Everett likes to take clean clothes out of Sophie’s dresser, drag them into his room (quite an accomplishment for a young walker holding something taller than he is), place them into the laundry-hamper, and then grin up at me, proud of his helpfulness. He spent one morning last week helpfully moving all the clean toilet-paper into the toilet, then howling furiously at me when I tried to redirect him to another activity. He likes to put anything he imagines is trash into the trashcan. If it’s plastic, he will put it in the recycling bin. This is brilliant of him, and responsible, although his attempts to tidy up actually create an immense amount of work for me. Soph passed through this obsessive-compulsive toddler phase, too, but I don’t remember her quite so delighted with herself for sorting each thing into what seems to be its proper bin, or quite so furious at me when I gently try to restore the clean diapers to the clean-diaper-box where they actually belong.
At 15 months old, Everett is convinced he knows better than me. He knows that sitting in his car seat is not as much fun as actually clambering around the car, so he will arch his back and wriggle with incredibly savvy strength, often, when I try to buckle him in. Since the carseat rule is particularly consistent, and since I know no phase lasts long, it’s nice to know that this particular behavior won’t last long. I hope.
He likes to cook. He insists on holding at least one spatula whenever I am cooking, and he likes to be perched on my hip for the best view of whatever is simmering on the stove. If I put him down to, say, keep him safe from hot flying grease, he will simply butt his head repeatedly into my legs, trying valiantly to climb the tree of my body. I end up holding him on my hip a lot. He gives friendly nips to my shoulder, because he likes to chew on both me and his blankie. My shoulder is getting bruised.
This all might sound irritating, but it’s done with such good cheer that it’s actually — most of the time — almost adorable.
Here he is, playing with Christmas lights that he really ought to let go of, but how can you chastise such a cherub?
Wherever we go, people keep grinning back at him. Even dogs love him.
When anyone laughs, he will laugh along and usually clap too. He likes to play peekaboo, tottering around the house with his blankie over his head, then grinning out at us. He adores his older sister and will mimic almost anything she does. He likes to dance, spinning in circles. He is getting a slide for Christmas, since he desperately needs something to climb. He has so much energy that it is difficult to read him a book: he’s a busy boy, he’s got clothes to sort and toilet-paper to flush, so we generally only get through a few pages before he’s off on another of his self-appointed tasks. He likes to rearrange all the small trashcans in the house. I’ve started to read to him when he’s confined in the bathtub, just before bed, one of the only times when he is relatively still. He actually asks to go to bed around 6:45 every night. He is a sweet, responsible, obstinate, independent, sociable, delightful boy.