Oh Edie. You are SO OLD! Today (kind of) you are 18 months old. As with your "half" birthday last year, this one doesn't really exist. There will never be a February 30th, so I'm writing this letter a day or two early.
Turning a year and a half old seems like a big deal; today is the day that tips the scales towards your second birthday. From now on you will be closer to 2 than 1. This last month has been so much more enjoyable than January. Health has returned to our household (knocking on wood as I type), only to be replaced by teething. Teeth! It seemed like teething in the early days didn't bother you all that much, but this last burst of growth seems to be stirring up some sleep issues and I'm SO grateful this is your last tooth for a while. Your 16th tooth (a canine) is coming through this very second and then we will have a break until your second year molars come in. Then I'm told we will be done with teething until you are 4 or 5! At which point you will be eligible for a legitimate combination pain killer and sleep aid.
Highlights and markers at this 18 month milestone-
Weight: We won't know this until later this week
Speech/Communication: You are a BIG talker, with well in excess of 200 words. There is never a need for any sign language because you can, and do communicate all your needs effectively. You tell us when you're hungry and exactly what you want to eat, when you need more (please), when you want to get down (and back up), and what you want to do next. You frequently put two or three words together, but not usually in a cohesive phrase. It's more like, "Horsey! Daddy? Please!!!" when you want a horsey ride, or "Help. Shoe. On." when you're trying to put my shoes on your feet. My favorite was yesterday when you were in the kitchen trying to put your sippy cup in the fridge (a popular hobby these days is to ask for your milk, take a sip and then say "fridge" because you like putting it away yourself). I was in the next room and could hear you saying "fridge. Mimi." over and over. Then you added, "Mom. Coming." In other words, you wanted me to come in and help you open the door to the fridge.
You will also say things like "Ring. Edie. Get." When you can't reach a ring that's slid under your crib. You have the words for all your activities and friends, and if I get down on your level when you start to get frustrated and ask quietly "What do you want?" you pretty much always stop the tantrum ramp-up to tell me what it is that you wanted (and weren't getting) that got you upset in the first place. The only times we have to weather tantrums are when the thing you want is something we can't give - like a cookie at 9am. Or the 1000th horsey ride. As everyone is quick to remind me, this tantrum-void in our lives will surely not last.
Aside from your irregular sleep patterns at night, my least favorite habit of yours these days is when you intentionally spill your sippy cup all over the floor (shaking it upside down over and over and then playing with it like finger paint). I've talked to you about it numerous times with no success, so last week I tried implementing our first time-out. I told you that spilling your milk just to be funny was "naughty" and that you were going to sit on the naughty stair for 1 minute each time you did it in the future. Well, turns out the naughty stair is hilarious, not punishing. I couldn't help but laugh under my breath while you giggled and ran around the stair area every time I tried to sit you on it and walk away. I told myself it was just too early for that concept to be grasped. But the next day I heard you in the kitchen saying "naunny, naunny" and when I came to see what you were talking about, you had a puddle of milk at your feet, cup in hand and you were pointing helpfully at the milk saying 'naughty'. Before I could say anything, you ran over to the bottom stair and sat down, proudly saying "naunny". Granted you only sat there for about 20 seconds, but it was sweet, funny and kind of confusing all at the same time.
Potty training: You've been telling me about your dirty/wet diapers for some time so we ordered a tiny potty chair this month. Mostly we're just introducing the concept, talking about how it works and all that biz. No actual 'pottying' or attempts by me to implement. It seems more a source of fascination than something you want to tackle right now. I don't plan to push the issue for a while.
Sleep: You are still going to bed easily and happily, with very few exceptions. Teething (or something else??) are making the whole "sleeping through the night thing" a crap shoot with a week of good sleep and then a flurry of night wakings and early rising/cranky mornings. On a normal night you go down at 8pm and wake at 7:30 or so. Napping is more consistent and you always take a nap after lunch that lasts one and a half to two and a half hours.
Food: Shockingly, you've become a pretty good eater these days. You rarely, if ever, require your own meal at dinner, just eating what we serve ourselves. Your favorite foods are anything to do with noodles, broccoli, peas, toast with peanut butter, freeze dried strawberries, grapes, homemade pizza of any variety (which we make about once a week), anything that includes a dip, gnocchi, and anything in the dessert category. You dislike or are luke warm on many popular toddler foods such as chicken nuggets, most potato products (including tots!), quesadillas and grilled cheese. You worship milk and we spend a fortune on your organic whole milk right now.
Interests: You love helicopters (copters), music, dancing, Grandma and Grandpa's dog Toby, and hanging out in the truck with Dad. Most nights after dinner, he takes you out and the two of you hang in the cab of the truck for up to an hour - pressing buttons, changing the radio station, spying buses on the street below, waving to the garden gnome across the street, etc.
Last week you all of a sudden started grasping colors and now talk about the colors of everything around you. Some colors (orange and purple) come very easily, but others are still a bit iffy. You are also obsessed with cleaning these days. I swear I can give you a wash cloth ("wafoff") and just watch you "clean" the house for a full hour. In fact, I've probably done this. I especially like when you "clean" your nose with the same rag and then proceed to wipe down the front door or your chair with it.
While I would still very much describe you as a real character with lots of energy and enthusiasm, your overall temperament has mellowed out a bit. You almost never get angry, you like sharing and playing with others, when tackled by other kids (hi Danny!) you just look confused and try to keep going about what you were doing, and you are very good at playing creatively by yourself. You really are a contented little kid.
You still have yet to have any separation anxiety (with the exception of one trip to the gym daycare a few months ago) and love your time with babysitters and extended family.