Cole at 16 Months

1Cole Joseph is fast becoming his own man. He has his own opinions about a lot of things, and one of those things is his stern belief that not only is clothing optional, it is wholly unnecessary. Last week he tore his diaper off and waved the defeated article of clothing in my face before running off butt naked into the twins’ room. He emerged soon after without the diaper (did he think he could hide it?) and stood defiantly near the gate. “Come here, Cole Boy!”I said sternly. He laughed, ran in place, then shook head no as his junk flopped freely. It was so damn funny I couldn’t muster anger if I wanted to.

2Cole’s transformed into a hearty eater. As recently as two weeks ago he was a slow and picky eater (like another of our children) but in the past few days he’s been fairly consistent at meal time. While there are things he doesn’t care for, he more or less eats everything we feed him. He’s also started sharing his food. Since the time he could eat solid food I would pantomime to him that I should like some of his delicious treats. At first he didn’t respond. Then, when he understood what I was asking of him, he quickly shoved his fist into his mouth to keep all of his food. Next, he would extend his arm toward my open mouth before pulling it away quickly and popping the food into his mouth. Today was the first time he ever fed me. He held out that piece of tofu and let me slurp it off his saliva-covered knuckles. It was gross but incredibly endearing.

Two nights ago I was watching a movie on my iPad and felt Cole’s big toe in my ear. I swatted it away and a few moments later I felt it again. I thought maybe he was just kind of kicking around while falling asleep, but I was wrong. I looked up and saw a massive smile behind his binky. “Are you sticking your foot in my ear on purpose?” I shouted. The guy cackled out loud. I was stunned. I immediately tossed my iPad across the bed and went in on the tickling. He laughed and screamed. When I stopped I told him that putting toes into people’s ears is impolite. He lifted his foot toward me and grunted.

The highlight of the past month, however, took place during another of Cole’s moments of naked liberation. Lynnette dropped him into the play area so she could return to the tub to grab Avery. Cole plopped down on the carpet and started… I’m going to use the word “exploring” his junk with both hands. “No-no!” I said. Lynnette and I add the Dikembe Mutombo finger-wag when we’re correcting the twins’ behavior, so I threw that in there, too. Cole looked up at me, then back down to his crotch – THEN FINGER-WAGGED HIS JUNK WHILE SHAKING HIS HEAD. I tried to call Lynnette and explain what had happened, but it was no use. I couldn’t breath or talk through all of the laughter.

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