One and a Half

This toddler continues to surprise me every day. She is so aware. So alive.

And so full of tantrums.

To be honest, I don’t really know what’s normal or expected at this age. And I kinda like that. I worry sometimes that she’s behind on certain things, but then she goes and does something amazing and I stop worrying. She’s doing things on her own terms and in her own time. She was late to the walking party, but clearly that hasn’t stopped her from leaping right into running.

I keep thinking I should read more about this age and how to handle it. But between work and writing and, well, wrangling her, I don’t really have the time. And maybe that’s all for the best. I go with my gut instinct instead of anyone else’s rules and so far, that seems to be working.

Saying “no” to a toddler is hard, though. But the giggles and the laughter and the dancing make it easier. I know she’s just learning how to handle her disappointment/frustration. That takes time. Heck, many adults don’t know how to handle those.

I’m amazed at how easily she learns things. Music class just wrapped up and I thought she hadn’t learned anything from it, because she mostly just sat and watched. But then I started humming some of the songs and she started doing the dances and moves from the class – the same ones that she hadn’t bothered doing while there. So she’s watching. And learning. And I need to be more careful about what she learns from me.

She still doesn’t really have any words. She babbles. Occasionally I hear “kitty.” If she were Russian, she’d have “da” down pat. But she’s drawing with markers and picking up pen and paper and climbing with ease and trying to fold things so – I’m really not worried.

It also seems that we’ve decided on having another. I guess life is finally easy enough for me to look back on those first six months with some degree of fondness instead of just anxiety. I tell myself it’ll be easier the second time, because we’ll know what to expect. I tell myself that it will only be really, really hard for a few months – that time will pass.

I don’t know how we’ll fit two small children and a home office and two adults and two cats into a 800 square foot house, but… well, people used to live in much smaller spaces. We can make it work.

I don’t know how I’ll handle a newborn and a toddler while working from home and meeting deadlines and also navigating subsequent book releases, but, well. The chaos will keep my ego from getting too inflated.

I do know I want the liveliness two children will bring to our home. I want that family. I want Lady Jr to have a sibling and to not be the sole center of our universe. I want her to grow into an adult with a brother or sister who can talk to them about her fears/concerns/worries about her parents. Who can confirm that a Thing really happened in their childhood and wasn’t just a part of her imagination.

I am afraid that I will fail and that they’ll have a relationship like my brother and I. But I’m aware that fear is just that – a fear. And really, what’s the worst if that does happen? I learned a lot from my brother, even if things were more bloody than rosy. And even more daring – what if they have a good relationship? What if they’re friends? What if everything turns out all right?

What if we learn how to juggle our lives with two and we’re able to raise two niblets into two loving, caring, and empathetic human beings?

What if?

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “One and a Half

  1. She sounds like a typical toddler to me! I know at our 18-month appointment they wanted 12 words, but those could be any kind – signed, spoken, made-up words, etc. They also said that speaking is no indication of intelligence, so I didn’t worry too much about it either. At 21 months, we’re JUST getting to the sitting-and-coloring phase, and she definitely doesn’t try to fold paper, so maybe your daughter is advanced in those skills!

  2. 18 months is SUCH a great age. Glad you’re enjoying! I never read the expectations by age, either. Well, I did at first and made myself bonkers so I stopped. It’s just not worth the energy.

  3. Amy

    I love your approach to parenting (says a person with the same approach). I used to be so on top of the developmental milestones when Avery was in utero and a few months old, but once I saw that she was more or less a happy, healthy baby doing more or less what she was expected to do, I stopped looking to external guidelines to form my expectations. And when you don’t have externally informed expectations, everything they so seems so incredible and advanced and how on earth are they doing “that” already??
    Also, congrats on coming to a place of being ready for #2! The anxiety is still high for me and thoughts of #2 are pretty terrifying.

    She looks like such a ham in that pic!

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