Bramble, twenty months

Goodness, how I have longed to write here. For weeks. How long has it been? It feels like weeks. I have lots to report (our first romantic overnight, our fourteen-weeks-along Dragon, my job search), but today, all I can think about is our sweet boy child, who is well on his way from twenty to twenty-one months. So this post is for him. Everything else can follow.

  • Bram continues to be deliciously sweet, though his love for the word “no,” (despite rarely having heard it) is not small. It’s too dear to be frustrating, though, as it’s all just to see if he has any control. He’ll often say “no” to something he wants just to see if he can, and then he’ll pursue that something immediately after turning it down. It’s sweet to see the wheels of his autonomy at work.
  • In addition to “icks” (sticks) and “ocks” (rocks), Bram’s favorite things include Iris, ducks and duck ponds, hats, dance class (which he started two weeks ago), pomegranate seeds (which my mother alone is patient enough to harvest for him, all the while explaining the length of the pomegranate season and the spectrum of flavors), photos of old trains/train tracks/stations, trash trucks, books, “ips!” (tortilla chips), bugs (whom he always greets with both a joyful “hi!” and a slightly morose “bye,” no matter how brief the encounter), and photos of snowmen (whom he calls “mahn” while pointing outside, and who come up every. single. time. he sees or hears reference to snow, or winter, or sometimes the outside in general. The baby, he is ready for snow.
  • He somehow knows all of our full names, despite never having been taught them. Hearing him answer that “Abram Adrien G” is “Bram!” is almost too darling to bear.
  • He has a bed. A small toddler frame in his own room, so low to the ground that he can practically just hurl his body onto it, which he has done several times since I set it up yesterday. He slept there from 8:30 to midnight last night. He seems… interested and open but emotionally overwhelmed by all this must mean: a wall between us. A bed of his own. I don’t know how to sew, but I’ve decided to make him a quilt in the next month or so, you know, in my spare time. I need to have offered something that will lay across him as he sleeps. Something that isn’t one of our arms pulling him close. A proxy. I’m not sure how much of the night he’ll sleep there at first, but I’m hopeful that by the time Dragon comes, it will be close to the whole thing. J and I both sense that we often wake him in the night, so hopefully those walls will serve him. And I know she needs to nurse less at night. It is not for the faint, this being pregnant while nursing. My love, she’s tired. But mostly: it felt like time. We are big believers in waiting all things out. We weren’t in a hurry. But I think he was ready for at least this space, however much (or little) he uses it. So near to two that it’s hard to believe.
  • He can count to ten, though he falls apart around five and seven, usually just filling in the space with mumbled syllables. We LOVE counting things together. Three is a favorite. The other day, he woke up in the night saying it. THREE. THREE. Oh to understand the content of his thoughts, though I also love that those are just his.
  • He knows about a third of the letters in the alphabet by sound. And he knows that “B” is for Bram, “P” is for Pomo, and “M” is for Mama. He can also usually identify black, pink, blue, red, green, and white.
  • He is aggressive, so we’re definitely dealing with our share of hitting. Good-natured hitting (with a smile on his face, and often a laugh), but that doesn’t make it feel any better. Still, just between us, he does this thing that is so cute it makes it hard to be upset. He’s so used to us redirecting him (saying, “bug, no. Touch us (or Iris or whoever) soooftly and sweeeeetly”) that he goes straight from hitting you somewhere to smooching you there. It buys him penance for now. Neither one of us can resist it, and for Iris’s part, she seems to have accepted him as a brother. She will tolerate anything just to be near him.
  • I have no illusions about the process, but he’s giving us signs that he’s ready to potty train: interest in sitting on the potty, wanting (for the first time) to be changed immediately when he poops, being aware that/when he’s peeing. I think we’ll start this weekend. Any tips would be utterly welcome. We are not in any hurry, but if we could keep things trauma free (for all of us) that would be nice.
  • He loves to talk when he’s with just us (and I swear it seems like he just suddenly knows all the words), but he gets shy around others: quiet and watchful. It’s something I’m starting to really appreciate about him. But I also love his new-found language skills. That he can ask me to rub his back, or ask for “help. mama. pease” when his Legos won’t come apart. That he can tell us he’d rather go to the park than the playground. That he says “home!” when we pull into the driveway.

There’s so much more, of course, but I’m out of time, so there it is: our delicious son at twenty months.

Love to you all, and the happiest of Octobers.

bram and iris


5 thoughts on “Bramble, twenty months

  1. Oh, what a fun age that is. So much to discover and wonder at (both for you and for B).
    Good luck with the quilt. I made one for Owen when he was about that age (the first and only one I have made so far). I didn’t piece it together (I machine stitched stripes of different colored threads and used tons of painters tape and the floor boards to line them up) and then hand stitched the back side of the binding. It was enough effort and turned out beautifully. I am so glad he has it. Now, if I could just get around to making another….

    Has Bram seen “The Snowman” movie? The one with just music and lovely pictures? It is based on a book, but the movie is worth seeing.

    It sounds like you are handling his moves toward independence with great grace, though if you find yourself saying “don’t do….” a lot (as I did), I found it helpful to turn it around. Instead of “don’t hit the table with the fork” I would say “forks are for eating, not for hitting the table.” Maybe you already have this figured out, but it seemed like a huge epiphany for me to turn the phrases to begin with the positive rather than the negative (hands are for holding, not for smacking, doors are for closing, not for slamming, books are for reading, not for standing on. etc.). The whole tenor of our conversations changed and both kids responded well to it.

    It sounds like you have yourselves a beautiful and clever little boy :)

  2. So much sweetness in one post. It take a special, special set of parents to find sweetness even in hitting. You three (four) are a special bunch. I wish you and Bram all so much peace in figuring out the bed. It must feel somewhat strange.

    It is good. So very good to hear all these things about your guy. Give him a squeeze for me!

  3. We also just recently did the bed transition, for many of the reasons you mentioned above. It was (is) hard but we are all sleeping better at night, and I truly believe it is better for him and that he was ready. Sounds like Bram is in the same boat, but I do understand the nervousness of those first few nights apart! “just across the hall” feels like miles! Hugs, mama. You and he will find your nighttime rhythms!

  4. He is oh so very delicious and sweet. Every photo you post of him, he just looks so peaceful and loved and happy. Really. Congrats on the milestone! Can’t believe he’s moving towards two. Nothing marks the passage of time like children growing, I swear.

  5. What a darling. And what a lot of growth! It’s lovely, but it does happen so fast.
    I don’t know if i your goal is to be completely diaper-free anytime soon, but my suggestion with the potty would be to keep the diapers but let him sit on the potty at regular periods –upon waking up, before/after meals, etc. It worked (fairly) well for The Bean. I mean, he’s 2.75 and is pretty much using the potty/toilet all the time* with very few accidents. (*Not overnight, but he is often dry upon waking, so it’s probably more an issue of US being ready at this point.)

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