The other morning I heard Ethan talking to his stuffed animals that sleep in the crib with him. Any time I check on him while he slumbers, I find him with an arm (or his entire body) slung over any one of the following:
Don't worry folks, we didn't allow the menagerie into the crib while he was still an infant, but I'm sorry to announce: Ethan is a toddler now.
A toddler. For one thing, he has moved from total dependence to personal resourcefulness: Noah's parents found a Cheeto stored in his diaper, for safekeeping.He knows how to turn on the TV, turn on the Xbox, stand up from sitting without holding onto anything, feed himself, and manipulate unsuspecting adults.
Case in point: Monday morning, though he rocked the independent play while in the crib, once I got him up he wasn't interested in being anywhere but wrapped koala-style around my upper body. As we approached the babysitter's front door, he began his usual litany of "hi" and waving, and yet he still cried heartbreakingly as I left.
Sometimes, he also has more sense than adults, as in the Lake Carlton Park District Slide Incident while we were in Chicago.
You see that facial expression? I'm all happy and "isn't this so cute" but Ethan is obviously anticipating the disaster to come, just moments later when we went careening off the end and into the wood chips. Those suckers are slick.
I tried to make it up to him on the swings, but the trust was broken.
So I stopped interfering and allowed him to explore.
And hang out with Poppy.
Eventually, he forgave me, because now he's capable of mistrust, offense, and yes, forgiveness. This morning, as another molar pressed cruelly on his tender gums, I spent a few extra minutes at the babysitter's house, where he stood between my legs and rested his head on my shoulder while I rubbed his tiny back. We're thick as thieves once again, and I couldn't be happier about it.