This is Declan’s “I win” face.

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As in, “I’m eating real food all by myself. I win.”

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Or, as in, “My feet touch the floor and I am jumping around like a madman. I win.”

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Or, “I saw it. I wanted it. I found a way to get it. I win.”

The expression takes several forms, but at its purest, it’s a mix of 10% lips, 50% chin and 40% cheeks. I know because it’s the same smile I had when I was a little boy.

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Deck is figuring things out as such an incredible rate, it’s hard to keep up. And, for him, I’m sure it’s hard not to be a little smug when he’s suddenly able to do something he was unable to do a few days ago.

It’s also addicting. The more he gets what he wants, the more frustrated he is when he DOESN’T get what he wants. Double-edged sword. Blessing and curse. Heart swell and headache.

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Among his most recent accomplishments:
-Drinking from a straw
-Army crawling
-Getting onto all fours and rocking
-Making new sounds such as a more pronounced “Y”
-Eating “big people food” such as Brussels sprouts, red peppers, hummus, and pickles (he LOVES pickles)

Those are “wins” that make us jump up and down as parents.

Then there are the “wins” that aren’t so fun:
-Fussing at a restaurant/public place until we take him out of his car seat/stroller and hold him
-Crying at home until we pick him up
-Screaming when we take away the car keys that he had just tried to deep throat
-Rolling away from us when we try to change his diaper
-Grabbing our faces, biting sensitive areas

Not that I’m keeping score, but I would say he’s winning a lot more than he’s losing. The trick for us now is knowing when to set limits, and when to let him explore.

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The good thing is: we have a super-happy kid who’s learning and growing and seems to know he’s loved. Sooo… we win.

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