Saturday, March 27, 2010

Seventeen Months

Dear Peeper:

You are seventeen months old today, and since it seems that I generally start these letters with a health report, I guess I should mention that we all had a cold a couple of weeks ago, but we seem to be well, although perhaps some seasonal allergic type stuff is sticking around, because Mommy and I are still having sinus congestion and you still sound snorty when you sleep, although your nose isn't running or stuffy.

The bigger health news that I have to report is that at the beginning of the month you had a great check-up with your cardiologist and we don't have to see him again for a whole year!

This month also marked your one year "surgiversary," and two years since you were conceived and we found out that I was pregnant. Guess which if those things is more fun for us to look back on?

This month you've continued to build both your signing and verbal vocabularys - you've added about ten new signs (if I've remembered to record them all) and two or three words and some animal sounds.

You are still saying "apple" (a lot!), and "night-night" (and seem to mean it now) consistently. You still prefer to sign "doggy" but have said it a few times. You're not as obsessed with eyes as you were for a while, so we don't hear "eye" as often, and "baby" disappeared for a while, but now you're using it interchangably with the sign.

In the past month, you've added "hot" (hh-hh) which you use spontaneously in reference to the stove or microwave, or to food that's cooking or recently been cooked and is steaming or sizzling or otherwise looking hot; "toes" (tissss) which you rarely say spontaneously, but you can answer when we ask "What are these?" and "up" (originally UP! but now more often UPPA! or even UBBA! but always in all caps with an exclamation point) which is probably your favorite word right now.

For a while, you seemed to be saying "here" (heh) when you handed things to us, but I don't think I've heard it much lately.

In addition to the cat, dog and monkey that you knew a month ago, you can now also tell us what the elephant, lion and tiger say.

You get lots of opportunity to tell us about the cat and the elephant, because it's just so damn cute, the way you say them.

Over the past month, you've also started doing more and more imitative play. Last weekend, while Mommy and I were doing the "white tornado" thing, in preparation for hosting a MOMS Club event, you had your own cloth and were wiping off tables and the floor, and even helped Mommy with the windows.

(I know, it's crazy. Mommy was cleaning windows. She was like a woman possessed.)

After watching me sweep (this doesn't happen often) you decided to try it yourself, and somehow managed to get the broom out of the laundry room, despite the big piece of plywood blocking you from entering the room. It's tucked between the fridge and the wall; I suppose it was leaning over close to the door where you could reach it.

We were in the office, and the first we knew of it was when you walked down the hall carrying it.

Somehow, you managed to navigate your way through the kitchen and past the living room shelves, containing all my prized possessions, without hitting anything!

When we went to the Children's Museum, you had a great time in the "1860s room" playing with a broom that was just your size, so we're thinking of asking the Easter Bunny to bring you one that's a little more managable.

Now, get to work!

Of course, you still love to play with things like my cellphone, wallet and camera, and when I'm talking on the phone, I often realize that you've found one of your toy phones (or one of the now-a-toys phones that used to be mine) and are walking around, having your own conversation.

You like to talk on the real phone too, especially when Mommy's on the other end of it. If it's my cellphone, I put her on speaker, or on the cordless I turn the volume all the way up, and as soon as you hear her voice, you smile and grab the phone. When I tell you to give her a kiss, or tell her "I love you," you always plant a big slobbery one right on the keypad (yeah, that can't be a good idea) and then you wave goodbye when its time to hang up.

Your books are still your favorites, though. You will sit in our laps and read book after book after book. You seem to be getting more patient with letting us actually read all the words before you turn the pages, and you help to read them, by signing (or, in some cases, using words) to tell us about the pictures.

You don't go back to the doctor until next month, but I'm thinking of taking you in for a weight check, because our child restrain options for our upcoming trip to Texas (in two weeks) are dependent on whether or not you weigh twenty-two pounds yet. I really doubt that you do, but you definitely seem heavier and taller, all of a sudden.

And just how are you gaining this weight?

Well, you're still mostly nursing, which is fine my me. Contrary to what that one stupid doctor said, it's more nutritious, and higher in calories and fat (those are good things, when you're a toddler) than just about anything else that you eat.

As far as your solid foods go, you're eating more than you were for a while there, when you were feeling yucky everytime we turned around, but you're a little more selective about it than you were when you first started.

For a few weeks, you'd gotten pretty used to eating things on the run, and didn't have much patience with sitting in your high chair.

I wasn't too thrilled about that, as a matter of principal, but on the other hand, as someone pointed out to me, "Walking and eating are both so much fun, why wouldn't she want to do them at the same time?"

I relaxed about it a bit, but then realized that the foods we were giving you on the run weren't exactly the best choices - animal crackers, graham crackers, goldfish, and then like - and one day, in a fit of Mama-guilt, I threw out a bunch of it (and hid some in the "annex" pantry) and declared that there would be no more!

We still keep "walking food" in your snack bowl, but it's mostly cereal (Cheerios and Shredded Wheat) and Ritz crackers and, sometimes, goldfish.

Since then, you've gotten much more cooperative about getting in your chair for "sitting food," maybe because I've also been making more of an effort at giving you more variety there, or maybe because your "walking food" isn't so exciting anymore.

Eena and Papa report that you've enjoyed strawberry yogurt at their house (I think on loaded spoons, but they're probably spoon-feeding it to you too, to the extent that you'll allow that. I can't imagine that they're just giving you free rein with it like I do at home.) so I've bought a few differerent flavors, and you very much enjoyed some mixed berry last night.

You've also really been liking the apples lately. Several times lately, you and I have shared one, along with some with peanut butter. (Spread very thinly for you.)

You also really liked the hummus that I made for yesterday's MOMS Club event, and we finished that off today.

You're less excited about the broccoli and green beans and such than you used to be, but I keep offering them to you, even though most of them end up on the floor.

Although it's much easier to stick with the dry-ish, finger foods, I am trying to give you something "messy-with-a-spoon" (which you more often play in, while waving the spoon about) at least once a day, although it doesn't always happen.

If I am thinking clearly, I set that up to happen right before bath time!

Speaking of bath time, it's probably been about two weeks since you and I have bathed together. Instead, you've been "showering" by yourself, which involves sitting in the tub, with the drain open, playing with the hand-held shower head, while I wash you up.

At first, I did that a few times when you were covered in food and I needed to get you straight into the tub, without stopping to undress myself (and I really didn't want to bathe in yogurt or whatever) and then, there were a couple of times that I was on the phone (talking on a corded earpiece, with the phone itself in my pocket - no danger of it falling in the water with you!) when bathtime rolled around, and then there were some days that I just wasn't in the mood to deal with getting myself all naked and wet then dry and dressed.

After a few baths like that, I asked you one night whether you wanted a "bath with Mama" (point to myself) or "shower alone" (point to showerhead) and you indicated that you wanted me in with you.

I felt guilty about deserting you and we bathed together a few nights, and then you took some showers for some of the reasons listed above, and since then, every time I've asked, you've pointed right up at the showerhead.

Given the option, of course, you'd probably love to play with the shower head while I'm in there with you, but I'm not offering that option, because I don't want to be sprayed in the face the whole time, and I don't want to mess with opening and closing the drain to regulate the depth of the water and I don't want to sit in an empty tub the whole time, like you do.

I'm guessing that we'll still have a few baths together here and there, but it seems like, for the most part, you've moved on, and I'm pretty ambivalent about that.

On the one hand, I really enjoy the togetherness and the skin-to-skin snuggles of bathing with you, and I kind of miss that. (Of course, I could still get in with you at any time, I doubt you'd complain. I hope.) On the other hand, it sure is simpler to only deal with one of us being wet and naked!

You've now been walking for almost four months, and every time I see a brand new walker, I realize just how good at it you are now. You're still "toddling," but you've come so far from that lurching, drunken, "Hey, look what I'm doing!" stage that I had to look up some old videos to remind myself that you were ever there.

However, you still can't crawl or stand up from sitting (or, God forbid, lying down!) without help.

That's starting to get weirder and weirder, as you get older, so I'm trying to encourage you to do it yourself, and to talk you through it (which seems silly, but you understand so much of what we say that I think it probably helps), rather than just picking you up.

I'd like to think that, left to your own devides, you'd get on up if you had to, but I don't know. Yesterday, you'd wandered off into the living room while I was on the computer, and I heard you saying "UP! UP! UP!"

When I finished what I was typing and went in to check, you were sitting on your booty, stuck until I came and helped you.

But, as Mommy pointed out when I told her about it, that was very big-girl of you to use your words to call for help, instead of crying or whining about being stuck!

Speaking of being a big girl, you suddenly look about a million times older, because I've been putting your hair up in pigtails - sometimes two, and sometimes just one right on top, like Pebbles Flintstone.

Either way, you're just the most adorable thing ever, and you look like such a little girl, instead of a baby!

I started with a few bows-on-bands that we'd bought before you were born (still can't use the matching barrettes, because your hairs too fine to hold on to them) but last weekend, I bought a big variety pack of smaller bands without bows, and those are working much better. So far, I've found an appopriate color for every outfit you've worn, which makes me much happier than it probably should.

I've got all the hairbands, bows and barrettes (even though we can't use them yet) in a little basket, along with your comb (the one we got from the hospital when you were born) and a little spray bottle of water, so I can grab everything and take it to the changing table or the chair or where ever I'm doing your hair.

That also makes me ridiculously happy: I really am the mother of a little girl - I own a "hair basket!"

You are, let's say, semi-cooperative about getting your hair done. I usually give you a toy - or a shoe - or the spray bottle - or some goody - to keep occupied while I'm working, and after I've got it up, I try to distract you for a little while, until you forget that the bands are in there, so that you don't pull them out.

But once they're in and you've forgotten about them, you are so cute, I can't even look at you without saying, "Oh my God! You are so cute!"

And smart.

And a hard worker.

Yeah, I know. We need to work more on appropriate, effective praise.

But how can we not praise you for every little thing you do, say and are, when you're so great?

You really are something else, my little damn-near-one-a-half-year-old.

And we sure do love you!


No comments:

Post a Comment

What say you?