Hmm... how can I fit this baby into my bed?
She's been identifying circles and stars for quite a while, but most recently she can also identify triangles. We had shown her a triangle shaped toy one night and she repeated the word (which is adorable by the way), but I didn't think she would retain it until she pointed out a triangle on her pajamas a few days later and said, "Ti-an-gle". She amazes me with something every day. Is that normal? To identify shapes at this age? I don't know, but I think she's pretty smart. (Also, I'm trying not to say "You're so smart!" to her, because I don't want to give her a big head. I do think she's so smart, but I'd rather point out how observant or creative she is so as to encourage her to keep learning and not just be cocky about what she can already do.)
It's not the 4th of the month, but I've spent so much time focused on and writing about Grandpa in the last month that I'm going to take the time to write about what else Eleanor has been doing. So if you aren't interested in my bragging then move along.
Still reading? Okay then, let the mommy gushing continue.
I get emails from a parenting website every month. Today I got one about Eleanor turning 18 months old soon and all the developmental things she may be up to. It began with, "An expanding 15-20 word vocabulary makes for a thrilling accomplishment this month!" Isn't that cute? 15-20 words! Ha! My talking toddler laughs in the face of your development milestone! I actually sat there and counted in my head and I could think of at least 120 words that she uses frequently, spontaneously, and clearly enough to communicate with us. That's just counting the words that actually sound like what she intends to say. Example: She says "bobble" for "bottle". It sounds like what she means and it clearly communicates what she intends. She has more words that don't sound like what she means, but get her point across anyway. Example: her favorite food right now is Cuties (mandarin oranges). Since they sit in a bowl on the kitchen table, she has full view of them every time we sit down to eat. It took me a while to realize that "noonsh" means orange. She points, nods yes, and says, "Noonsh!" It doesn't sound much like "orange", but it gets her point across. She often puts two words together. Example: "Poopy potty". She's recently begun stringing three words together. Example: "I did it!" or "There it is!"
She is walking and starting to run and is doing some climbing, all of which she does with great caution and care. She's not reckless at all and rarely has falls (somebody knock on wood, please). We found out this week that if she stretches out and gets on her tip toes that she can reach the edge of the kitchen counters. I need to measure her height and see how tall she's gotten, because reaching door knobs and counter tops doesn't seem possible, but it is. She's started walking backward, side stepping and turning in circles in the last couple of weeks and seems quite impressed with herself.
Know what else I'm surprised about? Potty training. If you're still reading then I'm going to assume that you are okay with toddler potty talk. If you aren't then you should stop reading now.
We definitely aren't going all in on the potty training because there's been so much else going on (and she's only 17 months old), but I'm really just letting her take the lead and it's going really well. It started right before Christmas when the potty chairs arrived. I set them up and would let her come with me when I went to the bathroom. I would take her diaper off, let her sit on the potty if she wanted, and just see what happened. The very first time she sat on the potty, she peed, looked down, got wide eyes, and said, "Whoa!" After that first time, she was game. I don't ever make her do it, but if I can tell she needs to go and she's getting impatient then I sit on the floor beside her and we read a book until she's done. Pooping seems to be easier to do in the potty because there's more warning time when she needs to go. Once she's done she stands up and says, "Good girl! Potty!" Being out and about makes the potty thing more difficult and she usually doesn't ask to go, but on Christmas Eve we were at Dottie's and she patted her bottom and said "potty". I made the mistake of trying to sit her on the big toilet and she sort of freaked out. By the time I asked for and found the baby potty, it was too late and she was upset. Anyway, it's awesome that she's trying and having some success and I hope that it means that she will continue to figure it out on her own until she's officially potty trained. At this point I just think it's cool that we're saving a diaper or two a day by going potty.
Maybe it's only fair to point out the not-so-cool things that she's doing, too. How about the word "no"? It's not cute and she uses it loudly & frequently, especially if someone talks to her or gets too close. That's not even just with new people, it could be people that she knows and loves. It embarrasses me, but I think it's normal. Right? Right? She's not too keen on sharing, either. If she could, then I think she would say, "That's mine, that's mine, and that's mine. You can't have it and you really shouldn't even touch it." Since she's not quite that articulate yet, she just screams and starts swinging. Add that to the not-so-cool list. Maybe it's time to pull out that Love And Logic parenting book again and brush up on some parenting techniques.
So as not to end this unexpectedly long post on a sour note, let's end with a picture. Seriously, y'all. She's just lovely. I just want to squish her and kiss her all day (until she screams and starts swinging, of course).