Dio has just gone to bed, so the house is quiet. I enjoy being with my children, but I also relish--without any guilt--the quiet time in the evenings. Dio is so easy to put to sleep. For both naps and bedtime, we sit on the bed and hold him in our arms (if it's me, I'll nurse him for a minute or two, then cuddle). He snuggles his sock monkey. Once he's either sleeping or really relaxed, we lay him down in his crib on his side or stomach. At night, he'll stand up and fuss for a few seconds when I leave the room. Then he lays himself back down and he's out. It's the blessing of a second child, I think. Dio has had to learn how to go to sleep on his own because I couldn't always be there to nurse them all the way to sleep, every single time, like I did for Zari.
Over the past several months, I've noticed less screaming and shrieking from Dio. In part, Zari is learning (slowly) not to torment him as much. And he's more verbal; he can now say what he wants instead of just making lots of noise. This is the real payback time for me; my children enjoy playing together and my role as referee is winding down.
On the other hand, he's getting more and more attitude. Some of the things he does--pouting, throwing things down on the floor in a huff--are perfect mimics of Zari. I can see him purposely forcing or exaggerating his emotions, rather than just purely reacting to a situation. If he were someone else's kid, his attitude would drive me crazy. Luckily I'm his parent so I find it endearing as well as annoying.
Dio loves putting on shoes and socks, carrying random objects around like beads or pom pom balls, talking on the phone (in which I prompt him to say a list of words--dog, cat, shoes, cracker, cheese, ball, etc.--until he announces, "done!"), watching airplanes and squirrels and cats, looking at babies, chasing Zari around the house, and eating. Seriously, he sometimes eats more than I do! He isn't so fond of going potty lately.
I'm not sure what to call Dio at this stage. At 18 months, he's definitely not a baby, but toddler still seems too old...