My baby is 20 months old. And really, she’s not a baby anymore. She still wants held sometimes, which she indicates by saying “hold you” and loves to be rocked before bed, but for the most part, she is a little girl. She has her own mind and makes many of her own decisions. She is a little girl. She puts her clothes and socks away (in the right drawers) and she puts her Crocs on all by herself (on the correct feet). She is a little girl. She likes to play with her friends and is the leader in the group unless she is with older children, in which case she likes to observe and mimic. She is a little girl. She is not a baby anymore. My 20 month old.
Last night, in a state of insomnia, I was pondering all the things I wanted to write about my daughter on her 20 month birthday. I do this a lot. I come up with the best ideas throughout the night. By morning, those ideas are gone and I am disappointed. So is the case today as I sit here regretting that I can’t remember all the clever things I wanted to say. Oh well, clever it will not be.
So, what is Addison like at 20 months old?
We’ll start with her language and comprehension skills because to me (and others), this is the most remarkable thing that my daughter has accomplished in her short life. The girl’s vocabulary and ability to understand what is being said to her is out of this world. I can’t say she speaks 50 words or 100 or even 200, because she speaks MUCH MUCH MUCH more than that. She can virtually repeat almost anything that you say to her and if she isn’t clear when she says it, she’s pretty darn close.
Addison is excellent at following directions and thrives on being given instructions. She can follow multi-part directions. We are hoping this is a sign that she is going to be a good student!
She speaks in sentences, though sometimes broken. A couple of mornings ago, she was playing with window stickers on the back patio window and as the sun was shining straight in that window, she said “Mommy, sun’s in my eyes.” She says enough 3-5 word sentences that I couldn’t even sit here and name them all. She’ll tell you “I have two shoes.” or “Mommy, see? Two babies.” Or “Bubba, come ‘ere” or “Daddy, where are you?”
My favorite has to be when she says “I love you”. She is starting to put names on the end so several times throughout the day she runs up to me, gives me a big kiss and says “I love you, Mommy”. My heart melts.
My second favorite is when she says “bless you”. We must sneeze a lot around our house because she picked this one up a few months ago. She says it clear as day and it doesn't matter what she is doing at the time or whether she is even in the same room as the person who sneezes. She will hear you and bless you. She has been putting names behind that phrase for a while now, too. She tells everyone (the stranger in the store, her gym teacher, her family and friends), “bless you”, even when they cough or make some other similar noise. And she can’t just say “bless you” to one person. She has to share the love and say it to everyone else around. She also pretends to sneeze so someone will bless her. If they don't, she blesses herself. So.Completely.Adorable!
On top of her sentences, Addison says a lot of 3 and 4 syllable words, such as: vitamins, avocado, watermelon, medicine, maraca, strawberries. She also knows several parts of the alphabet song. She LOVES the alphabet song. She also LOVES to count. She counts from 1-10 throughout the day, completely on her own. Just a week ago, she would say “1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10.” Now she says all 10 numbers in a row. She even counted to twelve for Daddy the other day. She is usually counting during times that I can’t grab the video camera (like when I am changing her diaper or we’re in the car) and if I am lucky enough to have the camera handy, she stops as soon as she sees it. I did manage to get her quietly counting to 10 the other day, so look for that video in the near future!
Oh, and our girl has manners. She says “please” and “thank you” all the time, but more often “thank you”. I usually have to remind her to say please, though lately she has been saying it herself when she wants more of something. A recent conversation went like this:
A: “More cereal, please.”
M: “Sure, sweetie.”
A: “Thank you, Mommy.”
M: “You’re welcome, Addison.”
If she has food on her plate she doesn’t want, she will hand it to you and say “thank you”. Haaa! Better than throwing it on the floor, which we are growing out of, thank goodness!
Addison has always been a good eater. Her diet consists of mostly fruits and vegetables. I planned it that way and thankfully, she cooperated. She loves beans and peas and sweet potatoes and avocado and grapes and blueberries and banana (and so much more). On any given day, she might have all of those things! She has even been requesting green beans for breakfast, lately. Silly little girl! She also loves yogurt, cheese, eggs, turkey sausage and turkey bacon, meat, pasta, toast and peanut butter.
We haven’t started formally potty training yet, but I think I am going to buy a potty soon. She is becoming interested in the potty and has gone pee-pee in the big potty twice so far. She likes to tell me when she has to poo-poo and proceeds to squat down and grunt. Most of the time, she is faking, but I think it’s a good sign that potty training isn’t that far down the road.
Addison loves her Bubba. She loves her Mommy and Daddy, too, and everyone in the family for that matter! She loves books. She loves to sing and dance. She loves to attend her gym and music classes. She loves playgroup and the playground. She LOVES her babies. It's rare to see her without one of her babies. She loves her Lovey (a little duck blanky thing that she got the day she was born) and couldn't sleep without it. She sleeps about 12+ hours a night and naps for 2-2.5 hours in the afternoon. She loves to help Mommy around the house. She loves to wipe the floor and throw trash away. She loves attention and an audience. She is a performer!
More than anything, Addison loves kisses. She kisses everything from her animals to her babies to people to Wrigley to characters in her books. She went through her “100 First Animals” book yesterday and kissed almost all 100 of them. Even the cockroach. I could have done without that one. She will take regular kisses, Eskimo kisses or butterfly kisses, as long as it’s a kiss!
To say Addison is friendly is an understatement. She is a total social butterfly and wants to be friends with everyone she sees. She loves to be around other kids and hold their hands. Anyone under the age of 14 constitutes as a friend. We can be anywhere and she will see a young person and yell “friend!” It’s actually kind of sad because as she is smiling and waving at them, they ignore her and continue to move on. She never seems disappointed, but being the protective mother, I just want to run up to them and ask them to say “hi” back.
Her favorite summer activity is definitely going to the swimming pool. We go several times a week, always after her nap. She now wakes up from her nap and says “swimming pool!” I need to change things up a bit or at least phase out before summer ends so she doesn’t go into complete shock once the pool closes for the season.
Her favorite character is Elmo, by far. She has never watched TV so up until last week when we threw an Elmo DVD in the car on our 14 hour drive home from vacation, all she knew of Elmo was from her diapers and books. Now, she gets in the car, points to the entertainment system and says “Elmo TV”. Uh oh!
Addison prays before bedtime every night. She folds her hands together, I say a prayer and then we both say Amen. Then, she asks to do it again. And again. And again. Several prayers later, she says "night night".
Addison is full of personality. She is a sweet, loving, intelligent, humorous girl. She is not too sensitive, but very compassionate. She is a thrill seeker. She faces new challenges with caution, but seems to be fearless. She likes to observe and try things herself. She still appreciates assistance with some things, but often declares “self”, meaning she can do it without our help.
And there you have the present-day Addison in a nutshell. She changes daily, which makes every day exciting! There are simply no words to describe our love for her.
We love you Miss Addison, our little punky punkin’ munchie munchkin princess angel!