My energetic, happy, compliant 16 month old has thrown off the shackles of the last of those descriptors. No to diapers. No to getting dressed. No to being picked up. No to MamaLee bring out of sight. No to bed. No to not reading a book 5 billion times in a row.
I had somehow forgotten the intensity of the nearly one-and-a-half year old with regards to ‘no’. I forgot that we used to put Darwin in the car in her pajamas in the morning so we weren’t late to childcare swap.
Currently I’m enjoying the fact that Linnea has not yet started biting. Hitting, yes, but hitting doesn’t draw blood the same way.
Oh life with a toddler. It’s all good.
Nap time has always been a struggle. Today I insisted she lay down for 15 minutes. She insisted she have her puzzles. I insisted she lay down for 15 minutes. She insisted she have her sticker book. I insisted she lay down for 15 minutes. Whining ensued…5 minutes in…
The Bee hit the 16 month mark just over a week ago and our lives have just been all over the place so I’m just now sitting down to write her update. Sixteen months with this kid is pretty cool. She has a ton of words now, including the names of all the important people in her life, animals (including “platypus”, which is “plat-pus” and may be the cutest thing I’ve ever heard), body parts, favorite foods, and just about anything else you can think up. She has also learned “no”, very clearly and emphatically.
- Linnea now loves books and will sit with us while we read entire picture books to her. This evening she carried one over to me and put it in my hands. I turned it around to read it to her while she stood in front of me, but she pushed it out of the way and said “LAP!” So quite logically, I helped her climb into my lap and read her the book. It’s lovely having two kids who like to read.
- Smiles for days. This kid is so happy. She is relatively independent and quite pleased to be able to play on her own with the megablocks, or tear apart the train tracks, or run around the house and bounce on the bed with her big sister.
- Daycare is a second home now. Linnea loves daycare. She has friends there who she knows by name, and she is quite pleased to be dropped off as long as I give her a good snuggle before I leave. She is also very enthusiastic to see us when we pick her up, so it doesn’t hurt the mama hearts at all that she’s so happy away from us!
- Still eats everything. I think this may be the month where she surpasses our little bird in weight (though not height). She’s strong and stocky and always moving. It takes a lot of fuel, very little room to be picky!
- Swimming is the BEST. THING. EVER. Linnea spends the entire time in the pool playing and smiling and splashing and has no issues going under water. I’m so excited to watch her swim more.
- My hat is a favorite play thing. As in, yelling “hat!” taking it off of my head, and returning it to my head. Fun for days.
- Sisters hugging is so flipping adorable I don’t even know what to do with myself.
- Hitting is now a thing. As is screaming “nonononono” when it’s time to do something she doesn’t like.
- Linnea constantly feeds the dog when given the chance, which wouldn’t be such a big deal, but our dog does *not* need anymore weight on her arthritic hips, and her metabolism has slowed considerably the last year or so.
- Leah has been struggling some with her sleep, but the kid got FOUR TEETH in over the last two weeks, so I think we know why. I’ve started doing more bedtimes, which has been a bit hard. Lots of “no” and screaming, but asleep in about five minutes, which is shockingly easy compared to big sister (who is still currently awake at 10 pm).
I forgot how much fun the second year could be. Linnea is currently funny, affectionate, playful, and energetic. My current favorite is “‘nug!” When I ask for a snuggle, she exclaims “‘NUG!” and comes running over with her head tilted (because the primary snug mechanism is her head tilting into us). She does a full-body…everything, but particularly hugs. This kid is full tilt, knows what she wants, and does it.
Other awesomeness is the current exclamation of the names of everyone she is most excited to see. Darwin is “Dar-Dar”, Leah is “Me” (“Mama-Lee”), Grandma is “Gma”, Opa is just Opa, because that’s easy. Her daycare providers have their own names, the other two kids she spends her days with do as well. The dogs at daycare are loved. And I am “Rae”, when I’m not just mama. I’m so happy to be her “Rae”.
Linnea is in the happiest toddler ever born stage. She wakes up happy, goes to daycare happy, gets picked up suuuuuuper happy. She’s happy to see Darwin and chants “DarDar! DarDar!” from the moment I pick her up from daycare (after exclaiming “Mama!” while bouncing towards me). She even says “happy” when I ask if she’s happy.
This is why people have children spaced 2.5 years apart.
Tonight was easier than last night. We did our bedtime routine, got all the way through with only a couple reminders to cooperate with tooth brushing in order to have our story and song, and Darwin got both. I told her I’d be back in 2 minutes and she said “5, mama!” Because 5 is her favorite number. Who am I to question it!? There was no crying or upset at all. She asked for her picture light and for the door to be open, and that was all she needed to be comfortable being alone. I checked in at 5 minutes, and she was asleep before the next 5 minute mark. I’m so hopeful that tomorrow isn’t a big backslide!
Heads up: This is mostly a vent for me to off gas about this sweet and amazing and wonderful demon child driving me nuts. I’m not looking for advice, though sympathy and head-pats will be most welcome…
Over the last couple of days, Darwin has been wired. She has been non-stop moving, talking, babbling, wiggling, climbing all over me. And I’m exhausted. Last night, though, was the kicker. I have had a migraine for a few days (since Saturday) that is only just now resolving (I think – I’m medicated, so we’ll see when it wears off…). Last night, I figured I would just go to bed with her since I was so tired too. Y’all. She woke me up twice before she ever came close to going to sleep. She was awake until after 11 pm. First, she woke me up by climbing over me (she’d been laying on her bed by the big bed) to get into bed next to me. Then she woke me up by pulling my hair. Did I mention I have had a migraine?
I don’t know what’s going on with her, but it was definitely the switch that flipped my willingness to actually sit with her while she falls asleep. Tonight, I prepped her early, explaining that I was going to brush her hair, read her story, brush her teeth, sing her a song, then let her fall asleep on her own while I worked in the living room. She said she understood, explained back to me what was going to happen, and getting her to go to bed only took a little extra reminding. We brushed hair, read the story, then she refused to let me brush her teeth. I was (mostly) calm, and explained that we wouldn’t have a song and the lights would go out and it would be time for bed. Guess who doubled down and pushed that boundary. Yep, lights went out and the wailing began. I told her I would be back in two minutes, and that if she cried, the door would be closed because it wasn’t respectful of her sister’s sleep. For two minutes she wailed (on the bed – win) with the door closed. I went back in and told her to lay down and that I’d leave the door open if she could be quiet. She was (mostly). Two minutes later I returned and she begged for snugs, which I of course obliged. Left again…and that was that. The kiddo has not gone to sleep this easily….ever. Count it. Two returns and she was out.
Next we work on actually getting her teeth brushed…