A Valentine list for Finn, aged 16 months, 5 days

I love it when you do silly things to try to make us laugh.

I love it when you laugh about something, and we don’t get it.

I love it when you practice your scowl for fun and then crack up afterwards.

I love the fact that last month, I lost count of how many words you knew one day after I decided to try to keep track.

I love the way you say yellow, adding a few more syllables and some extra Ls, and eliminating the Y altogether.

I love the fact that Daddy and I have to spell words these days when we want to keep you from understanding us.

I love that you love tofu, and call it “fufu.”

I love to watch you try to eat with a fork.

I love that you call it a gork.

I love that you’re not only learning words, but teaching some, too.

I love it when I think you’re asleep in my arms, but then you surprise me in the quiet darkness by saying “eyes,” and poking me in the eye.

I love it when you pick and eat basil, beet greens, and lettuce straight out of the garden.

I love the fact that I can get you to eat almost anything green by telling you it came from the garden.

I love watching you dance to everything, from classical to a hard bass line.

I love it when you bounce to silence to tell us you want us to put on some music.

I love to watch you flip through books on your own, and stop and stare at certain pages for reasons I don’t understand.

I love that you excitedly exclaim “moon!” when you see anything with a crescent shape.

I love it when you wake up, and instead of crying, immediately ask “puff?” or “nana?”– wanting a snack.

I love how you’re starting to play imaginary games with sound effects, pretending one thing is something else.

I love watching you squint into the sun.

I love that you love pointing out belly-buttons.

I love the single curl of hair in the back of your head.

I love your version of a cat sound.

I love the way that you still give baby parrot kisses, with the tip of your tongue.

I love that I love you, even when I’m having a hard time finding anything to like in the world.

I love it when you look at me.

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