At 20 months old, you’re growing more and more independent. You dislike the Ergo these days (shocking!), and prefer to walk. These are the days when a three or four block walk take the better part of an hour, and I find myself walking backwards, convincing you to waddle forward, rather than get lost in the bushes or all the other many interesting things along our path.
Your language is exploding. Since I last wrote, I feel like you’ve grown by leaps and bounds. Here’s a semi-comprehensive catalog: don’t know (with your hands in air), too? (as in, me too?), awoo! (water, sometimes sounds like owl), oskie (Oscar), fffft (woof), puppy, hungry, food, apple, boob (blueberries and the body part, haha), banana (silent word with the whisperiest ‘nanana,’ accomplished with the tongue sticking out multiple times), stuck, me, mine, please, thank you, done, down, up, bowl, nose, ear, hair, piggy, pony, diaper (diedee), Henrie, Thibodeaux (Teebow), meow, more, swing, off, hat, jacket, shoes, boots, socks, rock, diaper, yeah!, no, pancakes, pjs, dada, mama, love you, teeth, brush, poop, pee. And even though this isn’t a hugely long list, you’re talking all the time and trying out all sorts of words as we introduce them to you. I love this stage. It’s so fun to see your personality emerge along with your ability to communicate.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we drop off Lily and bring along the stroller. We find a trail nearby and I go for a run while you sleep. Lately, we’ve been swinging by the thrift store on the way home, but that’s a habit I’m hoping to let go… As fun as it is, the acquisition of lots of cheap little nothings is not in keeping with my values of intention or more minimalist living.
At home, we make lunch. You sit on the counter while I bustle about the kitchen, putting away clean dishes and cleaning up from breakfast. Afterwards, you play independently while I tidy the house and vacuum and mop. By the time we’ve finished cleaning, we have about two hours left, and we usually spend it going on a little walk around the neighborhood or hanging out in the backyard. If the weather isn’t great, we’ll get out some art supplies and get crafty.
On days with Lily, the two of you play and argue and play some more. Though we had a good few months when I had believed that we had come to a cease-fire of stealing toys and refusing to share, we have again resumed the battle. Ah. The joys of sharing. These days, Lu, you’re holding your own, and you’ll shriek – loudly – if you don’t get your way. Around other kiddos your age, you’re somewhat more, ahem, powerful, and eschew my urges to “gentle touch!” instead favoring the more effective smash ‘n grab methods. Though I try to be consistent and I never let violence go down without addressing it, it’s hard to take this phase too seriously. You still seem so little and young! I hardly expect you to understand why we share or say sorry…
You are not much of a napper. If you catch a minute or two in the car, it’s all over. An hour in the stroller is more than enough, and every once (in a fortnight), I get you down in your bed for an hour. (Every once in a blue moon, I get Lily down too! And then I get approximately 45 minutes in the middle of the day where messes aren’t being made and tantrums aren’t being had! That rare occurrence is blissful.
At night, you usually fall asleep quickly, though in the past week you’ve been throwing a fit. You lay on my chest, and within ten minutes, I can usually shift you onto the bed and make my exit quietly. You usually sleep for about four or five hours on your own (sometimes more, sometimes less), and then you silently wake up and walk down the hall to our bedroom, saying “mama mama mama.” You stay awake just long enough for us to tuck you in between us, and then you immediately fall back asleep. In the mornings, you wake cuddly and smiley.
You’re filling out. Once you weaned, your appetite soared, and you can really pack it away! Some days, I’m certain you out eat me! You love carbs, cheese, anything sweet, and fruit. You adore nut butters. Beans and rice is another favorite, and you’re liking eggs more. Though you’re still on the smaller side, I feel like it’s less noticeable these days. You’re hair is getting longer too, and you love getting a little topknot or piggies just like your sister. And you leave them in too!
You like to dance to music, point out puppies and kitties, and play hide and seek on walks with your sister. You could not be less interested in reading books, but you do enjoy coloring and painting. I often see you emptying out and filling up various containers with toys and items found around the house. Your favorite toy is definitely the kitchen, and I often see you very focused, working there. You’re not much for special lovies, but occasionally, I’ll see you pick up a doll and give it a little hug and rock.
You like to go for walks, pick up rocks, and play in the garden. You get very excited when daddy comes home from work, and you’re even following the Andert tradition and quickly finding a hiding spot so that you can surprise him when he walks in.
You are also one with strong opinions. You detest getting changed, being buckled into the carseat, or being forced to ride in the Ergo on walks where we’d like to cover a mile in say, less than two hours. I bought this seriously cute olive green jacket with faux fur trim around the hood, but you prefer your neon-colored puffy jacket, and you cannot be tricked. You HATE the last third of bathtime/getting out/getting toweled off/getting into your pjs. You also detest spilling water on yourself. You often pick up a glass and throw it back, dumping the entire cup down your shirt in the process. This invariably leads to hysteria.
Dear Lu, I love you so much. Though you’re going off and exploring more and more, you’re still my little cuddlebug. I love watching you grow and I feel so lucky to be your mama.