Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nineteen Months (End of Eighteen Months), or Welcome to Almost Two

A switch has been flipped, and I can see the glimmers of a two year old on the horizon.

Calliope's new favorite habit is to scream. Loudly. (In case there was some other way to scream.) For no apparent reason besides the pleasure of hearing her voice. At full volume.

It's possible that this behavior drives me just a teensy bit crazy.

A somewhat more pleasant new habit goes as follows.


"Yes, love?"


Moments pass.


"Yes, love?"


I guess she's enjoying the fact that it's like clockwork -- she call "Mah-ee" and I always answer! And always in the affirmative! So predictable, and so, so awesome.

She's becoming much more opinionated about what we do. As soon as I lie her down to change her diaper, she cries for the potty.

But she taught me a new trick yesterday -- she pulled a folding changing pad out from under the wire shelves and carefully unfolded it before lying down on it. So now if I want to change her, all I have to do is ask her to unfold the changing pad for me. Of course, she always lies down in the wrong direction, with her feet pointing away from me, and her head towards me. Oh well.

It's amazing how engaging her in any task, particularly asking for her help, produces instant cooperation. In the mornings, as I come into her room, I ask her to turn on the light -- she can reach it from her crib, but so far, has only once thought to turn on the lights without me -- and the responsibility of that "task" allows the day to start extra joyfully.

She still sits on the potty, very happily, and still, almost never produces anything on it.

A very exciting development, though, is that she's pretty much weaned!

She last nursed yesterday morning. The last time before that was four days prior. It's been lovely to forge a path together that didn't require us to go cold turkey. Yesterday morning I let her get too hungry, and she asked several times, rather desperately. It felt wonderful to be able to simply say yes. And melt into the glider together for a few minutes.

And if that was the last time, at nineteen months and four days, great. And if it wasn't quite, that's fine too.

I was so very nervous about her being bereft to be deprived of her beloved neh-neh, but it was much easier than I feared.

I switched up the night time routine -- offering a bedtime snack on the couch for a few days, and now, a simple return to the highchair after putting on her pajamas (she often eats very little for dinner, so it's more like we interrupted dinner to get changed than a separate meal and then snack). After her snack, we brush her teeth and then we read a couple of stories. At first, we read on the couch in the living room, since I was nervous about nursing associations with her room. But tonight we read on the floor in her room and she still didn't ask to nurse. I am not quite brave enough to risk reading in the big chair in her room just yet, but after we get back from our upcoming trip to Boston, I think it will be safe for reading again.

In the mornings, I just scoop her up and bring her into the kitchen for a pre-breakfast snack before getting her dressed. If I don't do that, she quickly becomes famished, and the requests for nursing begin. Today, since we had to leave extra early, I just brought a banana into her room, and that worked fine as well. Once she's eaten something, she's cheerful and ready to play (and not so snuggly) and doesn't think to ask.

Perhaps related, and perhaps not, Calliope has grown very attached to Baby Annie, the potty-training-doll-we-don't-use-for-potty-training (the "wetting" makes a giant mess). Yesterday, I sent Calliope into the living room when she was searching for the doll. She stood in the middle of the living room, calling out forlornly, "Annie? Annie?"

I'm not sure if she expects Annie to answer or if she's just communicating to me her rather heroic efforts at finding Annie (and warning me that a toddler meltdown is imminent).

Goodness, these little people have short fuses some times!

Calliope is learning new words all the time, and has a couple more sentences. Her most frequent one is, not very lyrically, "had poop." (Only it sounds like "ha poop.") Because I always comment, "You had a poop in your diaper.)

She also sometimes says "Hi Ba" or "Bye Elle." I suppose these count as sentences?

But the funniest one is actually four whole words long. The sentence is "No, I do it." Great emphasis on the "I."

What's funny about this sentence is that it gets repeated constantly, out of context, without her appearing to have any idea what it means.

It's like she's cramming for her two year old year, and has memorized the material but didn't stop to learn what it actually meant.

Another amusing tidbit: I try not to tell her she looks cute, or pretty, because, I don't know, these seem very girly and not good, somehow. Like they place undue emphasis on her appearance, I guess.

So instead, I say "wow" or "you look nice."

So the other day, getting her dressed for a St. Patrick's day dinner party, I put a dress on her, and said, "Turn around Calliope, so I can see how you look."

And of course, she turned around, rubbed her belly contentedly, and said, very admiringly, "Wow. Niiiiiiiice" in a very-Borat like voice.

She saw a picture of a rooster in a book, and said "cuckoo!" a pretty impressive imitation of cock-a-doodle doo. She says "whoa!" now when she trips. It cracks me up to hear my own sounds coming out of her mouth like this, as I didn't even know I said this until she nearly fell and I, indeed, said "Whoa!"

She thinks all plants are called "gentle" because of how many times she's been admonished to be "gentle!" with the plant when she stands on the windowsill to look out the window -- a favorite activity of hers lately. She asks, over and over, "doh?" so that someone will lift her up and stand there with her while she gazes happily outside. It makes sense that she likes looking out on busy Ocean Parkway, with its many lanes of traffic, but it's a bit more puzzling that she's equally as fond of looking out the interior-facing windows in her bedroom.

Seeing a squirrel on the fire escape was probably our most exciting window experience -- Calliope asked "Squirrel?" many, many times afterwards, until finally her four year old hero, "Bah!" came over to visit.

Peanut butter, somewhat sadly, is now called "buttr" instead of "mah", but banana is still "dada" and orange (the fruit, not the color) is still "ish." And Calliope seems to think that I drink "teeth" in my insulated travel mug (she not only says teeth, but points to her teeth as she says it). Mango sounds rather like "yum yum." Bib is "bee-yobe." Avocado has gone, inexplicably, from "ava" to now being called "hawa." I'm glad this language development thing is not an entirely forward progression.


  1. Isn't it neat to have a window to (at least some of) what is going on that little mind? Children are so stinkin' amazing!

  2. I love how much Calliope talks!! So jealous!!

    Like you I try to avoid using words like cute & pretty...not that I don't compliment Elena, I do A LOT but I give her compliments on her accomplishments rather than her looks & apperance

    Another one I've started is refraining from trying to get her to do things by saying, "So & so is doing it, why don't you do blank like so & so" theory is, I don't want her doing things because someone else is doing it. It's a mixed message because as she gets older, I want her to be stong in the face of peer pressure so want to start early instilling that mindset. Maybe I'm over thinking it?

    1. Interesting idea! I don't know what the right answer to this. Because of course we want kids to do the right thing, regardless of their peers, but at the same time, socialization depends on learning how to act with others. And doesn't that depend on imitation? I don't know!

  3. I love the "No, I do it" at random times! My brother used to say "I do dat" at about the same age, I think. I love hearing about what Calliope's up to these days, because I know Jordyn isn't all that far behind. And, glad weaning is going (has gone?) so easily for you both.