You know, I can totally understand how people wind up with children a little over two years apart. It's this early toddler stage. They're just so delicious and adorable; they still have that baby sweetness and even the meltdowns are cute. But they're also getting more independent and self-entertaining and aren't nearly as much work. I can completely see how you can look at your 16 month old and think, "I could handle another one."
Then, of course, 18-23 months hits and if you're unlucky, you're already pregnant and stuck with morning sickness, a constantly tantrumming, bucking toddler and a feeling of dread because you're not sure you want the kid you already have, let alone another. But 16 month olds? It's easy to want a dozen of them.
James is at that ideal state of sweet and inquisitive. He's at the "he thinks he's people" stage of imitative behavior; he tries to put on his shoes, pretends to comb his hair, chats on the phone and tries to change his baby doll's diaper (well, diapers. Baby requires two diapers for some reason, which I am required to change. A mother's work is never done). He digs happily in his sandbox for a long, long time. He demands books be read over and over again, and then sits and pages through them on his own. He loves dolls and stuffed animals. He also loves the cats, who sadly don't share his devotion. My days feature a lot of "Be gentle with the kitty James. Gentle. Yes, very nice. No, we don't pull the kitty's tail. Yes, gentle. Gentle. GENTLE. GENTLE JAMES, GENTLE! Oh, for God's sake, Sonya, just run away already."
In the visual spatial realm, he can stack cups (although he much prefers knocking them down), correctly order nesting cups and sort shaped blocks into the correct holes of the shape sorter.
His communication skills are coming along very nicely. He's adding new words almost daily: Mama, Daddy, Alec, Katherine, kitty, doggy, egg, duck, dino, peekaboo, hi, hello, thank you, bye, night, uh oh, again, woof, milk, shoe, please, where's James. He just mastered the world's cutest elephant trumpet. He's also remarkably good at getting across complex desires. Recently, for instance, he managed to communicate to me that he wanted to wear his shoes but not his socks.
His walk is still at the "drunken sailor" stage. He's not running, per se, but he can still get up a good speed. He's mastered getting down off the bed feet first. Hilariously, when we started putting him to sleep in a crib recently, he would try to use the same method to get out of it. He still hasn't caught on to the fact that the little matter of the bars on the crib are keeping him inside, no matter how many times his legs go through the bars. He hasn't figured out yet how to apply this technique to going down the stairs, although he's been crawling up the stairs for several months.
James continues to be an excellent eater, happily eating most of what we put in front of him. Despite this, he also continues to be a skinny guy. He continues to be a very very devoted nurser as well. I don't foresee weaning any time in the near future, not with the giant grin he gives me every time I start to lift my shirt. His hair is coming in thicker, but is so blond that it's hard to see. It's also starting to show some curl, albeit in a very wispy way.
And of course, he continues to be absolutely adorable: