To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 18 months old.
You wake up at 7:30 and head downstairs for a typical breakfast of wheat bread, a banana, and a small wheel of cheese. Dad and I sit with you and chat over coffee and the paper, then Dad helps you dress while I get Paul up. You spot your cape from the Child Development Center’s open house a couple of weeks ago and decide to put it on.
You climb onto the little stool at my feet and cuddle up to the baby and I while he nurses. While the rest of us get dressed, you romp around on our bed and then tear around the upstairs with your toothbrush in one hand, a tube from my breast pump in the other, and your cape flying behind you.
We buckle Paul in his carseat (he is headed to the pediatrician this morning for his 2-month check up after we drop you off at school), and you squat down beside him and pet his head while you suck your thumb. Then we load up in two cars; you ride with me.
Your drop-off is more harrowing than usual. I’m not usually the one to take you to school, and I think the change upsets you. I leave you wailing in sweet Ms. Maricela’s arms. She loves that you’ve worn your cape, which I suspect she made.
You play on the playground in the beautiful cool weather and come inside for lunch and circle time, where you’ve been learning names for parts of the body, animals and the noises they make, and colors, which you’re not so good at yet. The afternoon is more playing, indoors and out, and Charly picks you up at 4:30. We’ve been sliding this later into the afternoon as she begins to help out more with Paul, and you are not a fan of the change. You used to be the first one picked up every day, and you’re distressed each time another kid leaves before you.
You and I hang out while Charly keeps an eye on Paul. In the backyard, you pick up the hose and suggest we water the bushes; then you swing in the hammock and play the wind chimes. Back inside, you remove both of my shoes and run around with them triumphantly.
Dad gets home, and I head out for a meeting. You watch dinner prep from your new stool, fire-engine red, that boosts you to counter-height, and tease Dad and Charly by putting the ends of markers into your mouth and then laughing about it. You think this is hilarious. Dinner is mushroom and goat cheese quesadilla, black beans, and vegetables; you eat all but the vegetables. At 6:30, Paul wakes up, and Charly gives him a bottle while Dad takes you up for your bath. You insist on staying in the tub now until all the water is drained, so you can smear the last bit around the bottom of the tub.
Clean and sleepy at 7, you accept a reading of Goodnight Moon. This selection has been problematic lately, probably because you associate it so strongly with bedtime, so I often read you something else—but Dad’s a purist. Then your lullaby, and goodnight.
P.S. This was one year ago: