Gus is growing and changing and learning SO fast. It feels like he makes these giant leaps in ability and logic almost overnight. I know that isn't true, that all of these things are simmering in the background until the day he puts them together outwardly, but it feels so amazingly out of the blue sometimes. It's exciting to think about the millions of neural connections he's making all the time. (exciting for a geeky girl like me, at least)
He understands so much language and makes these really cool associations. (All animals are in the same category and called "Cat" - except he will say "Dog". All fruit is in the same category and called "App" - apple - but we are working on "Ba" - banana. I told him the other day that the dishwasher was hot. He looked at it, then toddled over and gingerly put his hand on the oven and said "Hot"!) He surprises me with the things he can do, but then again, I'm not surprised one bit. (I can ask him to meet me at the bottom of the stairs and he can navigate them slowly and safely (backwards). I can ask him to pick out socks and he will walk over, open the drawer, stand on his tippy toes, reach in and pull out a pair of socks.) He is independent but still craves snuggles. (At the park, he'll climb up the play structure on his own, run across the bridge, go down the slide or stairs, and then run over and give me a hug. So adorable and makes my heart melt.)
Of course, it's not all easy and fun stuff. He definitely has his opinions about what he wants and doesn't want, and they grow stronger everyday as we hurtle decidedly into toddlerhood. And sure, in the middle of a struggle to get his shoes on or to stop him from pulling on the cat or to keep him from throwing food - enter any boundary here - it's a little harder to be jazzed about how much he's growing. But stepping back, it's amazing to see that he is really coming into himself and growing into an independent and mostly happy kid. (Feel free to remind me I've said this when I have smoke coming out of my ears during a "mommy time-out" mid-tantrum)
I don't want to squelch that. That independence, that confidence. So even though it is extremely, extremely difficult sometimes (Oh, I'll definitely screw it up. Lots.), I'm committed to being as mindful as I can be of him as a person in making boundaries lovingly. Not punishing him for doing what he was born to do and being who he was born to be. Not crushing that bright, self-assured, jubilant spirit of his. And hopefully in so doing, I can grow by leaps and bounds too.