I have two months of photographs to sort out, so I will add them to these two posts when I have finished!
Congratulations on being 16 months old! I would say one of the major themes for this month has been “frustration.” I suspect and hope there is some sort of language explosion about to happen, but without words you have still developed all kinds of signals that tell me you are frustrated about something.
The first sign was when you started throwing things in anger (then sometimes picking them up just to throw them again!). Daddy and I can see you scanning your immediate area for a likely candidate for throwing, then the deliberation with which you grab it; it’s a very grown-up thing to do and, unfortunately, very funny, though we try not to dismiss your feelings by laughing at you. Then came the advent of the full-blown proper tantrum, where you throw yourself to the ground, roll around, and wail. Then, while we were away on holiday, you started banging your head on the walls or floor (never very hard!) and biting me on the backs of my legs if I wasn’t giving you 100% attention constantly–but the banging and biting seems to be part of a specific kind of frustration related to boredom, so I think I can keep them at bay.
The thing about biting, though, is that Daddy and I are pretty sure it’s not always because you are frustrated or angry. It’s very close to kissing, and sometimes you lean in toward my face, then say “bite!” and nip my lips or cheek, sometimes while pinching my face, when in fact I think you intend for both the pinch and the bite to be nice. It is also a thing you can both do and name–most of your words up to now have been nouns, so I think things like “bite” and “walk” are both exciting concepts to you.
But to return to a point up there: yes, we went on holiday this month. You visited your Granny Cloahe and Granny Cathy in Arkansas for a week (where you also saw Auntie Kim and your BFF Eleanor), and then we met your Gran (who you called Nana) in Destin, Florida, for the next week. You did extremely well on the airplanes. Going out, you charmed everyone around you. There was a young man of about 25 sitting across from us who said you were the cutest child he had ever seen, and one of the flight attendants came and sat with you in the floor (we were on the bulkhead) and played with you for a long time. Coming back, you again charmed everyone around you–that is, except for the slightly unfortunate half hour where you screamed uncontrollably because you couldn’t get to sleep. After that, though, you slept and then woke up happy, so I think all was forgiven.
During the holiday you got on well with all your grandmothers and the new people you got to meet, and you seemed content. Everything was low-key in Arkansas, so all you needed to do was run around outside on the grass, eat at regular intervals, play with all of my old toys, and sleep, and you managed all of that pretty well–though you did end up sleeping with Mommy and Daddy every single night, because you kept waking at 2am due to jetlag, seeing us in the same room, and insisting on crawling in with us.
In Florida you had your own bedroom, where you slept very well, and we had a huge suite to run around and play in, PLUS a pool that was perfect for you, PLUS a private beach connected with our hotel. We went to the beach one day. It was beautiful. The only problem was . . . you apparently hate sand. We put you down to walk on the sand and you wailed. Then unfortunately you then plopped down to sit in the sand, whereupon you lifted your hands and feet up and balanced on your bottom as if to say “GET THIS STUFF OFF ME!” We put you on a towel then (which effectively imprisoned you), and you were ok then as long as at least one of us sat next to you (and you enjoyed watching us make sand castles). You loved paddling in the sea, but unfortunately that also involves walking on sand, so you kept alternately shrieking with delight and dismay. By the time we left, everyone else around us had cleared out and you started laughing. Was that your plan all along? to make the private beach truly private?
By the time we left Florida, you looked a little battered, with a skinned knee, bruised shins, a skinned elbow, a blister on your foot, and a small graze on your back. I hadn’t considered what the combination of a toddler who has just learned to run but is wearing shorts, short sleeves, and new sandals might mean. None of these things seem to bother you, but they do bother me! But at least you are finally starting to get some hair, which does improve the overall look.
This month you have also started pointing decisively at things that aren’t in books. You’ve been pointing things out for a while, but I was beginning to think you would never point to actual stuff in the world (I was imagining it was out of politeness, of course). I think your favorite thing to do is to point at whatever I am eating and say “What’s THAT?” Naturally I always end up giving at least a little bit of it to you. It’s usually something you shouldn’t really have (and by extension neither should I!).
Speaking of pointing at things, you also now happily show the world your belly when we ask you where it is, and you bend over and touch your toes when I ask where they are. You’ve had your head, ears, eyes, nose, and mouth down for a while. Maybe by this time next month you’ll know your philtrum, gnathion, and opisthenar?!
The best and funniest thing you have started doing is announcing a decisive and enthusiastic “YEAH!” in answer to most questions. (You’re still not in love with “no” yet.)
“Beatrice, do you want a banana?” “YEAH!”
“Do you want to get your nappy changed?” “YEAH!”
“Do you want to go for a nap?” “YEAH!” *runs to the door, then crawls up the stairs to the bedroom*
That last part is absolutely true. At the moment you are more than happy to go to bed at naptime/bedtime and you know exactly where to go to get there. I’ve never seen anything quite like it and I am just enjoying it while it lasts.
Daddy and I are enjoying our little toddler, and I think we are meeting your growing demands for playing, running around outside, and reading. Fingers crossed for a dry and warm summer, and also for our garden to get sorted out soon.
I love you,