While we were away on this last vacation, Tia Lali asked me what my favorite "stage" in Radar's life was so far. The only thing that came to mind right off the bat was... "now!"
But I remember when Radar was a cooing brand new baby and I loved that stage. I loved his smell and how tiny he was and I loved burping him and breast feeding him. I loved bathing him using the hammock for his little tub and I loved how his eyes were a little crossed and how they'd straighten out as he focused on my face. And I absolutely loved being a full-time mom for those first three months of maternity leave. Sure, there were a few things I didn't actually love (colic & sleepless nights), but they were few and now long forgotten. Oh how I loved those first few months - but the truth is I wouldn't want them back if it meant trading in my Radar of today because I love this stage even more.
And I certainly remember those first giant milestones... the first smiles and laughs, the first time he rolled from back to front, then sat up, crawled and stood! I was so proud of my happy little boy with each new accomplishment. By last August, when he was a mere 8 months old, he was already climbing up the stairs. Had Tia Lali asked me then, I could have easily answered that THAT was my favorite stage. But I wouldn't trade it in for my Radar of today because I love this stage even more.
By one year, the milestones started pouring in faster than I could keep track... his teeth kept popping through his gums (with no issues), his first steps and his first word or two (sort of, I think), pointing at things I named (nose, Fanny). But best of all, by one year I could really start to see Radar's individual personality emerging. Determined. Studious. A bit stubborn. A jokester. I was so, so loving this stage! Then at 13 months he really started walking and his independence sky-rocketed. How could I possibly love any stage more than that stage?
Well, I do! My 17 month old Radar rocks my world! He tells jokes and actually cracks up at his own jokes... I don't understand the jokes yet, but I know they're funny and I crack up too. He is learning new words every week. His repertoire includes (but is not limited to):
Bye Bye = Bye Bye
Gua Gua = Agua
Anny = Fanny
Gado = Gato
Caro = Carro
Nana = Ventana
Nana = Manzana
Mia = Maria
Ano = Mano
and most importantly... Mami = Mommy
It is awesome - every little bit of him today is awesome! He's a show-off. He dances (like a white boy with no rhythm... but he loves it). He drives all the little cars in the house and at the park and recently learned that you have to stab the dashboard with mommy's keys to drive the car. And keys aren't just for driving... you also use them to open the door. See here...
"Oh - hey there! Want to see how to open a door?"
"Well, first you have to find the right key,"
"Darn! Which key is it?"
"Bingo! Ok, then you stick the key in the door & twist it,"
"and finally you open it with the handle!"
He also loves the keyboard and mouse, one of his favorite moves being to slide the mouse back and forth on top of the keyboard. He loves taking things out of their place (toy box, book shelf), but then he puts them away (only a few items and in different places that sometimes don't turn up for a while). He loves being outside, he's a good traveler and is addicted to his pacifier (with no end in sight). And he so loves his mommy and shows it every day!
So to answer Lali's question - THIS is definitely my favorite stage so far in Radar's life.
But as much as I love this stage, I just know that I'm going to love each of the next stages even more as Radar's personality continues to grow and our communication continues to improve and he keeps becoming the person he is and will be. There must be some stage though (individual dependent) when a parent finally says, "no, I want my baby back... or toddler... or five year old..." Is it the teenage years? I guess we'll just have to wait and see.
Lots of love,
Titi and Radar