CHILDREN PHOTOGRAPHY.OKLAHOMA CITY/EDMOND CHILD PHOTOGRAPHER

176. That's the average number of steps a toddler hops - leaps - runs - skips - stumbles per minute.

You guys, 176.  IN ONE MINUTE!

Which means I can easily tack on another reason Ryan is a rockstar toddler.  As sweaty and tired as I was playing with him, there's no way he sprints less than 500 steps a minute, with no two steps heading in the same direction. (My knees wanted to point that out.)

You think I'm kidding?

At 2.25 years old, Ryan's inquisitive nature and adventurous spirit flood his parent's heart with both love and exhaustion.

I've witnessed his momma's deep sighs of patience when every daily task begins with "no, I do it."  His giant yellow labs must miss the days of being fed instantly by mommy instead of tiny morsels-at-a-time by Ryan.

And anyone with talkative, carseat-age children can relate to their little one's stubborn hands insistent on clasping the carseat buckle first before you are allowed to tighten it.  The days of newborn bottles and bags delaying your daily errands slyly turns into self-dressing, shoes on the wrong feet, absentmindly crawling into the backseat, and becoming easily distracted by stale goldfish and a folded sticker that HAS TO BE unfolded, all while asking never ending questions.

Sometimes, you're really crunched for time (because, aren't we always? But then there's *those* days) and with your composure crumbling, you'd rather risk a fiery fit then waste an hour letting him attempt tasks he watches you do daily.

Mostly though,  you're amazed.  You're amazed that you used to cradle him in your arms.  The same baby who spewed mashed green beans at you is now putting words into sentences, and actually making sense.  You can carry on a conversation with your little buddy, and sometimes, it's not until he repeats a naughty word that you realize (after you look away and laugh) the world is his to learn, and you're his teacher.

So, on *those* days, the ones we're all allowed to claim, when he's right at your feet, pushing your buttons and persistent with curiosity, sometimes a deep breath isn't enough.  You're tired of the time outs.  You catch yourself checking the clock every hour, wishing for bedtime.  But then you're rocking him and remembering the time when his entire body fit perfectly across your chest, and even after a day full of battles that beat you down, you have nothing but a heart full of the deepest love you'll ever know, all to give to your little boy.

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Stank eye!  This kid.

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