At 22 months, I now say, "He'll be 2 in July," when friendly folks inquire about your age.
(And yes, they still immediately reply with a stunned, "Wow! He's so tall!") Here's a snapshot of you at this age:
You are both violent and tender. When things don't go your way, you sometimes pummel Daddy and me with slaps - the only way you currently know how to get your frustration heard. Yet between the tantrums, I have never met a more loving little boy. You bless everything with your kisses - stuffed animals, trains, the doggie, this tortoise statue at the zoo (see above), and best of all, us! You still don't pucker up and smooch, it's a wet and open-mouthed kiss with a snuggle attached.
You are both strong and gentle. We were amazed to see you successfully pull 3 of your toddler friends in your wagon, albeit only for a few feet. But now you can also gently touch a flower, lace wooden beads on a string, and slice a banana with a butter knife.
You are both clingy and independent. A new place or an unfamiliar face sends you zooming to me at cheetah-like speed, then you proceed to fasten your limbs tightly around my body. Sometimes setting you down feels more like peeling off a frightened octopus. The doorbell especially sends you shrieking in terror. But when you're at home in your element, you run laughing away from me. You wave me away when I try to play with you, wanting me only to be near, not to help.
You have mastered the art of constant motion. You run, climb, jump, dance, wiggle, and spin until you literally drop in your crib. You start swim lessons next month, and I think you'll love to learn another way to move your body. You cannot bear to stop playing for something as mundane as a diaper change.
You love your red umbrella and like to wander around the yard with it held proudly high, the sky blue and the sun shining hot overhead.
Your conversation skills grow a little each day. I love that you join in conversations and songs with your own little Nugget language. Although we both wish I could understand you fully, I treasure this sweet babbling. I know it will be gone in a blink of an eye.
You are so thirsty for knowledge. You want the same books read over and over again so you can start to understand and recite them. You are constantly asking, "What's that?" You are so proud and eager to show off when you can name something with a sign or a word.
You want to help in every way. I have put you to work wiping your high chair tray, picking up your toys, turning off the TV after your video, "sweeping" the floors, pouring yourself a cup of water, feeding the dog. It's all a game for now, and I'll enjoy the way you enjoy it and try to stretch that out as long as it can last.
Every month, I feel as if this parenting thing could not possibly get any harder. And I always think I could not possibly grow to love you any more. And every month of your life, you are proving me wrong. I am both terrified and delighted for the month ahead.