NO FREAKING WAY is it possible that my tiny peanut baby is eighteen months old! Seriously, I feel like it was only five minutes ago that she looked like this:
Sniffle, sniffle. Anyway, although I’m not doing monthly updates anymore (if you’d like to see monthly posts about Peanut’s first year, you can find them on the family page) I thought it would be fun to pop in and just say a few words about what Peanut is up to, now that she’s one-and-a-half (!) years old.
The Toddler Races
Friends, we officially have a toddler on our hands. Peanut started to walk – cautiously, while holding onto my hands – around Thanksgiving. For Christmas we made the mistake of giving her a little walker (which we quickly christened “the Vroom,” since Peanut loves to shout “Vroom! Vroom! Vroooooooom!” when she uses it) but she really only needed it for about two weeks or so. By mid-January she was walking confidently – sometimes running – without any assistance. (She still likes to use her Vroom, though. It makes some spectacularly loud crashes when you ram it into the wall.)
Our days are moving at a faster pace now, as you can probably guess. Peanut loves to climb the stairs, rummage in the kitchen cabinets, play with anything belonging to Dad, and generally wreak havoc all over the house. I spend most of her waking hours chasing her all over creation… and it’s a LOT of fun.
The words started coming around the time Peanut turned one, and lately her vocabulary has just exploded. She knows a lot of animals and animal sounds, a few colors, and plenty of other words. Her favorite word is still:
“Booka.” Of course. There’s no doubt she’s my kid.
Back around the time she turned one, and she hadn’t really said much yet, I was a little bit worried about whether she’d hit the “twenty words by twenty months” milestone that seems so important. She hadn’t shown much inclination to walk at that point, so I didn’t think she was an “early walker, late talker.” Well, I’m no longer worried about whether she’ll have a twenty-word vocabulary in two months’ time, because I’ve been keeping a list of her words and she’s already got more than fifty. (And that’s without counting “Yoda” or “Death Star,” which Dad insists that she knows and uses appropriately.)
Peanut can also request her favorite books by title these days. She asks for “Madlala” – that’s either of her two Madeline books – “Ti Pi” (Tiny Pie), “Lalalamalalama” (Is Your Mama a Llama?), “Cat Hat,” (The Cat in the Hat), “Go Go Go!” (Go Dog Go), “Imma Pon” (In My Pond), and “Mom Tree” (My Mom Hugs Trees) most frequently. But her all-time favorite book is “Bay-beeeeeeeeeee!” – a Shutterfly book that I made with hundreds of photos of her first year. (We kept a copy for ourselves and also gave copies to the grandparents for Christmas.) Peanut looooooooooves to look at “bay-bee,” and she knows some of her milestones. For instance, she announces “Home!” every time she reaches the page about her NICU discharge day. And, adorably, the title page (her first picture, all wrapped up in the OR) gets an “Awwwww!” Too cute.
Who doesn’t love to play “where’d that come from?” We’ve known from the beginning that Peanut got my eyes and ears, and hubby’s mouth, but we’re still embroiled in a heated debate over where her nose comes from. Hubby and my parents maintain that Peanut has my nose. But I – and the in-laws – see Aunt Grace all over it. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see as she grows.
I really need to do a post about current foods, since I’ve let the ball drop on my “Babyfood Diaries.” We have started offering pouches of baby food that we’re actually buying, but they’re more of a supplement than anything else. Peanut is mostly eating whole foods these days – lots of fruit, some vegetables (she turns up her nose at a lot of the good green stuff), chicken, turkey and fish, bread and butter, cheese (her favorite!) and some toddler-style snacks. She loves Annie’s Bunnies (both the cookies and the fruit snacks, which I keep for special treats; I figure she’s going to encounter these foods eventually, and I’d rather her first experience be with the more natural options, so that she doesn’t develop a taste for the really junky stuff). Next up on my agenda is teaching her to feed herself with utensils, which I am dreading. (I know I should have started earlier, but Peanut and I have both been focused on the verbal stuff. No more procrastinating, though.)
When I wrote Peanut’s monthly updates, I always liked to include something about her funny little personality quirks. Well, as she’s gotten older, she’s just gotten funnier and quirkier. She has a few little Peanut-isms that get us laughing every time:
- “Dada!” Peanut recently went through a stage where she called all men (and also Jillian Michaels) ”Dada.” She knows perfectly well who her dad is, so we’re pretty sure she did this just to bother hubby. Her favorite game, for awhile there, was to walk up to hubby’s boxed set of Game of Thrones novels, point to the picture of Jon Snow on the side of the box, and announce “Dada!” The funniest part of all this was the smug look on her face when she would – inevitably – get a rise out of hubby. We tried to explain to her that Jon Snow took the Black so he can’t possibly be her Dada (oh, also, he’s not real) but she continued to call him – and Dr. Harvey Karp, and some scientist in her Mars Rover book – “Dada” for weeks. I thought it was HILARIOUS. Hubby, not so much.
- Drive-by quacking. Nana gave Peanut a book of “Farm Friends” with little buttons to press to hear various animal sounds. (Because Peanut didn’t have enough noisy toys.) Peanut likes looking through the book and pressing all of the buttons, but lately she has been pressing the duck button, specifically, whenever she is on her way out of the living room. (It’s right on the way.) We call it the “drive-by quacking.” Anytime we hear “quack quack quack,” we know that Peanut is on the move. (Well, we already knew that, because we watch her constantly. But she only does the drive-by quacking when she actually intends to leave the room.)
- Daddy’s little nerd. Anyone who steps one foot into our house can’t possibly doubt that Peanut is awash in toys. Still, she would much rather play with anything belonging to Dad. (She likes my shoes and my water bottle, but given the choice between my stuff and hubby’s, she’ll choose hubby’s every time. And she often prefers to read his Death Star Owner’s Technical Manual over any of her own books.) I’m constantly chasing her away from the remote controls, the computer, the headphones, the electric guitar… and despite my vigilance, there have been multiple incidents in which Peanut has somehow managed to turn on the Xbox while it is stored inside a closed cabinet. I don’t even know how to do that. Kids and technology!
Not All Fun and Games
We have had one not-so-fun milestone in the last few months: Peanut’s first sick visit to the pediatrician. Over Christmas, she came down with a bad cold and her first ear infection. Poor little kid! Being sick when you’re little and you can’t understand what is happening or why your nose is suddenly plugged… that’s the worst. She just recently fought off her second cold, but fortunately it seemed to be a little milder than the first.
Still in good spirits, even with a runny nose!
All in all, we’ve been enjoying the heck out of our time together over the past few months! I can’t believe I actually have a legitimate toddler running around the house. We dance, sing, play with her books and her plastic cars and her little farm animals, sled, feed each other cheese, go to Stroller Strides and the library, and just enjoy each other’s company all day. I love it! She’s a hoot and a half.
Happy 18 months, Peanut!