...Or as your brother calls you, Ma-hue. He's called you this pretty much since your birth often throwing "Baby" in before your actual name. Come on Baby Ma-hue he commands. Let me kiss you Ma-hue. Ma-hue can have some of my cookie. He'll share just about any food with you. Once you eat all of your cookie or what have you, which you do twice as fast as he does, you scream for more. I remind you that you already ate yours and your big brother comes to the rescue, swooping in with his sweet smile and his offer to share with you. Of course, brotherhood isn't all fun and games. You always, without fail, want whatever toy Garrett has and he draws the line at giving you whichever toy you want whenever you want it. It's a learning curve for the both of you.
You've mastered the art of kissing, complete with the *smack* sound. At night, as I read the two of you a Bible story and prepare to heave you into the crib I tell you to give your brother a kiss. You lean forward, with a slightly coy little smile, to meet his lips. Smack. You plant one on him. He backs away and you lean forward again. This goes on for a good five to ten kisses depending on the night. You'll give them to me and daddy--when we're lucky. But always, always, you'll give them to your brother.
It's been a difficult few weeks, I'm not gonna lie to you. You've hit a phase (tell me, Son, that it's a phase. Please. Pretty please? Let it be a phase.) where you want to be in my arms all. the. time. Always and forever. It started in Tahoe and it's just proceeded to infiltrate our daily lives. If I try to pass you off in public so that I can take care of some business you screech like a bird of prey and will not pipe down until I take you back. Also. The hitting.
You're a hitter. A smacker. A scrappy little fighter. When we discipline you with a, "Matthew, stop screaming for no reason!" or ask, "Dude, come here so I can change your diaper." you answer with an angry face and then a whack. It's charming. We're working on it. Thankfully the biting (did I mention the biting?) is waning. After only a few furious jaw clenches onto my body parts you've seemed to grasp that I'm just not really a fan. Thank you, for that.
Lately you've been up to this funny little shuffle stepping that resembles a crab doing a weird sort of mating dance. It's hilarious and adorable. It almost makes me forget the hitting.
I said almost.
You still don't say much. Mama, Dada, dog, uh-oh, bye-bye, night-night, a weird word that means Garrett, tickle (which sounds like tickaticka) and nana. I taught you "more" in sign language and you picked it up really quickly. I'd teach you more words but it's the only one I know. I plan to learn (and teach you) more. Your brother couldn't have cared less about learning sign language but you seem ready and willing to soak it up.
Your voice, when you do say something, and your guttural laugh are very deep. I tell everyone that when you start talking it's going to be the voice of a post pubescent teenager. However, you also let out shrill, high-pitched, cackles so I guess it's anybody's guess.
I cannot believe you're 17 months old. Football season, the season I was so desperate to get to share with you again, is almost upon us. Summer is half gone and your second year of life is nearly so. Thank you for your tight hugs and for wanting me and only me. It drives me nuts at times but I'm thankful that you love me so fiercely. Thank you for your kisses and your smiles and for sharing your life with me.
I love you.