So, I’ve started this post about 2,389 times in the past couple weeks, but I keep getting distracted and ramble-y [shocker]. Like, I had to change the title from “15 Months,” because because that much time had passed.
Essentially, I want to update the Internet with Mena’s recent going-ons. [I know that approximately zero of you care, but since the baby calendar ended at 12 months, I am already starting to lose track of her little milestones.]
So, anyway as an introduction here is a true conversation between myself and my five-year-old niece a couple weeks ago:
Niece: What’s a toddler?
Me: Oh, when a baby grows and he can walk and talk, we call him a toddler.
Niece: So, Philomena is a toddler?
Me: Of course not! She’s only a baby.
Niece: But, she can walk, and she says words now.
Me: Oh, um, yeah, but…
[And that was when I started to cry a little.]
One day Philomena was a little baby, dependent on me for everything…and the next day she was a toddler, well, still pretty dependent on me for everything. Her big-girl-ness makes my heart burst just as much as her infant-ness, but in a very different way. Tonight I quipped to Ryan that I hope her adolescent-ness will make my heart delight just as much as these stages. Probably not. But one can hope.
So, here goes:
- She was slow to get on this train, but Mena finally started “really” walking at around 14 months. She was content to do this weird knee-scoot thing for months [surprisingly effective for mobility], but then quite literally overnight she started walking everywhere. And I would even venture to say that now her walking can be described as “running.” Everyone kept saying things to me like, “oh, you don’t want to be in a hurry for her to walk!” However, honestly, it is much easier than the perpetual crawling. Case in point, I can actually put her down in public places for a few moments without her phalanges all over the germ-ridden floors of said places.
- Mena is really into her tummy, most particularly her belly button. And this reality is seriously so cute that it would make even the most cold-hearted person giggle. I know we shouldn’t be encouraging our daughter to pull up her shirt and show her naval to any unsuspecting person who comes into her path, but seriously, it is hilarious. And lately she’s been wanting to see our bellies on a regular basis, the novelty of which ends when we are outside the confines of our own home, or she throws a fit when the person kindly refuses [sorry, Mom].
- She is starting to have kinda-opinions on her appearance. [On any given day, it would seem this "opinion" is a crusty nose and avocado-stained shirt...but that's not what I actually mean.] Philomena knows where I keep the hair clips, so she often insists that I give her the bin, so she can pick one out, then she tries to put it in her own hair. That is about as successful as you can imagine, so finally she relents and lets me do it. She then runs to the mirror and gives herself a cheesy smile. As I commented on Instagram/Facebook the other day, this reality scares me…and makes me a little proud.
- Her passionate love of ducks has subsided a bit. On one hand, it’s a little sad to see this cute phase end; on the other, my life has been simplified without a back-up rubber duckie in my purse, the diaper bag, the car, and in every room of the house…lest she lost it and needed a “duuuuuuh! duuuuuuh!” now.
- However, she still likes looking at ducks on the computer. And babies. She is obsessed with pictures of babies. If Ryan’s or my laptops are anywhere in her periphery, she immediately starts doing the baby sign for “please”…then points to the computer, then does the sign for “baby.” And she continues this pattern with increasing desperation over and over again. Then, she adds in some screams. Aaaaand eventually I always give in and we have our little google image ritual.
- Speaking of signs, she does quite a bit of them. I was going to make a list of her current signs and words for this blog post, but that seems like a lot of work. I *love* the fact she is at an age in which she can communicate so well. Although her verbal words are limited [but growing daily], with her signs and facial expressions and pointing, I can usually gather what she wants…
- …and usually she wants something to do with water. Be it washing her hands, putting her hand in our glasses, pouring the water out of her sippy cup, drinking out of a straw, or playing in the bathtub…water is the greatest thing in her little universe. When she had pink eye, we neurotically washed her hands, and this was pretty much her dream situation. My sister found a water table for her at a consignment sale; I have a feeling that is going to be well-used this summer.
- If anything would surpass her love of babies and water, it would be “outside.” Oh, “outside”…I both love and hate you. I love when you are warm, and Philomena can spend hour after hour just walking around our yard, whilst delighting in the birds, flowers, blades of grass, random pebbles, sticks, and weird trash that blew onto our property… and whilst responding to dog barks from blocks away, smiling and pointing at absolutely nothing, eating dirt, and staring off into the distance for full minutes. I love you, outside, when the weather is nice enough that I can just leave the door open in the kitchen, and Mena can wander in and out and entertain herself (!!!!) while I make dinner. And walks! Oh, outside, you give us glorious walks in our pretty neighborhood.
And yet, weather, I also despise you. Because you are fickle. So darn fickle. After a day of beauty you turn cold. And windy. And rainy. But, my baby/toddler still adores you, and dramatically begs to be with you. She forlornly stands by the door, points to you, and pleads, “side!” “side!” “side!” She is not fickle. She is consistent in her adoration.
Since no one asked, I thought I’d show you multiple photos of Philomena and her unfaithful lover:
Aaaaand, the best picture for last. She is doing the sign for “I love you.”
Basically, this stage is wonderful. Philomena is old enough to be catching onto so much; the little connections she makes really are neat to observe. She is unbelievably affectionate and perceptive. She is starting to assert her will, BUT…she is still young enough that distraction works when she doesn’t get her way. My days with her are a joy.
In conclusion, this post was too long. Way too long.
Your reward for getting this far.