My little Henry ... you turned 14 months old this past week and I think it is safe to say that the baby love honeymoon I had been enjoying with you is on pause.
Within the past three weeks, you have learned to walk. And from the moment that you took your first steps and experienced upright mobility, you crave all things vertical.
You do not want to be held.
You do not want to be contained.
You are a toddler on the (unsteady) move.
It takes everything I have in my power to strap you in to a carseat, stroller, or load you in to a baby carrier. And I can just forget about having you sit still for a picnic lunch.
Your first trip to the pediatric dentist this month was the most traumatic 30 seconds of your life and every day since then, when I've had to brush your teeth, it is like reliving the nightmare. I don't remember your siblings putting up this much of a fight to have a soft-bristled brush run across their teeth. Maybe the agony of brushing a baby's teeth is just one of those things I've successfully blocked out of my psyche.
Whenever I do hold you, you will slam your head in to my face. You'll arch your back and push yourself off of me. When all else fails, you'll swing your little baby fists at my nose.
If, however, you want to be held and I am not in a position to do so, you will chase me around the house, crying, shattering glass with your piercing screams and sending the dogs in our neighborhood in to a frenzy.
Unfortunately, my patience with your siblings deteriorates rapidly when you start up with this kind of behavior. And they know it, too. Because whenever you'll start your shrieking, they will unanimously yell "HENRY!! BE QUIET!! YOU DRIVE MAMA NUTS!!"
During the time that mom and Jim were in town, your slightly-improved sleep habits tanked. Instead of sleeping 11 hours at night, you were waking up every 3 hours and causing such a ruckus that if I didn't get you, my mother would.
Your nap routine went down the tubes and you became even more difficult than I imagined possible. But, the experience was a good one for me. Because it taught me that when we have people come to visit, I need to move your crib out to the garage and close the door.
We recently moved your crib in to your sisters room and for the past two days, you have slept exceptionally well. I was concerned that having you in the middle of the house in a room with no doors would really disrupt your fragile sleep routine.
But instead, it appears that when you are in the middle of the action, you sleep better than when you are sequestered in a dark and peaceful space. Now we crank up AC/DC whenever we put you down for a nap and we are guaranteed at least a solid two hours of peace.
But your screaming and sleeplessness and combative manners aside, you remain adorable.
You waddle when you walk, with arms bent up at your sides and fists clenched.
You are completely unfazed when your sister decorates you in princess stickers.
You are so bright and mimic everything that you see.
And because you have moments of pudgy baby cuddliness...
... that more than offsets all the horrific age-appropriate behavior you inflict on those in your life.