At a Father’s day breakfast with family over the weekend, my husband described our daughter as “a little bossy,” and I agreed. She’s entered a stage where she gives commands and expects them to be followed, probably because most of the time we indulge her. (Requests to “write a W” are too cute to be turned down.) My brother-in-law, father to a now almost six-month-old, said that he couldn’t wait until his son had a personality. It might sound mean but I knew exactly what he meant. I’ve talked about it before here, and as someone whose friends all have older kids, I was happy to finally be on the opposite side of that conversation.
21 months is a neat age. Having said that, I am absolutely thrilled that in my next three-month update post and from there on out, I can just say “she’s two” and be done with it. Keeping track of months is fun at first but it gets old. Once, shortly after Sonja turned one, I told a stranger who asked that she was “one,” got a dirty stare and the question, “like, what, 12 months?”
I admit that I often wonder just when my baby turned into a little kid. Sonja walks with determination and a destination in mind. She is adept at climbing and descending stairs, though she does need a hand or railing for assistance on the way up and to slide down backwards. She can run but not jump. She can eat with a fork or spoon, though if she gets tired or frustrated or is just really hungry, she’ll resort to her hands. She loves to help out, whether its pouring sugar into the mixing bowl or sweeping the floor or folding the laundry. She loves it when I chase her, and giggles and pants as she runs away and then squeals with delight when I catch her. She’s getting into imaginative play, like pretending to eat and drink with her picnic toys. She knows how to operate the tablet, and can do way more than you would think a not-yet-two-year-old would be capable of. She understands nearly everything we say, and she talks up a storm.
I correctly predicted in the 18-month update that this post would be largely about her conversational abilities. She’s now extremely good at repeating after you, so saying “let’s go build a sand castle in your new sandbox” is appropriate, while “frick-a-doodle-doo, I stubbed my toe” is not. She is great with names and can identify mom, dad, both grandmas and grandpas, auntie, cousin J.J., friend Susie-Rose and a whole host of cartoon/storybook characters.
She recognizes her books and can ask for them by titles. Roo’s Messy Room and Pooh Helps Out are her current, transitory favorites, though they are just a tad too long to hold her attention all the way through.
Her enunciation is getting better and there are many words, such as “dinosaur,” that come out clear as a bell. Others are still quite garbled. She has a particularly tough time with “lion” and it comes out sort of like “nyan.” She puts together small sentences such as “Thank you Mama,” “I want that” and “Grandma’s house.” If we’ve had the following conversation once, we’ve had it a thousand times:
Me: You want a cracker?
It slays me that she always makes it sound like it was my idea.
She knows all the letters of the alphabet and loves pointing them out wherever she sees them, whether it be the giant storefront sign or the label on a jar of food. She even sees letters in things that aren’t letters. Yesterday she held up the garden cultivator hand tool and said, “W.” By the way, W is her favorite letter and she has quite a fondness for her “purple” shoes, so as far as I’m concerned we’re right on track there.
She knows most of the color names but seems less clear on what they actually mean. When we ask her what color something is, most of the time she’ll shout very enthusiastically, “Red!” no matter the actual color. But today she absolutely knew she was holding a “pink shovel” so maybe we’re making progress.
She knows her numbers up to 11, and counts to four sequentially. Four peas on her plate? 1-2-3-4. Getting her to eat them is another story. She’s still small. Definitely looks like she’ll be two before she hits the twenty pound mark, though with our doc’s approval we turned the car seat around. We held off for as long as we could, but with the semi-warm weather making the car an oven, she was sweating up a storm. I wanted to be able to get air to her.
Her favorite foods are noodles of any kind and Grandma’s rolls. She’s also quite fond of cookies and M&Ms. She is strangely good at identifying offending vegetables (all of them) and picking them out of her food. There are many foods – really good foods like ice cream or raspberries – that she flat out refuses to try. I have however, on more than one occasion, had to ask her to spit out the cat treats. She still loves her fruit packs and has one at breakfast and any time we are at Target. She has developed a bias for the ones with the picture of Elmo on the front.
She still loves music and dancing, and has opinions on what she wants to hear. For a while her favorite song was Run Baby Run by Caspar Babypants , which the librarian would play at every story time. Recently, I was taking her to the grocery store and listening to Graceland. After You Can Call Me Al ended, she said, “again?” I happily obliged her “agains” the rest of the way to the store and all the way back home, and now we have a new favorite song. I started calling it the doot-doot song and now every time I put her in her car seat she asks, “doot-doot song?”
Immediately after I put away a too-small long-sleeve shirt with a panda on it, she decided that was her favorite shirt in the entire world and she didn’t want to wear anything else. Luckily I had a short-sleeve panda shirt in the closet and even more luckily, the weather warmed up enough that she could wear it. Any time I ask her what she wants to wear, I get the same answer. “Panna bear!”How exactly did she come to be so fond of panda bears? I have no idea.
Purple hippo blankie, aka Mi-Mi, is still the most cherished item she owns and she never sleeps without it. She has opened her heart to Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger stuffed animals. She also likes a blue polka dot baby blanket and a blanket her grandmother made for her that is bright red on one side and has colorful frogs on the other. She loves to lay the blanket on the floor (all corners must be flat – not curled up), crouch down on her hands and knees and pretend she is sleeping. This is one of mom’s favorite games.
I can’t predict what will be the focus of the 24-month post. Now that we’re walking and talking and eating and even starting potty-training, I feel like we’re just cruising down the highway. In fact, we’re finally to the point where we are brave enough to try taking her on a road trip, and we are in general looking forward to a fun summer where she understands a little more of what’s going on than she did last year.