What is Chloë like at fifteen months? Well, let's look at this morning. She woke up at 5:30, half an hour earlier than usual, despite having had only one nap the day before. I went in and told her, "It's too early to get up." She wailed and screamed and clung to me. I went and fetched her a bottle and changed her diaper while she drank it, and put her back in bed. She went without a whimper.
We woke again at 7:30. She put her arms up when I told her to, to get her pajama top off, and stood on first one foot and then the other while I got her pajama pants off. She helped push her hands through the sleeves of her shirt. She wandered away before I could get pants on her and came back with a book. "We can read that when you have pants on," I told her, and carried out that plan as stated. We read for a while, Chloë exclaiming "Ap-uh!" whenever an apple appeared. Or a tomato. she patted her diaper and walked across the hall to the potty and opened the lid, so I got her pants and diaper off and helped her sit. We read more books while she sat, and when she said "up," to signify she was done, I told her, "Okay, wait here while I get a diaper and a wipe." She did. (I don't think she realizes that she can easily get up from the potty herself.) We got her pants back on, though it required my King Roland (of Spaceballs) voice saying "Come to meee, come to meee," which always makes her laugh and run into my arms.
She walked to the end of the hall and pointed downstairs, so I held her hands while she walked down. I decided on French toast for breakfast, and while the pan was heating she helped me unload the dishwasher by handing up silverware, one piece at a time. When breakfast was ready, I told her, "Bring your sippy, it's time to eat," and walked into the dining room with our plates of food; and she followed me with her cup, handed it up for me to put on the table, and waited for me to lift her into her chair.
In summary: fifteen months is awesome. She's starting to talk, she excels at walking, she understands commands, she has a sense of humor, she knows routines, she's trying to communicate. We're starting slow on the words, but we're getting there--she has "up" and "dog" (sort of--whenever she hears a dog, or sees a picture of one, she pants like a dog, points out the window, and says "Da!") and "apple" and maybe "duck." And she's shaken her head once or twice when I've asked her something. I'm hoping she's catching on to what shaking her head means; it would be nice for her to be able to indicate "no." (I know, I say that now...)
She's removed her pants a couple of times, and the past day or two she keeps putting a hand down the back of her diaper. We can't figure out why; she doesn't have a rash or anything. Maybe just because she can? Unfortunately, because there is now no good time to cut her nails and she flails whenever I try, she's gotten some scratches back there. I wonder if the pediatrician will ask about them at her checkup tomorrow.
We're starting to wonder where she picked certain things up. One of her books lists the "Wheels on the Bus" song, and whenever we open to that page she twirls her arms around each other the way you're supposed to in the first verse. But we never did it with her until she started doing it. Likewise, she learned "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" mostly from her creepy singing dog toy, but she does the finger-and-thumb motion (or at least tries). She may have picked that up from me, but she does it awfully well. She does a lot of things well. She can stack four, sometimes five blocks, and recognizes the pictures she knows on them (apple, dog, duck--and she's starting to recognize C, because I always say "C is for Chloe!" whenever we come across it in one of her several alphabet books).
She's been very big on stairs lately. But instead of going up, the new attraction is coming down. She holds both my hands (or Eric's), and very carefully steps down each step. Sometimes she'll do it going up, too, but more often she crawls up one or two, swivels, and says "Up!"
The potty is a big thing this month. We're not serious about training her yet, just getting her used to it (especially since we're going out of town in a few days), but she does seem to understand that she should be sitting on it when her diaper is dirty--though of course we're going to have to help her figure out that it would be best to do it before the diaper gets that way. She likes to sit there, probably because we sit and read her books, or stage fights between her ducks. Well, I do.
She's very fond of jewelry; I gave her one of my old jewelry boxes, and almost every day she wants to look in it, try on her plastic and jade bracelets, and play with the old chain. She likes the bracelets especially, and will often pull on hair ties or a bag strap or her daddy's watch onto her arm.
She's learned "arm" and "chin" and possibly "leg" this month. Still no "Mama." She does bottle, sort of, as "dobbul," and whenever she sees or plays with her ball she says "bob-ul," which sounds suspiciously like bubble to me. (Also "bauble," but I doubt anyone has used that around her.) She won't say "ball." Just "bob-ul." We do have a book that shows pictures of bubbles, but I don't think she saw it before she started doing this.
The same book has a picture of a drum, and she delights in my demonstration of how to use a drum--pounding on the book. Now she pounds the air whenever we open this particular book.
Regarding other uses for her mouth, she's still doing the Indian-war-cry thing sometimes, and enjoys making silly sounds, especially if we repeat them. She's still doing well with food, eating pretty much everything--especially if it's on my plate and I don't want to share. She also got her first taste of barbecue sauce the other day. She seems fond of it. She's not ready to dip her own chicken/tofu into it, though.
We've finally stopped nursing. Or at least as of this writing we haven't done it for a week, and she hasn't tried very hard or very often. She still likes to pull up my shirt to lay her cheek on my belly, though, or blow raspberries on it--though we've started calling them "zerbertz," Eric's name for them, because when we say "raspberries" she looks up expectantly as if waiting for us to offer yummy fruit, and the raspberry plants are done for the year. She seems happy with her bottles, and so we're now beginning our campaign to switch entirely to cups. I feel bad about this, but I also know she's a big girl, and she'll handle it just fine. Half the time she plays around with her bottle while drinking anyway, which just leads to spatters of milk and extra laundry. And that's if she isn't traipsing all around the house with it.
She's very fond of her daddy. Not that she isn't fond of me; she comes to the door every day when I get home and waits to be picked up. But then she'll often reach out for Eric. In the mornings, she'll hear the bed creak and exclaim "Dada!" On the weekends, she often goes into our bedroom to try to wake him, and she's always excited when I tell her "It's time to go wake up Daddy." I think being home with him has been good for them both.
It's been a crazy month, though in a different way from, say, a year ago. She knows so much! She picks things up from the strangest places! Where did she get her sense of humor? Why are her ribs suddenly ticklish when they weren't before? Why does she throw herself with such abandon onto my pillow when I leave it? When will she stop saying "up" when I've told her for the twentieth time "not right now"? Fifteen months is fun, and tiring, and educational, and a ride for all three of us. Just like a roller coaster--we're hanging on for our lives, and loving it.