Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mister Independent - Eli at 22 Months

Yesterday, you, grandma and I ventured over snow covered roads to a magical place called Ann Arbor.  Now, I took my chances with this trip because I knew you would be foregoing your daily nap.  A risky wager, my friend.  Usually when you don't get your nap...well, people die...they just stop living.  But I like to live on the edge, so away we went. 

Usually when we shop, you're fine for the first 20 minutes or so.  About 20 minutes in, though,  you have some sort of epileptic fit for which the only cure is going home or a box of cookies (which I never give you...I mean who would do that...cough, cough...stop looking at me like that).  And that's just grocery shopping.  When we go to the mall, it's like I'm taking you to get a lobotomy.  You.hate.it.  So, I was a little wary to take you out on the coldest day of man's existence, during lunch time, knowing you would miss your nap and you would be in a mall.  However, this time I had my mom to run interference, I packed enough snacks to keep your sugar levels at satisfactory levels, I brought your cars (a necessary item any time we leave the house now), along with a partridge in a pear tree.

My dear Elijah, you were an angel.  There were a couple times here and there where we would go in a direction you didn't want to go, and you simply just lay down to show your protest.  You didn't throw yourself down or pound your fists and kick when you lay down.  You didn't even scream.  You would just lie down and say very matter-of-factly, "no".  It seemed as if you were taking a little rest on the I-don't-even-want-to-think-how-disgusting floor of Briarwood.  And it was pretty easy to lure you away from your awake nap.  It usually just took showing you your me-me (pacifier in Eli) or one of your trucks. 

It.was.awesome.  Thank you.

As with any other month, you never cease to surprise and shatter my expectations.  Month 22 has been one in which your verbal skills have taken off.  You communicate so much more clearly, you mimic lines from Toy Story (the only thing you want to watch except for an occasional Thomas video), you ask to go see people (like daddy's friend Jacob or your friend Ben or Gaga and Gampa).  And it all seemed to happen overnight. 

You've got a little something on your face there.
(juice break with your bestie, Ben)
You definitely like things done a certain way, too.  You have to have every stuffed animal you own in your crib with you while you sleep.  It's quite the stuffed menagerie.  Elmo must accompany you whenever we leave the house.  You line up your cars a certain way, and if I try to mess with the system you shoot fire from your eyes.  Your grandpa watched you this past Saturday morning.  And as your typical procedure requires, he made you your oatmeal and gave it to you complete with your standard five spoons.  A little after he gave it to you, he thought it still might be a little too warm, so he added some milk.  And then all the puppies in the world died.  You were shocked. Dismayed. How could he have done that?!  What's next?  Grape jelly instead of your standard strawberry? Disgusted at this departure from normalcy, you refused to eat any more of the obviously ruined oatmeal.

It's so interesting to see you exerting your independence in such a way.  There is a way you like things done and it doesn't always go along with how your father and I do things (sometimes this is more exasperating than endearing).  I love that you feel secure enough to be independent.  You still cling to my leg (which I secretly love) in unfamiliar situations or when animals attack, but usually you like to leave my side to explore and figure things out for yourself.  I hope you always have this security.  I hope you know that no matter how far away you go, your father and I will always be here when you come back. (Side note: I mostly mean this figuratively.  You're really not allowed to leave my sight when we're out in public.)

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