I want to always remember the time you were eighteen months. I know in years to come I won't look back and dwell on the long hard nights of us helping you sleep, braving time zone changes and molar teething, or the frustrations of letting you know healthy boundaries and gentleness, soft speech, patience (things you never stop learning, actually). And even if I do remember those days when I felt like a failure, or at least when I felt so disorganised, distracted, ill-equipped and teary to be a mother of a toddler - they are not the whole picture, or even a tiny bit of life with you... I will look back and see those long and oft-admired coppery curls, those cheeky grins of yours, smiling eyes that look directly into mine; the chattering and playing in the jungle-garden by yourself; singing into the harmonica (because you can't blow a sound out yet); tickling my bellybutton and hoisting yourself up on my back when I'm stretching in the morning; fits of laughter and growling when in the presence of your grand-dad; piano-playing, kisses and porridge stealing with your grandma; the way you throw and kick balls; your love of the playground and the slippery dip especially; your appetite for green peas, cheese, yoghurt, scrambled eggs and bananas; the way you stroke my chest when you nurse and hold in tight for cuddles; the naps we share curled up on the rocking chair; your love of walks in the fold up stroller and every now again worn on my hip or back; rides on dadda's shoulders; your clapping and dancing to music and completely stunned (mesmerised) watching of playschool; oh and that time you got stuck in the cat-flap in an attempt to escape outdoors! You absolutely are happiest outside with the breeze in your hair. I hope I will remember all of it; cry, giggle, protest, embrace, nuzzle, kiss, pull, squawk, squirm and rumble. My affectionate explorer, bold and sensitive child, rambunctious Little Roar, Reuben. I love you.