Peanut, 21 months

Dear Pea-pod,

You’re just 3 months away from turning two years old – an age that seems completely unreal to me since I swear you were born just yesterday.  This month is full of a ton of changes for you – you’re started to pick up new words, learning how to really run, jump, and spin around.  You’re completely solid on your feet and now you’re concentrating on your speech.  It’s incredible to watch you grow up – both exciting and incredibly scary.

I was talking to a friend of mine today about pregnancies and babies and I wanted to share something I said with you:  I spent the entire pregnancy with Peanut being worried that something might go wrong and that we can’t do much because she’s in my belly, but the minute that she joined us in the real world I was terrified of all the things that could happen to her in this scary world and wanted her back in my belly almost immediately.  Ok – so a large part of this has to do with my anxiety, but I also think it has to do with motherhood.  It seems like the moment that we found out we were pregnant with our tiny little Peanut, my world began to revolve around her and hasn’t stopped since.  I wonder if it ever will?

On speech because that’s what’s been on our minds.  Last month we talked to our pediatrician because Peanut hadn’t picked up any new words in a couple of months and started to say even fewer than she used to.  We decided to get a hearing test and a speech therapy evaluation.  Well, the hearing test went great and Peanut’s ears are just perfect.  And it just figures that the last week or two she decided to start talking.  This month she’s said “Please” (meaze), “Mommy,” and much to her adoring grandmother’s delight, “Gigi.”  She’s also began to do ABC’s (“a” “ee” “c”) and attempting to count (this one’s less like actual numbers but kind of sounds like she is counting.  She’s been great at saying “more,” “up,” and a handful of other directional phrases.

I think a part of it is that she’s crossing the age boundary but some of it has to do with the changes we (and our wonderful daycare) made.  After talking to the pediatrician, looking up some information, and having a pretty long conversation about it with some daycare teachers, we’ve all worked extra hard to get Peanut to say words before we give in to her.  It seems like she’s picked up on the new trend and has been making strides in attempting to communicate verbally.  She still points and grunts a lot, but she is finally starting to attempt words, even if she hasn’t perfected them.  It’s amazing to watch her learn and try to please us by using words rather than gestures.

On physical activites.  Peanut continues to be very good at her physical progress – this month she’s learned how to jump (ok, this one is actually rather hilarious as she gears up, concentrates, and does a little trot about 1/2 inch off the ground), spin around in circles (and then stumble into some walls), and run (which really looks like a very fast toddle and makes us laugh our butts off…aren’t we model parents as we crack up at our kid’s attempts to learn to run and jump?).

She’s also successfully put on her pants, sleeves of jackets, some shoes, and ever a sock…on her hand.  She’s really interested in doing what we’re doing – getting dressed, throwing things away in the trash, feeding the dog, cleaning up, washing her hands, putting on make up.  Her pinchers grasp is amazing as she picks teeny tiny little specs or feathers off the ground and rushes to toss them in the trash can.  She’s practically perfected holding her spoon and fork, easily feeding herself yogurt until she gets bored and uses her hands to run it in her hair.  She mimics the things that we do like rubbing her back (omg cutest thing in the whole world as she snuggles up to me and rubs my back and pats me) and covering up with a blanket.  She can open just about every single drawer (it’s probably time that we go through all those junk drawers…) and then closing them again…and again.

On her favorite activities.  Pea-pod is mostly about doing the things that we do and playing with her babies.  Most toys are left and forgotten and instead she prefers to put her baby down for a nap while rubbing her back, picking things up around the house, and cleaning just about everything.  She loves to turn the lights on and off, open and close doors, put away her shoes and pick some out for me to wear.  She would rather spend her time playing in her crib or on top of our bed or go through every kitchen cabinet than play with her puzzles or Weebles.  She also adores books – having us read them to her or “reading” them herself.  Right now her favorites are the Dora books, “I love you through and through,” Sandra B’s “A to Z,” and any book with tabs, felt, or anything else that she can touch or pull.

She’s also very independent and wants to do whatever adults are doing – drinking from big girl cups, taking bites of a big apple, smelling our coffee in the morning.

Peanut has also really gotten into some TV shows – mostly Dora.  And I actually think it’s helping her learn new words – she attempts to say “map,” backpack,” and some others we don’t really understand yet.  She loves to participate, although most of the time she just stares at the TV with a blank stare.  We’ve been using the TV to get her to drink her milk in the morning and the evening and to keep her occupied when one of us is holding down the fort at home alone.

Some other firsts.  This month, thanks to her Gigi, Peanut has learned how good cookies and marshmallows are.  Isn’t that the right of passage as a grandparent?  I love watching her Gigi get excited about introducing P to something fun and something I probably usually don’t (perhaps it’s time I loosen up? Or just wait until I’m a grandparent…..when P is about 30) – it’s so cute to see Peanut’s reactions as she tries new things.  Of course, after cookies and marshmallows, Peanut also learned what it’s like to literally bounce off the walls.  That, my friends, is actually just as fun to watch when you’re surrounded by family who enjoy the screaming toddler running and bouncing off furniture and it reminds me why I save all those treats and fun new things for her grandparents to do with her.

This month we also started swim lessons – which are not going too well. P hates water on her face, doesn’t like other people in such close quarters, and has a low threshold for water that isn’t bath-tub warm.  We’ve had to skip the last 2 classes for various reasons and have 1 or 2 more to go.  Hopefully, they go well. And if not, we’ll wait until our annual vacation to FL where the sun is shining and the water is warm.

This month has also been all about seeing people and actually interacting with them.  Peanut has been warming up to people she doesn’t see every day and it’s amazing to watch her attempt to play, although still in parallel, with other kids or to look on adoringly as her grandparents, who all adore her more than the world, get to hold her for more than the 2 minutes it takes her to start crying.  We are loving every moment of her evolving personality.

Some pics from this month: