“Only women think this age is cute. Everyone else knows it’s annoying as hell.” Matt said last night as he searched the house for a remote so we could turn the sleep timer on the bedroom TV. (It’s our compromise. He can fall asleep with the TV on as long as he sets the sleep timer so it doesn’t wake me up all night long.) All the remotes are gone because Jack has an obsession with remotes and puts them in his special place. Along with keys, DVDs, pan lids, and anything else shiny or important that catches his 14 month old eye (like bills-or my toothbrush. now Stella and I are sharing her Mater toothbrush. If that’s not gross I don’t know what is…..) Most things seem to oddly resurface in the toilet a few days later.
Matt’s right, this age is challenging. He can’t be left in a room alone because he attempts to jump off the couch, swim in the toilet, play with the stove, eat the fish, etc etc etc. He’s constantly losing or breaking things. everything seems to be covered in a goo of some sort. Communicating with him is similar to speaking to Chewbacca, everything is a tonal series of the word “DA”. the phrase, “ohh JACK!” is heard often in our house.
But there are aspects of this age that are intangible. He chases Lincoln around the house growling like a dinosaur. When he catches him he dogpiles him in a fit of glee and giggles. When he hears a motorcycle or loud car he mimics the way he thinks the noise sounds, to us it sounds similar to an old man clearing his throat or perhaps dying, but to Jack it probably sounds EXACTLY like that cool motorcycle. He empties the recycling bin on the kitchen floor and then starts throwing cereal boxes, old cans of beans, and waffle boxes at my head while shouting, “hot!” “ack! HOT!” Chewbacca for “feed me! make me hot food!” Annoying and slightly gross? yes. incredibly adorable? extremely. It’s his first attempt at communication. I have to give him points for being innovative and using props.
The best however are the dinosaur kisses. Remember that irresistible urge to grab a baby and blow raspberries on their skin until they cry from laughter? To bury your face in their chubbiness and soak up their smells? Jack has started to return the favor. He will come up, dogpile you and then seek out any exposed skin. He will then start growling like a dinosaur, start half chewing/half licking/half blowing on your skin until you laugh from joy and fear (fear that at any second he’s gonna BITE!) During the first couple dinosaur Jack attacks I couldn’t figure out what exactly was going on. But at one point he stopped the growling and just started breathing heavy. Smelling me. Soaking me up. and I realized, he’s doing to us exactly what we’ve been doing to him for 14 months. He’s loving us. Every last inch of us. He might not be able to say, “I love you.” but he can tackle us and lick us, and smell us. and that’s worth a thousand first words.