Sage: Sixteen Months

This last month has absolutely zipped by, and you’re growing so fast!

You’re finally putting on some real size; everyone says you’re small, but you’re actually over the 40th percentile for height now. You don’t look like a baby anymore; you look like a toddler, with six teeth and finally some hair! (Not enough that Mommy can really do anything with it yet, much to her chagrin. I have a feeling that in a year or so, Mommy’s going to be doing your hair a lot.)

The doctor, and some websites we frequent, suggested that you “should” know between four and ten words at this stage of your development. Your mother and I have counted the words that you use at least semi-regularly, and we’ve come up with forty-three.

It’s fun watching you communicate. Because of our dog, Chelle, you call all dogs Chelle, and you woof back at them if you hear them. (When you woof, it uses your whole body. It’s fun to watch.) You like watching Winnie the Pooh videos on Mommy’s laptop; your favorite part is just before the cartoon starts, when the camera focuses on a stuffed bear on a chair, and you announce, “A bear!”

You like sneaking up on people and saying, “Boo.”

You’ve gotten picky about food, unfortunately. We’ve tried and tried to keep you interested in a variety of things, but right now you mostly like fruit, yogurt, cheese, and ketchup. (Not usually all at once.)

You’ve shown interest in some TV shows, like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McStuffins (which I really like, actually), but other times you couldn’t care less about the TV. We’re kind of glad about that; we don’t want you growing up thinking the TV is a babysitter to keep you entertained and quiet.

We did something last week that was really difficult for me. We left you for a few hours with a babysitter who wasn’t a member of the family. Considering your age, it seems like maybe that could have happened before — and I know that technically you’ve gone to the Kids’ Company at our church and of course you spent several nights with NICU nurses when you were born, but this was different. Fortunately, everything went very well, and Mommy was able to tell Daddy to just calm down because you were fine.

See, Daddy wants to be rational and to let you do things on your own. But Daddy is much better at being stupidly overprotective. Daddy likes to picture himself as protecting you from everything, when actually Daddy should be letting you take some risks.

I want to give you a big important piece of advice this month (in addition to telling you, again, how crucial it is to be who you are). And that advice is this: people aren’t as bad as they seem. In fact, most of them are pretty wonderful.

I sometimes have trouble with “normal” interactions. I don’t always know how to behave, or how to read between the lines of what people are saying. Because of that, I went through a long phase in which I really didn’t try to connect to people, and any friendships I had or maintained were either very “low-maintenance” or were people I particularly enjoyed spending time with. But the older I get, the more important relationships become to me. I’ve realized that relationships are sometimes the only thing that gets me through a tough day. Small moments of kindness mean everything.

So take the time to do those small moments of kindness. Tell people that you care about them; don’t assume that they know.

Take opportunities to make friends. Seek them out if you have to.

There are a lot of pretty terrible people out there, but you’ll figure out which ones they are easily. The others — most of the world — are pretty great people, and some of them just take a little time to get to know.

I love you so much, Sage. Mommy and Daddy both do.

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