I know it’s never quite fair to compare your children, so I’m aware of my parenting phail when I say that Atticus is turning out a little different from Arddun. It seems like such a duh thing to be surprised by — seeing how they are two unique individuals and all — but Tony and I get caught out now and then when Atticus dares to go off the trajectory his older sister took.

Like climbing up on tables before he can walk. Arddun didn’t climb on coffee tables. She didn’t stand in the middle of one and clap her hands after the fact in glee either.

Like hating the taste of fish. And milk.

Like eating more than his sister. I’m not talking comparative portions when they were the same age, I’m talking now when he’s 16 months and she’s almost 5 years old.

Like only eating plastic cheese. And only the orange vintage, smoked one. And maybe some expensive brie.

Like talking a lot. Granted, he’s not using actual words, but he’s always communicating. Finger pointing. Proclaiming. Exclaiming. Pondering aloud. Projecting his voice across the expansive family room. Or claustrophobic shop. Or library. Or church auditorium. During worship.

Like reaching out to the older men in his life and adopting them as his uncles. It starts with an invitation for cuddles, and quickly devolves into controlled-transport-by-emphatic-finger-pointing.

Raymond with Atticus
One of my favourite moments captured on camera.

Like opening cupboards and drawers and sliding doors, and then helping himself to the contents within. Every bleeping day.

Like chewing thoughtfully on paper. Tissues, paper towels, toilet paper, drawing paper, painting paper, printing paper, magazine paper, and mail-drop flyers from earnest local politicians.

Like climbing into doll’s furniture. Such as Arddun’s wooden wagon. Arddun’s wooden doll’s cradle. Arddun’s plastic doll’s cradle. And if he could, Arddun’s toy shopping trolley.

Like getting stuck in aforementioned doll’s furniture.

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Like sticking his legs through his cot rails. And then yelling for help.

Atticus-stuck

Like climbing two flights of stairs unassisted before he can walk.

Like crawling alarmingly faster than some adults can run.

Like not walking.

Until now.

May I present to you proof that Atticus is now officially a Toddler, in that he has finally worked out toddling.

He’s been trying out the walking thing in short, half-hearted spurts for over a month, but after a lovely long weekend at Tuross Heads surrounded by children at least three times older than him, he finally decided to work it out.

So here’s to the next stage, which on Monday included:

  1. sneaking off to practise climbing down the stairs by his lonesome, when I left the room for 15 SECONDS

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2. sliding.

And loving it.

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