Ethan is almost two and this is becoming more apparent each day. He's suddenly less of a baby and more of a child with opinions on what he wants to eat (or doesn't), what he wants to wear (or doesn't) and where he wants to go (and definitely where he doesn't). He effortlessly strings together words just for the sake of conversation, like earlier this morning when we sat on a bench outside of Jamba Juice and he pointed to the car rolling too quickly through the parking lot: "Big blue car drive! Noise! Beep beep!" Or how he proudly declares "Ethan big boy!" when he wakes up in the morning or at naptime. Along with this new ability to communicate verbally with us is Ethan's newly discovered love for sleep. Yes, I said sleep. It seems my days of complaining about exhaustion and my desperate need for espresso have been replaced by fabulous, uninterrupted nights of sleep and two hour naps every afternoon. Thank you, big boy bed.
The weather here has been undeniably gorgeous, the perfect amount of breeze rolling in to counteract the start of this brutal Florida heat. We've spent the past few afternoons at the splash pad at one of our favorite parks. The weather has been just perfect and we make it home just in time to prepare dinner -- another task that has gotten strangely easier with time. It's become an even mix of Ethan happy to help with the dinner preparations or him being content to lay on the couch and flip through books while I quickly throw something in the oven.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is, I love this age. I've previously declared this same thing each month of Ethan's life since his birth, but there's something about this current stage of toddlerhood that makes me feel like we've fallen into this sweet little groove together. Our days are full and spent together, a little person walking alongside me with his hand in mine where a fragile baby used to be carried in my arms. Our days are full and sweet and I am loving every exhaustive minute, every "wuv you." Every horrendous tantrum, each battle of wills -- on the floor at Starbucks, in the stroller at the park -- they're all evidence that time is passing so very quickly.
Just this afternoon, we were on our way to the park, halfway down the driveway when Ethan realized we left his hat inside the house. "Sunny," he said, pointing to the sky and then to his head. "No booboo. Hat." It wasn't just that he remembered how I tell him we wear a hat when it's sunny so he doesn't get a sunburn, but he understood. I opened the front door and watched as he ran inside, scooped up his favorite Shaun White hat and ran back outside while pulling it onto his head. "Hat! Ethan! Go park." It was one of those moments that I swore I could feel my heart swelling with pride, with love, with astonishment that this was the same chubby, swollen newborn that we brought home from the hospital almost two years ago. He's a child now, almost all signs of baby having disappeared somehow, someway.
And how full these days are, how busy I am breathing them all in, savoring every moment before these times, too, pass.