Dominic's second birthday is here! It seems so strange because his first birthday feels like it was just yesterday but at the same time it feels like it was soooo long ago. His transformation and growth this year have been amazing and wonderful to watch.
A year ago, he was an unsteady walker and barley said three words. Now, he can run and jump, climb up and down the stairs unassisted, throw and kick a ball, he chatters at us all the time, and can hold a conversation. Never again will he develop this much in such a short time and it makes me sad. It's been a fun and trying time watching him grown and change. It is amazing to see how much a little baby develops in just 2 short years!
The physical differences and changes have been the most fun to watch. Seeing him run around in circles, walking up and down stairs unassisted, chasing other kids at play-group, and climbing all over the play ground equipment by himself is fun - he's always so happy and cheerful when he's playing. Watching him smile and giggle at himself and the things he does is so wonderful. His laugh is still one of the best sounds in the world to me! =)
The mental differences and changes have been the most rewarding to watch. Going from saying a few words to holding conversations with us has been amazing (and one of the most frustrating) times for us. For most of the year he was behind verbally - at his 18 month exam the doctor was concerned because he only had about 10 words and half of those were in sign language. We waited three months to see if he made any improvements on his own since many boys are slow to learn language and by our extra consult in October he had improved enough to still be concerned but to no longer be worried about a speech development issue. Then November came and something just turned on in his brain - it was a few days after Halloween and suddenly he was chatting up a storm with new words every day. I have no idea what happened but in three weeks he tripled his vocabulary and started speaking in sentences. In the six weeks, he's continued to say at least one new word a day and has tripled his vocabulary again. Of course, he doesn't speak well and has all the normal toddler speech issues (saying "nana" for banana or "tat" for cat). It's so strange to think the conversations I have with him now weren't happening two months ago.
Watching him pretend has been awesome too. He LOVES to pretend to cook - he has a few kid sized pots and pans and a bunch of old kitchen stuff (measuring cups, bowls, tupperware, etc) that he gets out and he'll pour and mix and put in a pot then stir it up and serve it to us. My favorite is when he "makes" tea for me - he'll have me cup my hand and then pour from the tea from his thumb, stir in the sugar, and then have me drink it. And, he always makes some to share with the cats - so sweet. Now, if only we could get him to share with another child we'll have no really problems in the next year!
My favorite memory of the year happened just last night and I will treasure it always. I was putting him to bed and reading him his nightly story book when he looked up at me smiled and said "Mommy love you" (Mommy wuv wu). It made my heart melt! I know 2011 will be amazing and fun (and difficult) with my little boy. =)