Six of one, half a dozen of the other

I’m not a big fan of memes. Sure, I’ll play along, that’s fine. But there are lots of people who participate in three or four memes a week—or a day. It’s like that’s all they ever post.

I, on the other hand, like to do my own thing. Like start memes. I’ll call it “six of one, half a dozen of the other.”

Six of the Worst Things about “This Age”
Screaming. Hayden babbles a lot, but still can’t talk. So when he wants something (even just attention), he screams.
Late-onset separation anxiety. He hates me to leave him alone (unless he’s preoccupied with something else). Even if he’s playing with Daddy and I’m in our room, Hayden knows where I am and walks back to my room to get me, bawling if he can’t have his mom.
More nighttime sleep problems. Yeah. ’nuff said. It’s not so bad. Just a little rough at the time.
I DO IT MYSELF! This applies mostly to feeding himself. He’s quite insistent (c.f. ‘screaming,’ above).
Nap strikes. Some days it takes up to 90 minutes to get him down for a nap. Other days, he absolutely refuses to go down for a second nap. Either of these can make him overtired, and subject to more nighttime sleep problems (again, see above).
Diaper change strikes. Rolling, screaming, arching his back—our once docile boy won’t have his diaper changed unless he has a toy in his hands. Not just any toy. A good one.

Half a Dozen of the Best Things about “This Age”
Independence. I don’t have to constantly entertain him, nurse him, or hold him. I may have to wrangle him a lot more, but I can also put him in his high chair with some finger food and he’ll be set.
Toddling. You have to admit that there’s not much cuter than a little kid who’s just learning to walk, still a little bit unsteady on his feet, fully living up to the “toddler” label.
The Gusto. Everything Hayden does, he does it wholeheartedly. Whether he’s playing with a ball or screaming for it (cf ‘screaming,’ above), he’s entirely and unabashedly consumed by his activity.
Intelligence & Curiosity. Hayden loves to explore just about everything. He’ll pull things out from under the couch, find the smallest things in the strangest places and play with just about anything (once he’s tasted it, of course).
The Occasional Syllables. Every once in a while, Hayden gets a “mam” or “mama” (or “dad”/”dada”) at the right time. Each time he puts those sounds together while looking at us is enough to make us smile; paired with the last item on my list, it melts our hearts:
Affection. Sometimes, Haydie will be playing nearby and for no apparent reason, he’ll come over to me and rest his head in my lap or on my shoulder. He’ll pat my back while I hold him. This is pretty much my favorite.

There are challenges at every age. I’m looking forward to the time when Hayden will be able to talk to us and tell us what he wants without screaming, but I’ll take Hayden’s abounding (and bouncing) excitement upon seeing me every time he wakes up for as long as I can get it.