Baby ruminations (16-months-old)

Nora is changing so fast day by day. Every new development opens new doors and I see her becoming such a little person. Now that she can walk and run, we can take a morning walk down the street, holding hands. It seems like such a little thing, but I love it. I can let her explore the yard, pick flowers, point at birds and trees and pick up stones.

She takes in so much — I can see her mind working when I say a word she doesn’t know. She stares at me with a very curious, kind of serious expression, and then she’ll imitate the sound in her own way. Since she started talking, she’d been saying “Dada” for “Baby.” One night, she just said, “baby,” pointing at her doll in the crib. (It sounded a little like “bee bee.”) And since then, she’s been saying it correctly. What was it that made her decide to say it like that? What clicked? Was it that she got three more molars? Or just that she got a little older? Since then, she’s developed a little bit of a love/hate relationship with the baby. She gets very emotional,  sometimes throwing the doll on the floor or out of the crib, and then crying for her. My theory is that it has something to do with her learning to say the word correctly. She did this kind of a thing when she learned to say, “night night.” She’d stand up in her crib and yell it, sounding very distraught. Now, it’s not as big of a deal. Or, the baby thing might be because she’s been spending time with a real one. Her friend baby Ian comes over sometimes to play, and Nora likes to pet his head, lean her head against him, try to feed him her cup while saying “yumm” and put a blanket on him. I don’t know why this would make her more emotional about her doll — but somehow, it makes sense to me.

She’s also testing her independence and her boundaries as she throws food on the floor, climbs and jumps on the furniture or heads toward an electric outlet saying, “no no no.” This is definitely a challenge. But it’s really interesting to see her becoming her own person and deciding how to behave. Occasionally my attempts at discipline rub off on her. When she’s about to throw food, I’ll say, “Put it in your cup when you’re done,” or “give it to me.” And she gets it. She’ll do that sometimes. But sometimes, it’s just more fun to toss it on the floor.

I feel like she’s always been here. She is a little person when you see her standing up, but she has such a presence and such a personality. Strange sometimes to remember that this funny little toddler is the same little newborn (well, 9lbs 9 ounces, not so little) who we brought home from the hospital because she already looks so different and acts so different. And strange that she’ll one day be an adult woman. At the same time, I feel like I really know the essence of her. I’ve known her since she was just a little bean in my stomach. 

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