We meander around the backyard. He picks up large branches nearly twice his height and carries them to another part of the yard, assembling them as if for a fort. He is momentarily distracted by a squirrel, and then by a barking neighbour dog. He trips and reaches up for help with a hand out, face covered over by his falling-over hood. He stops, shakes off one mitten, and then pulls the other off, tossing them aside.
18 months is a sweet age, when despite rushing headlong down a hallway he knows to divert course and stop to receive a kiss. He lunges at and hugs the leg of a known adult with both arms. He can say bye, wave, and touch foreheads with a departing family member without fussing, as long as he's being held or sees that someone else will be staying with him.
He's becoming more and more verbal, and I recall, as if I've been through this before, that children are quick to pick up and imitate those around them. He repeats the last syllable of a phrase, mimics the intonation of various exclamations, or interjects his input into silences in conversations. He nods knowingly sometimes when he catches you looking at him. He stares stupefied at the beautifully animated and emotionally rich (!) Tinkerbell & the Lost Treasure movie. When watching TV, he alternately sits in his favourite corner spot on the couch and plays with his feet distractedly, and then moves over to lean on or into me. He stands before closed doors and calls for them to be opened. He greets the fish, attempts to discern the essence of their fishy-ness, and then walks away, tossing out a perfunctory farewell as he leaves. From the bay window, he stands with both hands on the glass, and greets passerby.
Looking at pictures, was he really that different as a newborn, and is he really growing up already?