And together we learn

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Toddler days

Toddlers have kind of a bad rap. Whenever I mention my Calvin's age, or encounter another mom with little ones, the response is usually a sympathetic look and a murmured, "it's a hard age, isn't it."

And it is. Don't get me wrong. It's a crazy, rocky, frustrating, tiring age.

Calvin is 16 months old. He pulls hair, sits on top of his sisters' coloring books, steals spoons and puts them in people's shoes, breaks Christmas ornaments, and throws things (like my camera) in the toilet. But there's another side to this baby boy of mine. And oh, that side makes all the other things so inconsequential.

Calvin dances that delightful toddler dance with bum outstretched, arms pumping, and knees bouncing. His face radiates joy as his whole body shakes with the music. If you could only bottle toddler dancing and uncork it when they're smelly teenagers, how wonderful it would be! Calvin is old enough now to adore reading. He drags his little animal picture books around the house, and in his funny babyspeak, tells me quite plainly that he wants to be read to, NOW. He plunks down in my lap and we make the signs and sounds of cows and lions and kittens. His favorite book has a page with baby seals on it. He turns to it and goes, "ark ark ark" over and over again. There's another memory to bottle up and cherish.

There is nothing quite like the heavy satisfying feeling of a toddler sitting in your lap. When you're putting on their shoes, and for a brief moment their busy legs are sitting still, and you rejoice in the sturdyness of their bodies, of the intoxicating smell of their heads, and the unbelievable softness of their peach skin cheeks.

We went to see Frosty the Snowman at the Children's Theatre today. I was worried about Mr. Perpetual Motion and a live performance, but he was entranced. He sat on my lap the whole time, spell bound by the lights and singing. He clapped enthusiastically and chuckled. When he was really excited, he shook his fists and made the Mr. Furious face. Then the second the house lights came up, all the pent up energy of 30 minutes of sitting still broke through, and he ran like a little dervish.

He loves to play not really catch, more like fetch with us. We throw a ball and he runs so fast on his stubby little baby legs and brings it back, like an exuberant little puppy. Watching that run of his cracks me up every single time.

He was on my lap while I was sitting next to Steve. I leaned over and kissed Steve, then Calvin put up his little face expectantly, waiting for his. I want to eat him up! Since it's so easy to be frustrated with the craziness that is a toddler, I'm so grateful for days like these that remind me of the loveliness of that life.


3 comment(s):

Great pictures-- how very fun!!!

Thanks for stopping by my place!

By Blogger Owlhaven, at 8:14 AM  

You are soooo right, Becca - I adore this age! I specifically requested to serve this age group in Sunday School. I hope our next daughter is young enough when we adopt her that we can experience this stage with her, just like our other three. (Please remind me that I said this someday when she's making me tear my hair out!)

By Blogger Chinamama4, at 9:08 PM  

That. Is. The. Best.

I've always loved the toddler age. They're learning how stuff works, what kind of pull they have in their little world, what up feels like and how colors taste, and all those wonderful, delightful, intoxicating things that we have either (a) come to take for granted, or (b) given up even thinking about.

You nailed so many of the beautiful things about toddlerhood - the dancing, the running, the complete and utter expectation that there's a kiss in there for him, too. Oh. I love, love, love it! They laugh for real - at anything, for any reason. They FEEL, so deeply, so honestly - happiness, sadness, expectation, disappointment, and love. All of it, with every solid little ounce of their beings.

Ah. I'm going to go steal one more kiss from my toddler.


By Blogger Dy, at 10:31 PM  

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