Monday, January 7, 2013

19 Months

These photos were taken on Saturday. She is dressed to represent her split household - I just wish that Packers sweatshirt wasn't so yellow.
It’s funny how just EVERYTHING changes when you have a child, in big ways and small. (Breaking news, right?) In the time before Clare, car trips were dull, quiet affairs. Now, I spend a lot of time worrying about whether or not Clare is going to fall asleep or whether or not she is going scream or how many times we are going to have to stop.  I play games with myself – if she is quiet, I have to wait 5 minutes before glancing in the mirror to see if she is sleeping, because if I look too soon and see those eyes peering back at me, I get anxious. Really, though, she does well in the car, even if she doesn’t sleep as much as I wish she would. Another difference: once we decide it is time to go, it takes us a minimum of 15 minutes to get in the car, even if I think everything is ready to go.

We took one of those road trips yesterday to visit my grandparents. We had a lovely lunch with Great Grandma Jean, who always makes sure to have my favorites on hand (black olives and taco dip)! She loaded us down with cookies, presents, and candy to take home. Then, we went to the nursing home to visit my Grandpa. This is never fun. Those places. Ugh! They are just so depressing. The smells, the sounds, the people slumped over in their wheelchairs.  But Clare, she was like a breath of fresh air in the place. We were sitting in a corner of the lobby visiting, and when suddenly we were being surrounded by wheelchairs (which I noticed because Ben was humming the theme to Jaws under his breath). People were reaching out their hands to Clare, smiling. My Grandpa was so happy to see her, and she was happy to look at his shoes and his hat. She was also thrilled that he was drinking water out of a straw, just like she does. She didn’t care at all about the smells, or the sounds. She didn’t seem to think that any of the people there were any different than the people she sees everywhere else.

And now she is 19 months old and quite the sassypants. It is a tough age when it comes to discipline, because she really doesn’t seem to understand or care that I am upset, unless there is something tangible that I can immediately stop doing or take away. We had a talk about hair pulling, and how it hurts and she needs to be gentle. Since then she gently strokes my head, but hasn’t pulled my hair once. I’ll chalk that up as a win, but I still don’t know what to do about getting her to listen. I ask her to come to me so I can put on her coat, and she screams and runs away. I know she thinks it is a fun game, but it is highly annoying.  She is quite helpful around the house, though. She likes to put things away, which is nice when it is time for her to go to bed and her toys are strewn everywhere.

She is repeating almost every word I say, making me more nervous about my tendency to swear while driving – I know any day now an expletive is going to come out of her mouth. I’ve tried replacing shit with boogers. It is working okay so far, but is not nearly as satisfying. She doesn’t know what many of the words she repeats mean, though. I can add these words to last month’s list of words she uses correctly: more, hot, cold, mouse, clock, and cat. She also says mitt for mitten and butt for button. She’ll say short two-word sentences, like “Bye Dada” and “More milk.” When prompted, she adds please, and the sign for please. She has been calling me Mommy instead of Mama. (She also called the salami we were having on sandwiches Mommy, though, so whatever. I guess they sound the same.)

She still LOVES to dance, and she and I spend a lot of time each day grooving to one of her musical toys that plays a variety of songs. She claps her hands and sticks her butt out. She loves talking on the phone, too, and she’ll nestle it between her head and her shoulder like she sees me do when I am trying to keep my hands free.

She is little Miss Independent, too. She does not want help with ANYTHING. She will do it herself, even if it does take her half an hour to take her coat and boots off. 

Clare had a blast visiting all the relatives over the holidays (and being the center of attention, of course). I think she is going to be bored this month. Maybe I’ll have to take her on a few more road trips.


  1. 19 months--how is that possible?? She's such a little cutie. Yes, older people just light up in the vicinity of little children or animals. It's great therapy for them. I can't imagine--nursing homes are the worst. They need interaction from people of different ages to stay vital. I'm glad she's still so unaffected and can bring her little ray of sunshine to people who don't even know her. That's a gift.

  2. I laughed out loud when I read that Ben was humming the Jaws theme under his breath as the wheelchairs zeroed in on your innocent breath of fresh air — YOUTH!!! — at the nursing home. (They were probably intrigued by you and Ben, too, not just Clare, although I'm sure she was the main attraction.);)

    I love that she's independent and helpful and talking (Mommy salami!) and oblivious to things that make people different. You have a very special little girl, Em!