Friday, January 09, 2009

19 Months

She is such a little kid. It's in the language explosion of the past two weeks; the first at 15 months resulted in 3-5 new words a day, but this one has her both parroting and composing full sentences, using possessives correctly, and totally cracking us up on a daily basis. It's in the lanky toddler's limbs that dangle from my arms as I lug all 23 lbs. and 33 inches of her to bed at night. She grew two full inches between her 15-month and 18-month checkups. Which explained why one day all her pants were suddenly too short. It's in the way she plays - making a toy horse pretend to gallop and whinny or kiss a dinosaur, instead of just pounding, throwing, or disassembling it - and the way she chooses specific toys for specific things. It's a thousand little things she does (like singing along with the stereo or makng "ahhhhhhhhhh...." noises in the car whenever we go over a vibratey-bumpy road) that show us how fast she is becoming not-a-baby.

She is WAY into monsters right now. Her favorite toy is a plastic dinosaur named Raar. Well, Raar II, technically. Raar I is a huge stuffed Tyrannosaurus with a freakishly big head (one of these) that she loves to drag around and wrestle. "Raar? Raar?" she always said when playing with either of them. "Raar? Monssers!" Monday she told me that Raar II was a dinosaur, not just a monster. For Christmas, we bought her this shirt from Threadless, which she insisted on wearing as soon as she opened it. We put it on right over the monster-print (it looks like this) footie pj's she was wearing (she totally lost her mind over those things when she opened them on Christmas Eve). She refused to take it off, only swapping the pj's for yoga pants later in the day at my repeated request. She slept in the shirt that night. Every time she sees it she insists on wearing it immediately. She turns up the hem to look at the monsters printed on the inside and gets a kick out of them every time. "Monssers? Monssers?"

We ordered this shirt and this one in slightly larger sizes and I stashed them in a closet until her birthday in June. I just hope she's still into monsters then.

She is really, really funny, and really, really frustrating. It's like living with the world's cutest crazy person. One second she's putting plastic teacups on her head and giggling "Hat? Hat, Mommy?" and then she's screaming and throwing the teacups because they won't stay on top of her had. She grabs my head with both hands and comes at me with a truly scary teeth-bared, evil-eyed grimace and I try to pull away because I'm thinking oh shit, she's going to bite my nose off but she says "Kissum?" and gives me a smacker on the lips instead. Sometimes, just to keep me guessing, she actually does bite me on the face. She wanders into her room to play, chattering happily to herself and in thirty seconds she is howling and throwing herself on the floor because she's trying to drag her Rody Horse into the living room and it won't fit through the half-open bedroom door.

She got some shots at her 18-month checkup in December, and we had been blaming that for the recent appearance of Evil Piper, but when the tantrums never ended I got desperate and had to re-read the copy of The Happiest Toddler On the Block that my MIL bought for me. I've had it for over 6 months and couldn't make it very far in because the writing is so irritating. Every third sentence has an exclamation point, and the good Dr. Karp is so busy using his cutsey-wootsey terminology that the information he's trying to convey frequently gets lost. But I did manage to decipher that the Terrible Twos actually start around 18 months and I should expect at least six more months of screaming, mood swings, and tantrums before it starts to even out. Grrreaaaat. Piper seems to be really ahead of the curve with her language and communication skills, and we were hoping this would spare us some of the "Terrible" in the "Two." Apparently not, it just means she can use the correct terminology and sentence structure to tell us what she's pissed-off about.

But, like I said, she cracks us up every day. Let's spend a few minutes with her, shall we?

"Puttin' on socks!" she declares as she takes my mismatched ones out of the laundry basket and puts them on. By the time she's done, she has 3 (all different) socks on her left foot, 2 on her right, and 1 on each hand. Then she wanders the house, wiggling her fingers and giggling "Socks-ocks. Puttin' on socks." Eventually she tires of this and goes to the chair where our orange cat Fritz is sleeping comfortably. "Fritz. Get out," she says, and climbs into the chair to sit on him. "Sittin' in chair. Fwitz. Cats. OUT!" She pushes him out of the chair and he stalks away with his tail twitching. Now that he's out of the chair, it is no longer interesting, so she climbs down and goes to where three other cats are sleeping, piled together in another chair. She bends down near their faces and two of them wake with wide, horrified eyes. "KITTIES!" She yells. The awakened cats scatter. She grabs Beckham, who is still laying there, and hugs him. Around the neck. Very tightly. He squirms. "Kissum?" She lays a kiss on his head. "Beckham! Nose? Kiss." She grips his head and kisses him on the nose. She spies the wall outlet with my laptop cord plugged into it. "No no no," she says as she tries to stick her finger into the other outlet hole. She grabs an empty Starbucks cup from the edge of my desk and brings it to me. "That's Mommy's coffee," she says. "Latte? Sip?" She pretends to drink from the empty cup with a slurping noise. "Mmm, coffee. Good." Then she goes into the kitchen, were she unloads the silverware basket from the dishwasher onto the floor, adds an entire drawer of Tupperware, and when I give her some goldfish crackers, tosses those into the mix as well. "Golfish?" When I ask her what a fish does, she turns to me and grins, then opens and closes her mouth like a lazily circling goldfish in its bowl.

Of course, five minutes after all this funny cuteness, she's laying on the living room floor shrieking because I told her she can't go outside without a jacket on.


Stuff She Can Do
- Use "please," "thank you," and "you're welcome" at the appropriate times
- Count to 5
- Sometimes count to 10
- Remember and reference things that happened days or weeks ago
- Put her toys back where they go (takes a LOT of direction from me, but mostly because she likes to pretend she can't near me when I tell her it's time to clean up)
- Recite most of her favorite books from heart
- Sing along to a number of songs, including (but not limited to) "So Sorry" by Feist, "My Winding Wheel" by Ryan Adams, "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the Harvey Danger cover of "Oh! You Pretty Things!"
- Repeat any line she hears on tv directly after it is said. I will never be able to watch HBO normally again. Some network shows are even pushing it.
- Repeat the word "bitch" over and over as "biiish" and chortle, then say it again when I tell her "We don't say that, Piper. That is not a word for you to use." I tripped over something in a store last week and muttered, "Oh, son of a..." under my breath. "Bitch," she finished for me, and grinned.
- Use possessives correctly (Mommy's bed, Daddy's milkshake, etc, and even "my dinosaur" or "my blankie")
- Identify herself in pictures. When we look at my Flickr account or the videos on my cell phone, she points and says "Piper, that's you!"
- Sing the alphabet song from T onward. Her favorite part isn't the letters but the "Now I know my ABC's..." bit and sometimes she just starts at W to get to it. We're working on the first half of the song.
- Recognize some words and colors. These are always random, although the colors are getting better. She usually gets blue, green, and pink right, although sometimes she thinks it's funny to tell us everything is blue. The word thing always surprises us because she'll just point to a word and say it, but she doesn't do it every time she sees that word and it's not the same word each time it happens. She really likes for us to point at words and spell them out for her, though.
- Climb out of her crib (this started Wednesday night, and you can guess how thrilled we were).

Things she likes
- Monsters
- Dinosaurs
- Halloween
- Christmas Trees and Lighs
- Milkshakes and Ice Cream
- Chicken
- Bananas
- Bacon (I have never seen a little kid pack away bacon like that)
- Stickers (there are stickers of all kinds stuck to EVERYTHING IN THE HOUSE)
- Dogs
- Books about going potty, kittens, monsters, or bears

Things She Is Not So Fond Of
- Going to bed (after a good month or so of 10:00 bedtimes, we are back to the anywhere-between-midnight-and-two routine)
- Vegetables, or anything that looks like it could have been a vegetable in its past life.
- Anything that looks like it might have vegetables in it anywhere, or that potentially sat next to a vegetable in the kitchen. If it even looks like it might be green and good for you, she won't have any of it.
- Eating in general, unless it's bacon (or chicken, if she's in a good enough mood).
- Me getting to read a book or check my email.
- Princess jewels, playing tea party, or any of the other girly crap my mom had on her agenda when she was here.

No comments: