The day you turned one (or 12 months in baby parent parlance), we felt we were leaving the baby stage behind and passing the tollbooth to Toddler-land. Smart, manipulative, often scary toddlers who have just enough knowledge, mobility, and vocabulary to make their wants and needs known, but, to put it mildly, lack the tact to ask politely or wait three seconds for those needs to be fulfilled.
Most days now, you usually wake up with a mischievous grin letting us know that you have plans for us. What are those plans? I’m glad you asked.
Right now you have two blankets in your crib. When you wake up those blankets must be given to Daddy. It is a national security, code red priority. Daddy handles the blankets. Mommy is not to be trusted with this task. You start with the light green one and easily passes it up to Dad. Next is the yellow knit afghan. It’s much heavier, but you will not accept help. This is your burden and you will shoulder it. Eventually you get it untangled from your feet and hand it over. With the runway cleared of debris, you now take to your morning calisthenics (also know as jumping on the bed) with a vigor Jack Lalane would admire till you collapse in a giggle heap. Or get distracted by the way the sun makes the dust motes drift in the air. Whichever comes first.
Words and Signs
You have a few consistent words in your arsenal now beyond guttural grunts and yippy screams. You current favorites are Lola, Doggie, Daddy, Papa, Turtle, bee, and Cupcake. As if we needed more proof that you are your father’s daughter. You definitely understand many more words but to cut down on frustrations we started incorporating some baby sign language to help us all communicate. Most signs revolve around eating and you can sign, ‘please’, ‘drink’, ‘more’, and ‘all done’. Only once did the ‘please’ sign get confused with the universal sign for choking. That incident along with your parent’s universal response of ‘panic’ is a story for another post.
We’ve been reading to you for over a year and after having most of the pages ending up in your mouth, we are happy to say that you’ve now started to show a real interest in books. Very particular books and very particular pages, but it’s a nice change. For instance, you love Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See, but while you tolerate the green frog, you must first see the pictures of the children. You are also obsessed with Richard Scarey’s Word Book, but we’ve learned to turn the pages to the professions or getting dressed at our own peril. You have eyes only for the pages about fire trucks, trains, fruits, playground, and zoo. And heaven help us if we don’t add a realistic train whistle. And I do mean realistic. That train goes by every morning while she sits in her high chair with her oatmeal and she can spot a fake whistle when she hears it.
Let’s just say you and your Daddy have a very specific bath routine. I won’t comment further. You come out clean and without tears, so who am I to complain if the blue Hippo needs to be placed in the soap dish during bath time. Not in the water with the other toys, not on the shelf, but IN THE SOAP DISH. It’s a crucial component to the bath routine. I can’t emphasize this enough. You check multiple times. Sometimes it’s quick glance, other times you’ll climb up and give him a pet, but if he (or she?) isn’t there, forget about a tear free bath experience.
“Turning one means you don’t need to wear a bib anymore. Duh, Mom and Daddy.” I’m pretty sure we quoted you accurately there.
Bugs are everywhere…Didn’t you notice this Mom? Ants, bees, flies, mosquitoes, moths, spiders and the ever popular lady bug. They are important to notice. We must stop and look at them. Don’t just walk by…Lola get out of the way, because there is a bug, a glorious bug right there next to your paw. Wait, here’s another. And another.
But for all of her growing toddler independence, she still enjoys getting her bottle at night with Mom. Truth is Mom loves giving it to her too because it reminds her of the baby she was and the little girl she is becoming.
Momma and Daddy