I can’t believe we are only a month away from 18 months and yet, only 18 months? It’s funny how much time seems to have passed and in reality, how very little has. So much has happened though over that time period, much more than I could ever express in words…18 months feels like a big deal to me and I’m already preparing myself for all the emotions and tears I will shed.
As you know, 15 months was a hard one for us – well I am happy to report, that 16 months has been nearly back to normal! Yay! There have been a few bad nights of course, and she’s been cutting off 30 minutes of her 1.5 hour nap which I am working at fixing by pushing the nap later. You never know how much you needed that extra 30 minutes until you no longer have it. I miss you extra 30 minutes, I really do. However, having her back to sleeping through the night and not killing me slowly, makes it hard to fret over naps.
All that early walking is making her way to overly confident outside lately, and she’s been more accident prone, so there have been some face plants, skinned knees and even just rolling out of one of our chairs without a care in the world. It all happens in slow motion and you can’t seem to get there fast enough, but lots of boo boo kisses and she’s on to the next!
She really likes us to kiss her boo boos, she asks me to kiss it, then Andrew, then she will kiss it and then back to me. Some times if she feels the dogs are getting too much attention, she’ll walk over to us with a “boo boo” to kiss.
Sixteen months was a terrific month, she was so much fun in so many ways and all the words she just seems to know and says to us like she’s been talking forever, and all the gestures and laughter…I am beyond amazed at how quickly she is growing and understanding.
She is obsessed with dogs, everything is about dogs. She points and gives kisses to any dog in any magazine or book. The magazines were all her idea though, I’ve purchased several books with dogs in them for her, but one night she started picking up magazines and coming over asking to see dogs. When we can’t find one, she holds up her little hands asking “where” and saying “dog.” She looks for dogs everywhere we go, and stands at our bedroom window before bed calling to the neighbor’s dogs. The other day our neighbors were in a bit of an argument and it was getting quite heated, and suddenly in the middle of it all, all you could hear from a window no one could see in was dddoooogggg!!!! I slowly slinked down hoping they could tell the voice was coming from a toddler not a grown adult. Ha!
She loves to be outside and dig in the rocks, dirt and smell all of my flowers. No matter how many times she sees my garden she acts as though it is the first time with loud oohs and aahs, and it makes me so happy. She loves to point out the bees and butterflies and her favorite was the wisteria for a while, I received lots of tiny little wisteria bouquets. She tells Andrew and I where to sit by pointing her little finger at the very spot she wants us to sit over and over and saying mama or dada, typically it is a spot neither of us could ever fit into but we still try.
Probably the biggest PHEW was that Andrew, me and my mom all got sick and were all around Wallis during it, and she didn’t! She has yet to get sick in her 17 months of life (knock on wood) though she has been plenty exposed to it, but I was still so surprised, because whatever we got was nasty and lasted over a week for us all. Huge relief, let’s hope saying this out loud doesn’t ruin Wallis’ record, ha!
She really loves a good cuddle and I’ve been receiving lots of hugs, which always come at the exact moment I need them. The other day I was emotional, but thought I had done a good job of hiding it from Wallis, when she followed me into our closet and said mama, and asked for a hug. She really is the sweetest love.
She had her 15 month checkup a bit late and passed with flying colors…however, the doctor did bring up her super awareness to details. Wallis sat quietly in Andrew’s lap but noticed a green fruit loop on the ground – while the doctor talked to us, Wallis would interrupt ever so often to point at the green fruit loop and say uh oh and then a few minutes would pass and Wallis would point at it again and say uh oh – we of course kept telling her, that’s okay there, we’ll leave it and honestly, we didn’t think much about it because Wallis notices everything. But the doctor said, does she notice things out-of-place like that a lot? and we said yes and then she said, well as long as she doesn’t get really upset and it doesn’t escalate then it’s okay, but you should make sure you don’t hurriedly fix the issue she’s pointing out and encourage her it’s okay because it can become a behavioral thing and make her an anxious child. I was relieved that Andrew and I don’t hurry to fix any of it (unless it’s a big mess) and always tell her oh well and move on – Wallis never gets upset by it either and actually had already been getting much better about pointing out things and letting them go.
The thing is, what I have been learning the most about children is that given time they get to where they are supposed to be when they are supposed to be there. Wallis was more emphatic about things that were new or out-of-place when she was 14 months – by 16 months she had already been getting better about moving through it faster, so we were glad for the doctor’s advice and will keep working at it with her.
Wallis also wouldn’t drink milk out of anything but a bottle, no matter what we tried. I refused to flavor the milk because I don’t like the idea of tricking her, I want her to like something as is or I fear it will become a bigger battle later (not necessarily true for all kids, but something I worry about with Wallis) so instead of creating stress over it, even though you are told to stop the bottle as soon as the baby turns 1 – we just gave it time and slowly removed a bottle at a time and by the end of this month, Wallis is now happily drinking milk from her sippy cups.
And I don’t feel an ounce of guilt over it. Wallis has done everything early, and holding her while she drank her bottle was the only baby thing she prolonged, and it means something to both of us to feel her laying against us still, so we weren’t bothered and we will both miss it more than we can verbally say without getting choked up. All she needed was time.
It seems parents are constantly judged and placed under a microscope these days, I can’t believe how many times I have shared a worry or stress with my mom and she’s replied, we didn’t worry about that or we didn’t even know about it to worry about it and I’m amazed that I survived but also, jealous of that peace of not knowing and doing the best you can, because our best doesn’t ever seem good enough, or at least it is good enough until a new article comes out and tells us it no longer is. It can feel incredibly overwhelming and exhausting trying to keep up with it all. But in the end you realize that Wallis will let me know what she is and isn’t ready for, and all I need to really do, is listen.