When Hooper turned one, I wondered if it was still appropriate to refer to him as my baby. He didn’t seem quite like the fully dependent infant I brought home from the hospital, but he still seemed far from the fiercely independent toddler.
I’ve been referring to Hooper as a toddler for a while now. In hindsight, I think I became comfortable with the label when Van came along and became the true baby of the house.
But then something happened, and for the first time ever, I one hundred percent knew he is, indeed, a full blown toddler. It happened in Palm Springs when he fell asleep on the bed within the first ten minutes of coming in for the day from the pool. You see, Willy and I always wondered when it would happen. And by “it”, I’m referring to the fall-asleep-anywhere-because-I’m-all-outta-gas phenomenon. We’ve seen the pictures of toddlers falling asleep during dinner with their faces submerged in their spaghetti or the infamous toddler asleep in the stroller. But this has never been Hooper. And it’s not because he isn’t a good sleeper, he is. But he’s never been one to fall asleep anywhere other than his bed or playpen.
I watched his head bob back and forth as the rest of us moved about in the room. Van whined, Sarah played about, and Hooper slept. Hard.
True toddlerhood. He feeds himself. He uses the toilet. And he conks out after a day spent in the pool. I suppose we’ll transition from toddler to kid when he stops sucking on those two fingers and can put on his own shoes and socks. Until then, I’m savoring the toddler stage.