Monday, February 12, 2007

18 months and counting...

Last Saturday was Elise's 18-month birthday. Eighteen months. She's not a baby anymore. I guess technically babies are considered to be people who are twelve months of age and younger, but there are some baby traits that hang on after that point. But now...not so much. Elise is learning to run, talk, feed herself (with utensils!), navigate stairs, and climb. She's learning how to use good manners and how to be patient (although those lessons are significantly more difficult, it seems, than the lessons of physical skills). She is beginning to recognize numbers and letters - only as objects, not concepts, of course, but still... She acknowledges the difference between an accident and wrongdoing. She remembers things. For example, she has this little Baby Einstein DVD that we sometimes let her watch, and there is a part where objects ("food from the farm") slide onto the screen from various directions. She points to the empty space where the next object will go, before the object appears, and sometimes will say the name of it before it appears. She is showing signs of being ready for potty-training. little girl is growing up.

Having an eighteen month old is very tiring. I read this excerpt from On Becoming Toddler Wise by Gary Ezzo, M.A. and Robert Bucknam, M.D. "There is no question that a toddler's mom is a tired mom, and for good reason. The emotional and physical energy needed to supervise an energy-packed tot can take down the most physically fit mom....Never so beautiful does this child look to his weary mom as he does when he closes his eyes in sleep." Just reading that was a little bit encouraging to me. It made me think that I'm not the only mother who is worn out by caring for a toddler. (My thoughts are with Beth now, caring for both a toddler and a newborn!) But at the same time, having a toddler is so much fun. I've never been around anyone who finds such joy in discovery as a toddler. Everything is interesting to her. I love watching Elise grow and learn. I love hearing her say a word for the first time. I love watching her dance. She is a bundle of energy, it's true. She is curiosity on legs. She keeps me busy. But she is so precious. Tiring as this job can be, I wouldn't trade it for anything. (Right now, Elise is sitting in her booster seat, having just finished a snack, and she is going through all the animal noises she knows. I have no idea what prompted this recital, but it's awfully cute.)

It's exciting to think of what the next six or twelve months may hold. I'm in no hurry for that time to pass, but I am looking forward to seeing Elise grow and learn even more. Last night, as I twisted in my car seat for the 100th time (so it seemed) to reach Elise's fallen book and give it back to her, I commented to Andy that it will be so nice when Elise is able to do that on her own. I then immediately chided myself for the comment as I realized that I was wishing away a most precious time. I know that someday soon I will be helping Elise pack for college, or will be watching her walk down the aisle towards a man who will be the object of her highest affection. And today will just be a fond memory, and I will be wishing that I had it back. So I won't wish it away while I have it.

1 comment:

monica said...

I've got an 18mths old son. And I'm with you 100%.

The best age. And the most tiresome.

We are going to the climbing phase. anything and anywhere.
Your girl is soooo cute.