Just so I don't forget, I wanted to note down the stats from Asher's 18 month check. He's 11.1kg and 81cms, which is roughly the 25th percentile for both weight and height. He's been on that percentile band since he was quite little (born below the 5th percentile for weight, but made it up pretty quickly). He's doing all the things he's meant to be doing - they say that kids of this age should have a few words and be able to point to at least one body part when you prompt them (Asher can identify more than 12 body parts and can say the word for at least 10. Very irritating early in the morning on the rare occasions he gets into bed with us and he lies next to me saying 'nose' or 'ear' and probing his tiny finger deep into the appropriate orifice). He is running and climbing like a little monkey, and his tantrums are getting more persistent by the week.
When Sanjay and I fist talked about having kids it was always in the plural. Neither of us liked the idea of having a one child family and I always thought two relatively close together would be good - either eighteen months apart or two and a bit years. Then, minutes after Asher was born the obstetrician told me 'that was easy' and asked if I was going to have another one soon. I looked at him in disbelief and said to the as-yet-unnamed baby Asher 'Baby, tell daddy you want an adopted sibling' and that was that for a while. When Asher was getting close to 9 months old Sanjay and I agreed that we didn't want two babies really close together and at that time we decided to wait until Asher was 18 months old and then revisit the question - probably starting to try for number two at that time.
Now Asher is 18 months and I'm more reluctant than ever to start trying for a second child. Asher is a good kid. and a comparatively easy toddler I suspect, but he's still a young toddler and all toddlers are hard going. I can't imagine my life with a baby and a toddler, and when I try to picture it it looks like the stuff of my worst nightmares. This is even more true because I've never learned to drive and I don't have a license. Newborn and reluctant toddler to the supermarket and then walking home with the groceries? I think not. Outing to the beach and then home on the bus with a tired fractious toddler and a newborn? No way! Even the most car dependant of my parent-friends say getting two kids organised and into the car is hard work and I reckon that without a car I'd be stuck at home a lot of the time, and my mental health suffers if I'm not out and about a fair bit.
So, despite Sanjay's enthusiasm and the fact Asher just ADORES babies I have used my power of veto and we aren't planning on expanding our family anytime soon. In lieu of am actual baby I got a doll for Asher, which he loves like the little brother he may never have. He's never shown any interest in having a particular toy in his cot, but now he insists on going to bed with his 'baby' (which I've dressed in an outfit that was to big for the newborn Asher) and he won't let any of the other little kids touch the doll. I'm thinking that a doll is the ideal quiet and indestructible baby replacement but Sanjay watches how Asher loves the doll and thinks how much cuter the pictures would be with a real live sibling.
I've taken the first step in learning to drive (I have my learner license and have shortlisted driving schools) and when I'm some way towards being a driver we'll revisit the whole question. Again.
The behavioural changes are a little more subtle. He throws more tantrums when he doesn't get what he wants, and the tantrums are more fierce. On the flip side he's a bit less clingy to Sanjay and I and is happier spending time with his grandparents and uncles and aunties. Sanjay's parents in particular seem to be getting so much joy out of the fact that he is now keen to play with them.
The eating thing is getting a bit easier for us too - we are getting more comfortable letting him choose not to eat - he still seems to sleep fine and he would eat if he was hungry. I realise that this is us getting our heads around it better, not really a change in him, but I've always known Asher's fussy eating is a problem for us rather than for him. Hopefully it will get even easier as the three of us work out exactly what is going to work for our little family.
Anyhow, happy new year to everyone, and I hope it brings peace and contentment.