There is so much that I want to remember about this time: the way you burst into tears sometimes when Daddy leaves, and how you run to the window saying, “Dada!” when his truck pulls into the driveway (you also say “Dada!” every time you see a red truck pass by as though there is only one red truck in the world and it belongs to YOUR Daddy.) I want to remember how you’ve started to lie down on the carpet or the sheepskin fleece by my desk when you’re tired, tummy down, feet tucked beneath you, and start singing yourself little songs. I want to bottle you up right now: the way your skin smells, sweet and warm; the way your hair curls at the nape of your neck; the way when I smile at you always smile back.

A hundred kisses, Mama