If Loris was writing this post all it would say is DONE. As that is her favorite word right now. I am honestly surprised to be at 18 months…I can’t believe she’s 18 months. Wallis always seemed so much older, she was born with tons of hair and I had already given her like 3 haircuts by age 18 months….but even her whole being just seemed older. So we had a hard time seeing her as a baby from the start really.
Loris on the other hand seems like a baby. It doesn’t matter how big she is, because she is big, and so long! She’s tall for her age just like Wallis, and when I rock her to nap/sleep my entire body starts spasming like one of those marathon runners losing all bodily function, but still trying to make it to the finish line. Even so, she still just seems like a baby to me. Her hair is very curly especially after bath, but it continues to grow up not down, so it doesn’t look like a lot of hair, which I think contributes to my baby thinking as well. But I fear because she is the youngest and the 4 year age difference, we might all struggle to see her as older….poor thing, she’ll really find us annoying once she’s 16.
Everything Loris does makes me smile or laugh. She is so funny, and expressive. Loris is the biggest cuddle bug who loves to open her arms wide for hugs, and I know I have said it before, but I love a Loris hug. They are tight and long and wonderful. I feel like if we want to help depression in this world, just let a baby hug you for like 5 minutes and all your pain dissolves into a puddle of peace. She gives me a long hug right before I get her ready for nap, and when I sigh she sighs and it makes me so grateful for that little soul.
Though Loris is bright, adventurous (she loves to climb everything), super focused and curious…there was one area of Loris’ life that I was having trouble coming to terms with – her lack of interest in reading. Wallis was born wanting to be read to. She was obsessed with books and us reading to her. I contributed some of it to how many children’s books I had already purchased for her, and how often I read to her….but I can see now, that it really is just who she is. Wallis listens intently to any stories no matter what topic. We’ve been watching story time online from our local library ever since the pandemic started, and not once has she disliked one of the books…which honestly, is shocking because there have been some poor choices and just when I am about to say, “cheeses that was an odd one…” Wallis cuts me off with, “oh mama you have to get me that book!” Every single time.
Loris however was too busy, tooooooo busy. She would give us about 2 minutes of her time and then off she would go. Then she started wanting to only look at the books by herself. She would go get a book and sit and look at it for awhile, but as soon as I or her dad approached to read it to her….off she’d go. I was pretty discouraged by it, but kept telling myself she will come around and to not stop trying. And I am happy to report, SHE HAS! It is still a work in progress, but it is so much better than it was and instead of saying more at the end of a book she’s enjoyed, she signs it…which is adorable. I really do think reading is so important and yes I want her to develop her own love for it, but I think I’ve also had to learn that it doesn’t always happen naturally.
As I said above, Loris loves to say done and when she’s not demanding cheese, it’s her go to. Her vocabulary continues to expand and it has been fun watching her combine words, BUT boy does she like the power of the word “done.” There have been a few times when I placed her meal down in front of her, that she has given it the once over and then looked up at me and said, “done.” Rude Loris, rude. Ha!
Loris loves to run, as soon as she hits the ground (or grass) she’s off! Wallis loved to run too but Loris’ feels less stable and since she uses her head to feel rather than her hands (eye roll) or at least it feels that way, I tend to stick nearby. Which she doesn’t approve of at all. And the moment I avert my eyes, she’s off with the wind to test her jumping skills. That’s something Wallis didn’t really try until older that Loris has been trying since she learned to walk, jumping.
Loris does these tiny play voices when she has Wallis’ mice play together, which I’ve never seen a child as young as her do, and it’s hilarious. She loves to sing when I sing, put everything to bed with a finger to her lips and a hush, hide and say “boo” around every corner and behind all the chairs, go down the slide on her belly, yell for Pierre randomly…and recently we’ve learned (the hard way) when she stands up in bath and says, “poo poo” she means it! Wallis is still recovering, Haa!
I also love the way Loris says bye to everyone she sees instead of hi, and at bedtime, she waves goodbye to us all and it is just so freaking heartbreaking that I always forget how I’ll be seeing her wide awake in about an hour and for the REST OF THE NIGHT!
Loris tackles her stuffed animals and though there are lots of cuddles too, there’s more a Tigger kind of love there that I do find worrisome, ha! When I see her pinning her Rhino (which is the same size as her) to the ground…I’ll ask Andrew, “do you ever worry this could be her reaction to meeting kids her own size?” Loris has yet to meet a toddler thanks to quarantine…so there might be some awkward moments for us at the playground in the future.
Though Wallis and Loris get along beautifully, and Wallis is the most patient and loving big sister…there have been a few cracks in that surface as time moves forward…but we learned Loris don’t pity fools. Wallis screamed in Loris’ face the other day over a toy dispute, and without blinking Loris grabbed Wallis’ hair and pulled. We had to unclamp that tiny fist too. Eek.
Loris does like to push the boundaries and that’s assuming she even recognizes them to begin with, but I’ve noticed a pattern of “test boundary apologize after” attitude as she’s growing…so that will be new for us since Wallis has always embraced boundaries like a warm comforter.
The last month of sleep has been horrendous. Loris hit the 18 month sleep regression the moment she turned 17 months. Wallis went through it at 15 months. The range is 15 – 18 months and boy is it the worst. I think Andrew and I have gotten 2 hours of sleep a night for a month now and that was piggy packing on our glamorous 4…so the fact that we are still fairly functional is shocking. Though I did put the salt away in our microwave the other day…
Loris is still loving her pacifier, I mean the joy she has when she discovers another pacifier even though she’s currently sucking on one, and then proceeds to drop the one in her mouth and shove the newly discovered one in…is the same joy I have when I realize Andrew didn’t finish all the pizza the night before and I can have cold pizza for breakfast!
It’s funny because when she was first born, she hated all pacifiers which was distressing as she cried nonstop…and her distain lasted for many months. We eventually found a type she really liked. However, the kind of pacifiers she likes are annoying. First of all, we learned around a year she could fit the whole thing in her mouth, which was terrifying (she didn’t do it often, but when she did, it was scary. I tried to get a different kind but she refused). Then as she has gotten older the pacifiers have made her drool a lot, it’s like she can’t quite fit her tongue and pacifier both in her mouth at the same time, so she profusely drools if one is in her mouth and then gets a drool rash. Awesome.
We’ve combat this of course by keeping the pacifiers away unless she requests one, but I have to admit, I will be really glad when we are done with pacifiers altogether. Which we seem to be inching our way closer to everyday. Wallis stopped using one at 19 months, but that was more because of Andrew being a turd, and I don’t want to repeat that for Loris. It impacted Wallis and Andrew feels bad about it now, and when he doesn’t, I make sure to remind him (wife of the year). I think Loris will be over it by 2, and that’s good enough for me.
I think a lot of people move their second child along faster than they did their first because everything was new with their first, but I find I am moving things along even slower for Loris and that’s saying something, because I didn’t move them fast for Wallis at all.
Motherhood for me has been slow, I did not rush the stopping of bottles, I did not rush the ending of purée, I have not rushed the pacifiers, or the sleep, or potty learning or anything if I am being honest. I don’t really see the point. Sometimes I feel embarrassed at how slow I have been, as if I am not meeting some kind of invisible timeline that others are, but when it is just me in my own thoughts and what makes me feel safe and steady, I am fine with it.
The girls have not been harmed because of it, they are advanced in all their milestones and are healthy wee things, so I don’t see why I need to do more than I can in that moment. With my anxiety, if I move towards things too quickly, I become anxious about them that I can’t think clearly, especially with the girls. My fears of losing them, is not only in the big scenarios, but it’s even in the little things, the tiny details that are not memorable, but keep me safely planted for the big ones.
I also look at childhood as a gift, as something to be truly treasured, not a race, not something to place in a one size fits all box. This is it, each day moves into the next, each month, each year….why not enjoy all of it, even the bits that are harder some days or more time consuming or even frustrating. Each night after they have gone to bed, I think about our simple day, what went great, what maybe didn’t…and the only thing that remains is how much I already miss them, and how much I know time is moving.
It isn’t easy for me, I yearn for independence and feeling that the creative side of myself still exists. I am not someone that would ever say I’m “happiest at home” or “happiest as a mom” because my mind is tangled and beating. I have big trapped thoughts. But still, I am so deeply grateful, madly in love and I am humbled by this job. I came here looking to learn, and that is what I am trying to do every single day. Happy 18 Months Loris, thank you for your love. DONE!