|Kate: 17 Months|
The language explosion is in full effect as Kate continues to talk up a storm! I’ve been writing her words down on a Post-It when we hear them, and that sucker is covered from front to back. I can hardly keep up with her! Here are the ones I managed to capture on that little 3” x 3” piece of paper:
Kabooey (a word Grandma Pam made up—she loves it)
Farkel (a travel dice game—she carries the little container around everywhere)
Hey (said if I take her plate away thinking she’s done eating, but she’s not)
Yellow (which appears to be her favorite color)
She’s starting to put words together, too:
“All gone” (when she’s out of food—usually fruit)
“Get down” (when she wants down from being held)
“Snuggle Puppy” (one of her favorite books)
“More, please” (when she wants more food—usually fruit)
“Hold this” (usually asking someone to hold Bunny so she can use both hands to drink from her sippy cup)
“Bless you” (after someone sneezes)
“Have a good day!” (My personal favorite to hear—and her personal favorite to say…to everyone at Target…over and over again.)
She’s also beginning to string letters of the alphabet together and is starting to say some numbers in counting order. At bedtime she sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with me as I get her into her pajamas. I pause at parts of the song and let her fill in the blanks with “sky” and “high,” and when we get to the end of the song she says, “Up a…” to get me to start it over again. It’s so much fun to see her wheels turning as she tries to figure these things out!
The neat thing about this month is realizing that she really does understand the words she’s saying (versus last month, which was mainly repeating words after we said them first). For example, she’ll pick fruit out of the fruit bowl and tell me what they are as she goes: “Apple…pear….nana.” Then she’ll see a picture of an apple on one of her books, point to it and say, “Apple.”
Another example is this exchange between G and Kate after one of her meals:
G: “Kate, you made a mess.”
Kate: “Messy.” Then she walked over to get the broom and attempted sweeping up the food on the floor around her chair.
One day she even requested her snack! As we walked into the kitchen I casually asked her, “Kate, what would you like for your snack today?” not at all expecting a response.
“Cookie,” she replied.
“Um…okay,” I replied in awe as I heated up an oatmeal banana cookie and realized we were having an actual conversation. “Any other requests?”
“Eggs,” she stated.
“You want eggs, too?” I asked skeptically.
“Eggs,” she repeated. (And if she had a greater understanding of the English language I’m pretty sure she would’ve added, “Get on it.” That’ll come next month, I’m sure.)
G walked in the kitchen shortly afterwards, looked at Kate’s plate and then at me with surprise and said, “A cookie and scrambled eggs? For snack?”
I explained what happened, and added, “Hey, I asked, she answered. How could I not honor her request after that?!”
Of course 17 months hasn’t been all fun and games and cookies and eggs. Kate is also doing some testing. Most notable has been her desire to be picked up and held or carried constantly. She went through this phase right around the time she turned a year old, and we were so grateful when it passed.
Now it’s back.
Sometimes I feel like a car in one of those radios station contests—whoever touches it the longest without letting go, wins it. I’m the Toyota Scion and Kate’s the overzealous contestant who has absolutely no problems peeing in her pants versus taking a bathroom break so as not to break contact with any part of my skin.
It’s not that I mind holding Kate, of course, but what I don’t like is when she comes up to me and fusses to be picked up—or even worse, just screams at me and tugs on my clothes. That is definitely not the kind of behavior this Toyota wants on board! We’ve been working on teaching Kate manners and she already knows the words “up” and “please,” so I began asking her to say, “Up, please” in a nice voice and when she does that she gets rewarded with being picked up. When she comes to me guns blazing, she stays on the ground. It took her all of 20 minutes to master the magic of manners. Now she calmly and politely requests, “Up please” when she wants to be picked up—and that’s a request we’ll gladly honor!
Kate has also put “diaper changing struggles” back into her rotation of behaviors to bust out just when Mom and Dad think everything’s going great. A couple of months ago I shared a trick I used with baby pictures that worked great for awhile, but it lost a bit of its luster this month. My new trick? Musical greeting cards. We got one for G for Father’s Day that has little cartoon animals on it and sings a silly song in a funny voice—she is absolutely mesmerized by it! She only gets to play with it when she’s on the changing table, so (for now) diaper changes are back to going smoothly.
I’ll end with this video of Kate enjoying the toy blender Grandma Pam got her. She was making her very first faux smoothie!