Officially a year and a half! I am trying not to think of all the adorable 18-month clothes I had to take out of rotation ages ago. We’re into 2-3T, leaning toward 3T, as it has the length she needs. She’s a few ounces shy of 30 pounds and is 82 cm tall, according to this week’s doctor appointment.
I think the cutest thing that has developed over the past couple of months is Owlet hiding something, then raising both hands up into the air to either side of her head, cupping them as she shrugs a bit and says, “Where go?” in a hilariously angsty voice. It’s followed by, “Hmm,” with a finger touching one of her cheeks and a little furrowed brow as she feigns thinking. When she or someone else reveals the hidden item, she grins impishly and says, “Peeyaboh!”
We’ve had a word explosion lately. Ears, eyes, mouth, nose, hair, baby, nigh-nigh, see you, flower, butterfly, teeth please, tea please, bear, bug, sun, moon, star, all gone, Daddy, up-down-up-down. She said “merci” to the crossing guard and waved a couple of weeks ago. Her way of asking for something is to point at it and say, â€œyes, please.â€ If we donâ€™t respond, or explain that she canâ€™t have it for whatever reason, she gets quite cross and repeats, â€œyes, please, YES, PLEASEâ€ over and over quite imperiously. She has a very clear and chirpy “Thank you!” that she uses when anyone hands her something. She will spill her milk at the table on purpose so she can say “Uh-oh” and wipe it up with a cloth. When she’s finished her meal she says “Aaaaall done,” and hands her plate to an adult to be cleared, the way everyone else does at the table. Her obsession with saying “cheers!” and clinking glasses has relaxed; now she only does it once or twice per meal, and is much more focused instead of waving her glass around wildly.
There are two things she has become obsessed with in its place, though. First is brushing her teeth. She adores the whole process and goes into the bathroom several times a day to pull her little stepstool over and call for her toothbrush. Most of the time I can get away without the toothpaste, but she insists on her brush and a glass of water to dip it in so she can happily chew on it and and suck the water off. There’s a full-scale meltdown if she isn’t ready to stop when you need her to stop, even after twenty minutes of happily playing there. She will happily try to brush other people’s teeth, and has gone after Gryffindor with her toothbrush. (We caught her in time.) The problem is all brushes are fair game, so she tries to dip her hairbrush in the water glass and chew on it, too. And sometimes she tries to brush her hair with the toothbrush. She’s been practising drinking out of the open cup after brushing her teeth as well.
The other obsession is tea. I got tired of fighting with her over my teacup, so I got her one of the sippy cups with handles that didn’t work for her when we’d originally got it, filled it mostly with warm tap water, then added some tea. She adores it, sucking it back and handing me the empty cup and clamouring for more. So now I have two kids who think going to the tea store is an enormous treat. I make a whole pot all the time now, because someone will be asking for their own cup, and making a single cup isn’t efficient any more. Although having her own cup isn’t a guarantee that she won’t pester me for a sip from my cup, or dip her fingers in to lick the tea off if I left it on an end table instead of out of her reach.
Playing has become more complex. She loves her play silks that my friend Elizabeth dyed for her, using them as capes or scarves, wrapping toys in them, or pulling them over her head and wandering around, giggling. Her Little People mini stable and mini cottage see a lot of play, as does her bus. She likes to sit on a tiny bench and spread her crayons out on her love seat, flipping pages in her sketchbook and scribbling all over the place. It’s an instant toddler dance party when the dance music or the British Grenadiers march from the Pride & Prejudice score comes on, or “That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates” from the Hobbit score. (We clocked five plays of that one in a loop before we had to call an end to it, exhausted from whirling her around the room.) She’s really gotten into the Wheely Bug this past month, too, zooming around on it. One of her latest quirks involves taking a parent’s hand and walking them around and around the living room, through kitchen, down hall, and back into living room. It’s like she’s doing the Regency ‘taking a turn about the room’ thing.
She is voluntarily expanding her bedtime routine. After supper she changes into jammies, marches down the hall where we brush her teeth, she says nigh-nigh to Liam, and walks back to her room. I pick her up and she says goodnight to things: Nigh-nigh moon (the birchbark moon hanging on her door), nigh-nigh other moon (the wooden cutout above her door), nigh-nigh fairy and fairy owl. Then nigh-nigh Mama, with a very sweet kiss. Then she is handed to Daddy for her bottle and bed, and waves to me, sometimes catching my hand to swing it a bit while I give her one last kiss on the forehead. When I put her down for a nap, she strokes my face gently with the satin or plush blanket parts of her blanket bunny, sharing it between stroking her own cheek.
She is now giving perfect, gentle little ‘mwah’ kisses, a nice change from wet open-mouthed kissing with teeth bared! She is giving very good hugs now, too, with arms around the neck and the head laid on a shoulder, complete with gentle patting on the back. She has decided that shaking hands with new people is excellent, and she has a very matter-of-fact shake, too, not goofy or simpery.
The communication thing is part of the toddler development that fascinates me. It’s so exciting to be able to say, “Do you want X?” and have her think for a split second before she shakes her head and says, “No,” very clearly with a tinge of melancholy. We have to play the suggestion game till we hit on what she does want, though, which can get frustrating for everyone. But sometimes we know exactly what she wants, because in general she is very good at getting her point across. Like she loves to sit at the table on a Big Person Chair, especially for snacks, lunches, and homework time. She is Very Serious about her homework. Or maybe it’s about her shared homework time with Sparky.