Seventeen months! I don’t know exactly how we survived all those months before, but we did, and here we are.
Henry walks a bit of a line between clingy and curious. He hates to get left behind. If he gets left behind, he turns into a little demon baby. He screeches and claws and alternately throws himself on the floor or smacks me. But as long as I let him come along, he’s angelic and obedient. He often sits patiently in the wagon while I milk the cow, watching the dog and the ducks and the other children playing. Evie doesn’t like to get left behind, either, but Evie and Henry together are like oil and water… or fire and gasoline. Evie is working on loving him, and Henry is working on patience, and so they are making progress, but they are quite a challenge some days.
Henry talks all the time, and some of the time, we can even tell what he’s saying. He tells a lot of jokes, though, and we just laugh to be polite. He can count to three, because, as everybody knows, three is the funnest number. He knows where his head, nose and toes are, and he can bark, quack and moo. Sometimes, he just communicates by signs. That picture up there? He swatted at my camera, scooted off my hip and plopped down in the grass to have his picture made. It was his idea!
He’s quite dexterous, and has been able to manage a fork or a spoon for quite some time. People who like to eat, I guess, learn fast! He’s very clever, always watching what the other people do and how they do it so that he, too, can get into things he’s not supposed to. He’s usually quite (irritatingly) successful, and we spend a lot of time cleaning up or running interference.
Best of all, Henry is finally – finally! – sleeping pretty well at night! He sometimes cries once in the middle, and I hug him and give him a drink and tell him it isn’t time for us to wake up yet. Then I lay him back down, and before we know it, it’s morning. Other times, he sleeps right through and I have to wake up to go make sure he isn’t dead. That’s the only reasonable explanation for a quiet baby, right?
I think back to his infant days, when he was either nursing or pooping around the clock and I was just gasping for air. I think back to how hard those days were, and I’m surprised and grateful to be where we are now. He’s just a delightful baby, smart and funny and pleasant company, and loving him is, at long last, pretty easy to do.