Cole at 21 Months

12I put my toes back into the try-to-do-work-at-home waters, but a little shark came swimming up to me almost immediately.

Cole Joseph, the sun god, Cubby Candy, is 21 months old today and is curious as ever. He climbed the chair next to me as soon he saw the laptop screen glow with life. He played it cool at first, but eventually made a move at what he came for. The little index finger of his right hand moved slowly toward the keyboard. On another night, I think, I might have been less tolerant of his interference. But tonight, I just plopped him in my lap and let him drive the cursor with the track pad. He was so excited to watch the tiny hand move around that he lost his binky.

He loves getting into things. He enjoys looking at picture books with images he recognizes. He loves screaming and pointing at things he recognizes when we are out. He still only has about 5 words in his vocabulary, but the one he uses the most is “doo-doo”. Madison and I tried to take the twins out every day during the summer. There was always a high likelihood of an Abby turd on the pad waiting for us when we got home. It began innocently enough; Madison and/or I would block the twins from the turd while saying “No, no, doo-doo,” as they saw said turd, grew curious about its existence, and approached it. This became a routine. So, now, as soon as we pull into the driveway, Cole starts saying “doo-doo!” over and over. It intensifies if there actually is a turd in the living room. He points at it, too. I hope he somehow shames Abby into stopping her malicious turdiness. How serious is Cole about this situation? A few days ago Lynnette and watched as he pulled a dryer sheet out of the laundry, then proceeded to walk around the living room, stopping only to bend over and pantomime picking up an imaginary turd while saying “doo-doo!” over and over. I laughed so hard my stomach hurt. It’s the only way to make sure I still have ab muscles under there.

DCIM101GOPROG0523631.But for all his recognition, the one that makes me happiest is his reaction to learning we’ve arrived at my parents’ house. I can’t know for sure why he loves the place. I assume it has something to do with the space and new toys. But I know for sure that my mom is a major reason. Last Sunday we pulled up to the H and Cole’s eyes opened from a nap. He sleepily looked at me first, then turned his head and saw the house. He squealed. When I carried him toward the house and my mom popped through the front door, he perked up, pointed at her, and went through his list of excitable noises.

He leans into her. He doesn’t mind being held, carried around by my mom. When it’s time to leave, he cries and tries to make it back to her. Two weeks ago at the beach, she followed him around the sand and water the entire time. It might have started then. I don’t know. I just hope it never ends. My mom and I never got along. We were polar opposites in all the ways that matter, too alike in the worst possible ways, but most significantly, she needs control and I have always needed space and freedom. There were times in my adolescence and young adulthood when she was the most prominent antagonist in my life. I viewed her with contempt and anger, rage even. We never worked until I moved out and had a family of my own. Perhaps she needed to know I’d be okay on without her; maybe I had to become a parent to understand why she held on so damn tightly. But that’s all in the past. In the future, I hope that Cole can have the relationship with my mom that I never had.

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