Eighteen Months

February 11 marked eighteen months since our youngest was born.  I couldn’t bear to let the day pass without some pictures of her at this age.

I gave her a cookie to eat while I took pictures and hoped for the best.

At 18 months her favorite activities are climbing things, emptying drawers and cabinets, and following the big kids around to do whatever they’re doing.

Her favorite song is Popcorn Popping.  I love watching her wave her arms and dance with excitement when we sing it.  The Itsy Bitsy Spider is also a favorite.

Her favorite passa is all of them.  She’s partial to pink, but she prefers to carry at least two with her so she can rotate them into her mouth when the one she’s sucking on gets too warm.  She likes them cold.

Her favorite clothes are dresses.  She has enough big sisters to know that they’re special.  And shoes.  She’s definitely a shoe girl.

Her favorite night time activities are baths and brushing her teeth.  She raids the toothbrushes if anyone leaves a stool out and carries them around the house with her.  She also loves books.  She doesn’t care what you read to her so long as you do it.

Her favorite toys are baby dolls and playmobil.  She really just wants to do whatever the big kids are doing.

Her favorite word is “NO.”  She uses it for both yes and no, so we watch for a no with an enthusiastic jump to interpret the yes.  My favorite phrase right now is “I wuv ooo”.  Talk about cute!  I also love hearing her say the names of her brothers and sisters.

I love this little girl.  I love her eyes, her smile, the way her hair curls in back.  I love watching her run away from me, then look back to make sure I am following.  She is such a gift.


My View

There is a direct correlation between healthy babies and a smoothly running household.  If the baby is sick, the household doesn’t run properly.  I’m grateful as can be for a now healthy little one, and a household that is slowly coming to order once more.

I must pause, however, (now that I’ve had some sleep and my head is clear) and note that there is something wonderful about sick babies.  It’s that they need you so much.  They need you to hold them, snuggle them, carry them everywhere.  They can’t get enough of you, neither can they seem to get high enough on you.  (Have you noticed how they just climb higher and higher when they’re not feeling well, until they’re almost perched on your shoulders and head like an eagle?)  They need to be all over you, in your face, until they’re the only thing you can see.

They need to fill your view.

I’ve spent weeks holding a crusty-nosed 17 month old who wanted me to do nothing but make her feel better.   We spent countless minutes together with her perching on me in various positions, trying to find relief.

And as much as I hated it, I also loved it.

My three year old also spent a few days like this.  It’s definitely tougher when two of them are warring for your everything.  Still,  it’s a priceless opportunity to have them want you, to be the one they think can fix it.

Yes, they wipe boogers all over you and cry and arch their backs and thrash around.

Yet it also means they’re close enough for you to study them, to drink them in.  Close enough to contemplate their sweet little hands, close enough to look deeply in their eyes, close enough to marvel at their eyelashes and relish the chubby sweetness of their smell.  When they’re healthy, they don’t want to sit still long enough for you to wonder at these things; they’ve got a world to explore.  When they’re healthy they’re off on adventure.  When they’re sick YOU are home.

If you think about it, changing clothes several times a day is a small price to pay for this privilege.  In fact, all the mundane things we do are small in exchange.   It’s an honor to be a mother, even a mother who hasn’t had any sleep and who can’t remember the last time her shirt was clean twenty minutes after her shower.

Forget the clean clothes (but maybe not the sleep).  I’ll take the view.


Hopeful Homemaker

First Piggy Tails

She’s growing so fast.  New words every day.  Climbing to higher heights (literally) every day.  More independent every day.  More a toddler every day.

Her hair is now long enough for sweet little piggy tails.  She looked adorable.  She liked them too, but not enough to hold still for a picture.

In fact, she couldn’t get away from me fast enough.  She grabbed her blanket and left the room as quickly as her little legs would allow.

She’s been fighting so much junk since Christmas that she just hasn’t entirely been herself.  I keep hoping for more sleep, for the return of her sweet baby self.  And then last night it dawned on me that I might not get that sweet baby self back; this might be partial evidence of a new stage… a more independent, less snuggly, more demanding stage.  I hope not.  My heart’s not ready for this.

I was out of town briefly again this week, and when I came home my older children told me in no uncertain terms that they’d so enjoyed having a “cool Dad” that they didn’t particularly like the return of “Mom who wanted to talk about homework.”  It’s nice when the big kids don’t like you very much to have a little one that still loves you.  Or so I thought.  She wanted her Dad, too.

I’m so not ready for this stage.


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