Pretty sure that the last time I wrote a post dedicated solely to Jude it was his birth story. John and I have joked that Jude gets all the leftovers, but it is kind of true. I got pregnant with Jude just as Sophia was very sick and eventually diagnosed with asthma, all of which ended up taking the priority while I was pregnant. Then ever since he was born Sophia has still tended to abscond with the lion's share of energy expended in the Libby household.
But the Judester is almost two now, and this little guy is coming into his own! And I have realized anew that I am just not really fond of the baby stage, but love the baby-transforming-into-toddler stage. Jude is a walking-talking marvel that makes me laugh everyday, and just as often surprises me with his new antics.
The kid has always been a babbler, but now the babble is morphing into actual language. I'm not big on counting words, but he is moving into that place of having new words every day. "Bushhh" has turned into a coherent "please," and he says that as well as "bye" and "(good) night" on his own. He asks for his water when he wants it, and has been making it abundantly clear that he understands everything I say . . . though obedience is a little more hit and miss. Fun to see his little brain working away to come up with the right words!
Jude's latest obsession cracks me up. He is all about unloading the dishwasher. We have our routine down . . . Sophia pulls a chair up to the silverware drawer, Jude grabs a few utensils at a time and trundles them to "Sisa" to put away, while I race to put away anything breakable before Jude finishes silverware and moves onto dishes. The tricky part is loading the dishwasher, because Jude just wants to empty it. So I have learned to quietly speed-load when he is not in the room, otherwise he gets all the dirty dishes back out as I put them in . . . heaven forbid I make any noise, or he will dash into the room to "help."
The Cuddler is aptly nicknamed. These days our bedtime routine includes a little "cuddow" time while we read Bible stories. Jude insists on blankets pulled up over him and Sisa, tucking them in just so. In go the two fingers he has sucked on since birth, and he lies there with a big satisfied grin on his face. During the day I am never surprised when I walk into the living room and see Jude snuggled up on the floor or couch with a blanket half pulled up over him, fingers in place and a big proud "Look what I did!" grin in place when I find him.
Of course, as much as he loves to cuddle with his sister or by himself, having Mama or Dada there is an extra bonus that sends Jude running for the bookshelf. We have to read FAST to get the whole book in, as Jude's attention span for each page is about two seconds long. And there is no point in trying to pick out a book yourself, because he is all about reading what he wants, when he wants, period.
Even if I wanted to push Sophia's bedtime back and let her stay up a little later than Jude (and I don't), I couldn't. Jude hangs onto the side rails of his crib hollering for "SISA!" while she finishes getting ready for bed. No shutting the bedroom door without his beloved Sophia in the room, unless we are looking for an epic meltdown. She dotes on him in return, letting him borrow from her stash of stuffed animals each night. "I think Jude wants to borrow Tinker Bell/Clifford/Teddy tonight."
I have finally put the rest of the baby toys (rattles and teethers and such) in a bag in the basement, because Jude has clearly moved on. If Sophia is coloring or playing with play dough, so is Buddy Boy. We could change that song's lyrics to "Anything you can do I can do . . . with you," instead of ". . . better."
Sophia is all about dress ups, so of course Jude is too. He insists on wearing the pink puppy dog hat along with his man-bling, with a tutu added in for good measure. Seriously need to get this kid some manly dress ups. Maybe it's time to find a brown blanket to make a puppy dog costume out of . . .
Jude is much more adventuresome with his eating than his sister. Which honestly doesn't mean much, because she is so picky, but unlike her he will do spicy. A couple weeks ago I made a spicy lentil soup with a jalapeno pepper, and Jude ate two huge servings, all the while writhing, crying, and attempting to climb out of his seat. I tried taking his bowl away, but then he melted down so I gave it back, at which point he continued to shovel the soup in, writhing away after each spicy bite. I laughed the whole time, which Sophia thought was mean, but I couldn't help it. He would literally put a bite in his mouth, and then turn around backward, shaking his head and trying to stand up while chewing. Swallow, repeat. Two bowlfulls! Every few bites I told him to drink some milk or eat some bread, and he would grab his zippy cup and chug like his life depended on it, then dive back into the soup.
Jude's other big obsession is shoes. When he knows we are headed out, he grabs me my shoes, and if they aren't the ones I wanted to wear he puts them back in the front hall and gets the right ones. "Cinderella shoes, buddy." "Oh . . . " Back he comes with my clear plastic jellies! He can pull his crocs on by himself, and is never happy in the morning until he has a pair of shoes on. If he puts then on the wrong feet I just have to tell him "Wrong feet, buddy" and he switches them right away.
I guess Jude has a few things he is pretty crazy about, because at the same time he is searching for his shoes in the morning, he is usually shouting "ou-side!" and going for the door. The poor kid cries like I've kicked his dog when I have to tell him no. "Jude, it is 7 a.m. and we need to have breakfast. We can't go outside yet." "WAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OU-SIDE! OU-SIDE!" About then Sophia pipes up, "Jude's having a hard time."
There are so many people I know who have just had babies, and I guess that is the litmus test for if we will have a number three . . . every time I hold one of those cute little guys I find myself being SO GLAD to be out of the baby stage (all of them are so cute and adorable and lovely and I'm thrilled for you, and I enjoy the holding and handing back of said babies!) . . . grateful that we survived it in one piece, and so much more truly enjoying now with my Cuddler and Snuggler!