Eliza is 18 months old, and she is the best. She is occasionally also the worst, but mostly the best. I’m thinking about 95% best, yeah, that seems about right.
She wakes up every morning around 6 or 7, and putters around contentedly in her room until we come get her. She flops around on her bed, or puts various things in her hamper. She drags a little box around, and sits in it with her blankets and reads books to herself. Sometimes we just sit and watch her on the monitor for a little while, watch her do her thing, talking to herself and her toys. Eventually though, we go get her. Invariably, she greets us with an enthusiastic “HIiii!” like oh, I can’t believe you are here too! Isn’t this just the greatest! And then you pick her up, and she gives your arm a squeeze or a little pat on the back and it’s just the best.
She eats scrambled eggs with cheese for breakfast, or she doesn’t. Sometimes you can trick her by handing it over in taco form (gago!). Then it’s time to read all the books and play with all the toys! Her favorites these days are The Pout Pout Fish (blub blub blub!), Baby Talk (what’s sad baby say? hoo hoo!), and well, we keep hiding the terrible Winnie the Pooh book, but I guess I’d be remiss not to mention it. Her attention span is getting longer, and she interacts with the books, which is really fun.
She looooves basketball – we got her a toddler hoop, and we’d been turning on March Madness for a little while in the evenings. She recognizes basketball on TV IMMEDIATELY – like, from the sounds, even. And when we take walks in the neighborhood, she points out all the basketball hoops. If anyone is playing at the park, well, I hope they wanted a toddler to come help, because she will march right up.
She naps every day from 12 – 3, or does whatever she pleases up in her room. She goes to bed at 7 and sleeps all night long. I say these things not to brag, but to remember, because I’m so sure lightning won’t strike twice, and this next kiddo will not be near so fond of sleeping.
She is friendly, and fearless, and independent. She still hasn’t displayed an ounce of separation anxiety. Recently we took her to the kid center at the gym, and were hoping she would help her friend Lucy, who doesn’t like being left there quite so much, but instead as soon as we set her feet on the floor, she ran off (to the basketball hoop). Sorry Lucy, sink or swim! Happily, she is learning to actually play with her peers, instead of just existing near them – at a party recently, she and Lucy chased each other around for hours, giggling hysterically (just as all the adults were, watching them).
She thinks she can count, but she’s really just pointing at things and making up sounds. She’s totally obsessed with her belly button – she says hello to it every morning when we take her PJs off, and goodnight to it every night when we put them on again. She will stick her arm down her onesie to get to it, or try to feed it her lunch if she has unfettered access. She would be happy to show you where yours is, even if you are a stuffed animal or a pillow. She would also please like to have a bubble bath right now. And then let’s rough house – push her over, yeah, she loves that. The giggling, oh my heart.
Eliza also bites and hits and chases the cats, and steals your water and dumps it everywhere or puts some asparagus in it while you aren’t looking. She bangs on the computer keys, and tries to eat your phone charger. She’ll smack you with a book if you don’t get started reading it fast enough, and come ON where is her peanut butter, I mean seriously. She will stick that crayon right in her mouth after you tell her no, eyes locked on yours, seeing what will happen next. She will lay herself very carefully down on the floor, and then kick her feet and wave her arms and cry.
Some of this stuff, this one and a half year old, developmentally normal yet still slightly terrifying stuff, is incredibly, indescribably frustrating. And some of it is so funny you have to leave the room so she won’t see you laugh. Sometimes it’s both. Sometimes you look at the clock and wonder how it’s only 8:30 am, and how you are going to get through the day with this tiny, insane person. Other days, it’s bed time before you know it, and you’re sad you have to wait till the next day to hang out with this amazing little person again.