You're almost 15 months old, little guy. I'm sorry I haven't written about you more. You came at an interesting time in my emotional life and, well, I just don't blog anymore, do I? I promise you my lack of blogging isn't a sign of any lack of affection on my part for you. For every moment I didn't blog I spent a thousand more just staring at you with my heart in my eyes, fully feeling the bliss of knowing you and having you near. I have enjoyed you exceedingly, every day. But today I'm making a point of sitting down and writing about you and a few of the special things I will want to remember later.
Do you know we called you Ollie Bird for the longest time after you were born? Now it's a mix of Ollie Bear and Oliverito. And of course plain old Ollie.
I used to say, "Pobrecito!" whenever you cried and your brother thought I was saying, "Poor besito!" so he would say that to you.
You love, and I mean looove.. balls. When you were a few months old you started crawling and we took you to a picnic at a park. There were some kids there playing soccer and you took off with your newfound crawl after that ball and we kept having to pick you up and bring you back. You've been obsessed with balls ever since.
You think it's super fun to be used as a "human weapon." I pick you up and face you out and chase your brothers around the house with you. When we get to them I use your little body to fling kicks at them and knock them over, and when they're down you get on top of them and spasm victoriously. Whenever we play this game you immediately get a huge, giddy smile on your face and pump your arms up and down in sheer excitement while we chase your brothers.
It seemed to take you a long time before you would agree to take naps in your crib instead of wanting to stay with me/on me. But eventually you did. And then after a while (around 9 months) you would wake up during the night and instead of nursing quietly you would just fuss, like it bothered you to be there with me when we weren't attached somehow. So I started putting you in your own bed to sleep. You were still beside me, but that's when we started sleeping separately for the first time. Now you've only just recently begun sleeping through the night more consistently. Not every night, but enough nights to make it feel real. I'm pretty pleased about that!
You don't like loud sounds. They make you very nervous and scared. You've been trying to escape out of any open door from the moment you could propel yourself into motion, but one time I sat the vacuum out by the back door and for a whole day even when the door was open and I was working outside you wouldn't dare cross the threshold to go outside because SCARY VACUUM THAT MAKES SCARY SOUNDS. I finally moved it and you were freed from your prison of fear.
You make a really intense scrunchy face when you're walking around outside. I think it's part excitement, part lack of sunglasses. That Texas sun, man, it'll get ya.
Oh, your walk. It is just the cutest. You started walking on Valentine's Day, the day you also started kissing. Before then you only took a rare tentative step towards the toilet from the tub, and rarely gave out kisses. If I asked you for a kiss you were more likely to slap me in the face than oblige. But on Valentine's Day I left you with Aunt Louise so I could go help host a party for Phinny's class. When I went back to get you you were SO happy to see me that you wouldn't stop kissing me. That night your dad came home from being gone a couple of days and he got the same treatment. Lots of lovely kisses, over and over. Then when he set you down to do something, you whined for him until the whining wasn't enough and you moved off the couch and walked right to him. We were amazed and so excited.
You're a daddy's boy. There's something about your dad that fascinates you and draws you like a magnet. When you see him in bed in the morning you just laugh, knowing he's there. He doesn't even have to be awake. You adore him. One of your favorite things in life is when the whole family is home. You walk around the house squealing like a happy hyena.
You try to run away from me often when I call you. You're still so little that it's cute. Especially because you can't even run. Your walk is a bit clumsy still, so your attempts at speed are downright ridiculous. They make me laugh.
I guess I had better get to bed now. The house is asleep and I keep yawning. I just.... really.... could go on and on. You bring so much to our family. To quote your daddy, "It's so fun having our own personal baby." and Duncan, "I'm so in love with Oliver!"
Sometimes I look at your perfect smallness and I wonder, how is this even real? How is this precious creature really mine? Having you in my life feels like having my cake and eating it too, like having a bird in my hand and two birds from the bush, like getting close and getting the cigar, like making my bed and laying in it and discovering it's the coziest spot in the world. I don't know if all that made sense, but it's okay if it doesn't, because you don't either. You're nonsensically delightful. (And it's late.)
Thank you for bringing such sparkle to our lives, Mr. Manchild.