This and that

We didn’t mean to go quite this long without updating Laurel’s blog, but it’s been a time of tremendous activity, growth, and change — and we did some traveling — so it’s been difficult to know when is the right time to hit the pause button and say, “This is what she’s doing now.”

However, Laurel is 15 months old now, and had her pediatrician’s visit today, so now seems as good a time as any!

Probably the biggest news is that she’s walking. Over the past month, or maybe a little more, she has gone from taking a few tentative steps each day to walking across the house — and spending very little time crawling anymore. Weeks ago, she would try a little walking, fall down, and cling to one of us in frustration and reluctance. Now, she falls down now and then, but gets up again and keeps going. She really seems to like walking, both because it’s a nice way to get around and because she can carry things while she’s on the go, which doesn’t work so well when you’re on hands and knees.

She’s also learned a few new signs. Lately, “potty,” “tree,” and “dog” are among her favorites. Our downstairs neighbors just got a dog, and every time it barks, Laurel signs “dog” (snapping her fingers), but also makes little “ruff, ruff” sounds happily. When loud cars, trucks, or motorcycles go by she says, “vrrooooooom!” She uses a handful of words regularly, and is experimenting with lots of syllables, as though any minute now she’s going to glue them all together and speak in complete sentences. By now she seems to understand what we’re saying most of the time, and has started nodding “yes” or “no,” although it’s not always clear that she knows what those mean yet.

Also over the past month, she has started saying “this” and “that.” More specifically, she points to an object and says “this?” (if it’s nearby) or “that?” (if it’s further away), asking us to tell her what it is. While we were traveling in Europe, she would wake up in the morning and sit between us in the bed, asking us to name the headboard, pillows, blankets, and other items in the room. Now, when we’re out and about, she wants to know the names of everything we see.

She really enjoyed traveling. She gets a little bit airsick, and was frustrated by the amount of time she spent in the Ergo, but she behaved well on the long flights, and loved seeing all the sights while we were visiting. One of her favorite things was seeing cows close-up on Dartmoor, in England, where she spent a lot of time shouting “moooo!” to them.

Although she’s generally a happy kid, Laurel has gotten pretty stubborn and willful. She cries and screams when we pull her away from something she isn’t supposed to be doing or playing with. She doesn’t throw full-fledged tantrums (yet), but she does occasionally lay on the floor when she’s in a good mood and kicks the floor with her feet, as if to practice for when the time comes. She has also developed some separation anxiety and doesn’t want us to put her down, leave the room she’s in, etc. — she will cling to our legs, cry, and ask to be picked up and taken with us.

She’s also been more difficult to feed. She’s often happy to feed herself pieces of food we put in her high chair tray, but she no longer wants to be spoon-fed anything. She likes to grab the spoon and feed herself, which is very messy indeed. If you try to take the spoon from her, say to load it with more food or prevent her from dumping its contents on herself, she’ll scream and turn bright red. She signals that she’s done with a meal by sweeping or dropping all remaining food onto the floor. Sigh.

On the other hand, she lets us know she wants to stay in our arms by giving us hugs, and lately she’s been giving us lots of kisses, which is just about the most heart-melting thing ever. She also kisses the cat, her friends, her friends’ dogs, the pictures in her books, and so on. She also lately loves to be turned upside down or swung around, likes to climb into chairs (especially the rocking chair), stand up and bounce in them, and blow spit bubbles. Sometimes all at once.

She’s a fun kid. :)

— Beth