Thursday, February 27, 2014

18 Months

18 Months Old: 02/19/14

I'm not quite sure how we got here. 

I have an 18 month old. A toddler. A child

I thought the infant months went fast. That is, until Lyla turned one. When suddenly, time began to travel at such an intense speed that everything seemed to be in the past tense. It's just like going on vacation. You find yourself flying home thinking Um. That was seriously 7 days? I'd like an encore please.

It's quite unnerving really. To be so encapsulated in the everyday, that you wake up one morning and realize 3 months have gone by. So, I'm trying to carve out little compartments in my memory bank. Hoping to hold on to the little moments, each special in it's own way. And I especially hope to remember the seemingly mundane moments. The ones that you are just sure you'll remember forever. Until suddenly, you can't. 

Like how Lyla kicks her legs when she spots a fruit, and no matter the type, calls it an apple. Or how she says Hiii Lyla the moment we open her bedroom door in the mornings. Or how she taps her little pointer finger ever-so-lightly on objects so that we can name them for her. Or how her little voice goes up an octave with every word she speaks, as if to ask a question. Or how she'll be playing hard and all of a sudden walk over to me, put her head on my leg and say ni-niiight

I could eat those moments. 

And of course we have some not-so-fun moments. 

We are in what I like to call the sweet and sour stage of toddlerhood. Half the time, Lyla's so darn sweet I think her veins are pumping syrup. The other half of the time, I'm pretty sure she's swallowed too much lemon juice, straight from those lemon-shaped bottles. One minute, she's hugging, kissing, and sitting on my lap nuzzling and grabbing my face. The next minute, she's throwing a monster-tantrum whilst throwing herself to the ground, thrashing about, and screaming as loud as her lungs will possibly let her {for no apparent reason, other than Samson looked at her funny.}. It's sort of like getting whip lash.

Luckily, I'm acutely aware when we are about to have a melt down. These explosions occur when 1. Lyla spots food that she isn't eating herself 2. is feeling tired, or 3. is frustrated because she can't accomplish or communicate something. But, I obviously do whatever it takes to avoid these tantrums...especially in public. This is why I carry "ta-tas"(crackers) with me wherever I go. Yes. I sometimes quiet my child with a snack. A carb-y snack that we call ta-ta's no doubt. {Disciplinarian model of the year.}

But aside from the toddler tantrums, this age is just a ball. You know on your wedding day, when you smile so much your mouth hurts? That's how I feel with my heart. We find ourselves laughing every night at something so cute it makes our hearts hurt. Like during this new little game Lyla plays while we rock her before bed. Just as you think she's fallen asleep, she pops up, starts laughing, kisses our lips as hard as she can, and then slams her head back on our shoulder. Then UP she pops, plants a big smackaroo on the lips, then down slams her head. And she repeats this over and over while we're all hysterically laughing.

We just love to play silly little games these days. Peek-a-boo is still a favorite, as well as anything that involves jumping or being thrown on the bed. And she's been doing this thing where she raises her eyebrows, opens her eyes as wide as she can, and expects whoever is with her to do the same. This usually has both parties in stitches. But one of my favorites is something Gabe plays with Ly. He asks her, "Lyla, what's for dinner"? She giggles in anticipation, and then he shakes and wiggles her and yells "SPAGHETTI"! Then the rest of the night she'll wiggle her body and in a high pitched voice yell "BADELLY"! 

But I also laugh at things I probably shouldn't. Like when she feverishly signs "more" and pathetic little tears start welling up, simply because she wants another goldfish cracker. Or when she very ungracefully trips, falls, and rolls on the floor, as if it was perfectly choreographed. Or how she sternly and confidently points and says "NO" to the dogs when they do something she deems naughty {like walking anywhere near her while she's safely eating in her high chair}. 

Ah, yes. The word "no" is a current fave this month. "NO" to the dogs. "No" to herself when she throws her sippie cup on the floor. "NO NO" to sweet "Li-Li" at daycare when she grabs something she's not supposed to. I'm hoping we don't have a little bossy-pants on our hands. ;)

And although I'm not sure we're anywhere near potty training, Lyla definitely shows signs of understanding. She sits on her little potty when Mom goes to the bathroom. She reaches out her hand for toilet paper. She "wipes". She lets us know when she goes "poo-poo" and pee {which we don't have a word for yet} by pointing. And she recently started saying "toot". Ha! 

And we're still going to Mommy-and-Me music classes. I look forward to them all week! But to be completely honest, it takes Lyla 30 of the 45 minutes to warm up every week. Lyla's never liked being center of attention, and she really likes to feel completely comfortable before trying new things. I try not to force her to do anything she doesn't want to do, but I do lovingly encourage her to participate. Although she'd much rather be an observer than a participant, she has slowly come out of her little shell and is starting to really enjoy herself. She especially loves shaking the musical eggs, rolling the spiky balls, and waving around the scarves. I, of course, love the mother-daughter bonding. 

In addition to easing into new situations, Miss Beans is very particular and detail-oriented. Yes. My 18 month old is incredibly detail-oriented. And the amazing thing is, she's always been strong in dexterity and fine motor skills, more so than gross motor. But she is very methodical in how she does things. Even if it doesn't make sense to us, she sure is confident she knows what she's doing. She will carefully stack blocks so that they fit perfectly together, or she will put a specific amount of little toys to fill a tupperware and close the lid, or she will line things up in a line facing a certain direction. 

She also notices when things are out of place. Like if there is a different-colored piece of fuzz buried in the carpet, she will spot it, say "uh-oh" and bring it over to Gabe or me. Or like the other day, I was wearing my paint clothes. She was standing about 10 feet away from me and distraughtly said "uh-oh"! I asked, "What's the matter, Ly"? She walked over to me and pointed at a paint spot on my tennis shoe. Or if she gets any dirt on her hands while playing outside, we get some wide-eyed "uh-ohhhh"s, while she carefully picks each piece of dirt off her hands.

Perhaps we have a perfectionist on our hands?

Again, I'm not exactly sure how we got here. How I have this 18 month old with feelings, opinions, and a spectacular personality. All I know is that I'm loving every moment. And I'm thankful for the ride, no matter how fast it's going. 

All I can do is hop on, buckle up, and hang on for dear life. 


Unknown said...

She is SO adorable!! 18 months was always one of my most favorite stages!!

Brittany said...

She is just so so adorable! This is a crazy crazy stage right now but just so fun too. Hang in there mama!