Favorite age to date. Period.
If you follow me on Instagram (which is SUPER Caroline heavy, I realize) you won't find many new pics here. That's because we're gearing up for a major international move and the thought of breaking out my big camera + cords + memory cards is totally overwhelming.
Also, I'm totally aware that in addition to my Instagram feed, my facebook and blog life seems to revolve around the kid as well. I swore I wouldn't become one of "those people" but here I am.
But I love this phase of life. And there are worse problems to have.
BARN! She was so excited by the old-school farm we visited yesterday.
Who knew that 21 months could be so fun? I'm really hopeful that child rearing is always this enjoyable and rewarding. Don't worry, I know it won't always be smooth sailing. But man I do enjoy that child right now.
New words seem to tumble out of her mouth every day.
We have conversations. They usually involve Elmo or going bye-bye, which are popular topics. On her part, they're two or three words long. And man are they redundant. We talked about how she went bye-bye with Da-da to the store for a solid 20 minutes today.
C: Bye-bye Da-da store.
Me: You went to the store with Da-da today?
C: (30 seconds later) Store Da-da bye-bye car. Bye-bye store. Da-da.
But you know what? I've spent 21 months with this child not being able to speak more than a word to me (and those took even a year to pop up). That's a long time of me doing all the talking.
Back to that Elmo thing. She's obsessed.
Last week I spent an old gift card on red Toms shoes for her. She pitched a fit about them and screamed every time we put them on her feet. And then we put Elmo stickers on them. Problem solved.
And then we were in Tennessee a couple of weeks ago for a family reunion. My cousins had brought along a walker (the kind you use for 10-month-olds) for their daughter. But who hogged it? Yes, it was my daughter. The one who can walk perfectly well on her own. And why? I think it had something to do with the fact that Elmo was featured on the front.
I had no idea how much Elmo merchandise exists in the world until I had a child who pointed out every. single. one. in every store she visited. We're actively trying not to feed the monster (pun intended), but we caved today at Old Navy with a coloring book set on Clearance. If there's ever been a time we needed her to be occupied, it's this week. She's been carrying around the box like a briefcase ever since. I don't think she knows or cares that there's anything in the box.
When she wants to read and we're not paying attention, she'll hit us over the head with her books. We're still trying to work on NOT throwing food.
But she's getting good at using a spoon and a fork, which is helpful. She enjoys a good park, a spout-like side pigtail, and yogurt. She can almost put on (easy-style) shoes consistently.
Last week she climbed out of her crib during nap time. BOOM. THUNK. CRYING. Gratefully she wasn't hurt.
Although we were planning on making the transition to a "big girl" bed in England, that change came a little sooner. We switched up her current crib to a toddler bed that same evening. We put her to bed as usual. Then we held our breaths.
We have a video monitor, and thus could watch her react. She played in her bed. She talked to her lovies. She squirmed. For over an hour. And then she fell asleep, and stayed there all night. We're still in shock. It was a transition we were dreading, and it went seamlessly. We can take ZERO credit for the miracle. Remember how we can't even get her to stop throwing food at meal times? I'm just compelled to say several prayers of thanks on a daily basis.
Here's hoping the transition to England is as smooth. I have my doubts. But we'll work through the challenges, whatever they may be. It'll be a major change for all of us, and I'm excited we get to do this together.
Finally, here's a video of us chatting over dinner last night. Warning: if you are not Caroline's grandparent, you will find this dull. However, it captures her budding vocabulary in a way that's so sweet I don't want to forget it. And plopping it at the end of a post means it won't get lost in the shuffle.