My sweet girl. You've changed so much in the last 4 months, I hardly know where to begin!
You started walking by yourself on October 20. I stood you up and asked you to walk to daddy, fully expecting you to buckle your legs and whine as usual... but instead you walked. Then walked back to me. Again and again, until 3 hours later you were confidently running laps around our kitchen and living room, like you'd been doing it for months. This has made life quite a bit more complicated for me. I can no longer sit you on the carpet just outside of the kitchen while I make dinner - instead you are hugging my legs, stealing knives from the dishwasher, trying to open the hot oven or throwing onions and potatoes all over the floor. I'm very proud of you, though. You were always one to sit back and observe rather than actively explore, but walking has given you the confidence to get into things, make a mess, and experience all the tactile pleasures (and dangers) of your environment. It is so much fun to watch you delight in the world.
|But OH, the mess. It is epic.|
Taking you outside is frustrating, though. You are obsessed with stairs. Every time we go out you only walk as far as the first staircase or curb, and we play the step-up-step-down game until I can no longer take it. Then I try and redirect you, you throw a massive tantrum on the sidewalk, and we commence step-up-step-down until I finally drag your flailing, screaming body back into the house.
Ah yes, the tantrums. Immediately after your first birthday you started to form opinions, and preferences, almost always for things that are dangerous, or terribly inconvenient. At first it was mostly while we were out walking. If we took your hand to lead you where you didn't want to go, you would collapse to the ground and arch your back, usually cracking your head on the pavement. It was scary and unexpected. Now I understand your triggers (but expect them to change every week), and can usually avoid a full-on meltdown, but sometimes you surprise me. Like when you were throwing your head back and drinking out of your sippy cup with the straw, therefore taking in only air. I tried gently to tip the cup down so you could access your milk... cue hysterics, deafening siren screams and hand biting. That's your new thing - you scream and shove you hands in your mouth, or bite your own arm, when you're upset. Your dad and I aren't generally frazzled by this. We just try and stop you from hurting yourself, and let you get it out of your system. Your brain has grown by leaps and bounds, but your English language skills have not kept up. It must be frustrating for you, to see something across the room that you desperately want to examine, but all you can do is point and utter a vague but insistent "Da! DA!!" I'm sorry I don't understand you right now.
Speaking of language, though, you are learning new words every day it seems. This is by far my favorite part of you being 16 months old. You can say "shoes" and "fish" (though they both sound like shoosh), "hi," "bye," "mama," "dada," "banana," (sounds like 'blah') "bang," (thank you, Big Bang Theory theme song), "baby" and "house." When asked, you can point to pictures of strawberries, grapes, balls, rings, cats, lions.... lots of things. You shake your head vigorously to say "no," and nod enthusiastically for "yes." You can identify your nose, eyes, mouth, hair, ears, fingers, toes, feet, and belly (which is your favorite - I ask "Amaliya, where is your belly?" and you proudly lift your shirt up to slap your round tummy). You're still big on baby talk, though. You babble endlessly, and hold my phone up to your ear for long pretend conversations. You're shaping up to be quite the little chatterbox, and I love it. Nothing is sweeter to my ears than hearing you call me mama, or say "baby!" when you see a picture of yourself.
You're just such a happy kid. Serious still, like you've always been. Scrutinizing. Methodical. Rather than throw your toys around, you grab something and purposefully carry it around and place it somewhere (not that it makes sense to me - I came in your room the other day to find my running shoes arranged on top of the humidifier - but I know it must be part of your grand design). Your favorite things to do involve helping us. You like to take a tissue and wipe your own nose, turn the lights on and off, check the mailbox, carry things from one person to the other when asked. It's not all work for you, though. You like to be tickled and have raspberries blown on your neck. You laugh like a fiend and run in circles when your favorite theme songs play on TV. You are snuggly and sweet, always handing me books, and plopping yourself on my lap so we can read together. Despite your love of mobility, you still insist on being carried a lot of the time. Every night you fall asleep on my shoulder while I sing you "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star." I feel like I'm always getting little glimpses of the person you will be in 10, 20, 30 years, and it makes me so excited for the future. I can already see, you're going to be such a loving person. A collaborator. A team-builder. An intellectual. An amazing friend.
|And a silly beast, too.|
Keep growing, little girl.