Thursday, November 25, 2010

Status report: Month 16

I really need to update more often. I've got so much to say, and so many pictures to show off. (This would be less of an issue if my new computer were working properly, I suppose.)

Sixteen-month-old Chloë is all about talking and independence. She wants to do things, but she wants to do them in her own time and her own way. Did you know you can bribe a sixteen-month-old with a wipe to lie down for a diaper change? Did you know I have to most days? I think she's a bit more of a challenge this month than last, but we're also proud of how much more of a big girl she's getting to be.

Talking is huge. She's picking up words like litter, except without her propensity for putting them in the garbage can and carefully closing the lid, then applauding herself. She's much more willing to imitate things we say than she used to be. She knows "jacket" now that we've been using it a lot; she can say "Ahh-ee" (Addie) and "Aay" (Rae), or she could at Thanksgiving when we asked her to. (And she can say "Dude" when her mother is exclaiming over something.)

Separation and stranger anxiety seem to be nearly gone. She waves me good-bye in the morning, and comes to greet me at night, but she never asks to be picked up; usually she points at my shoes and says "Djhou!" or my jacket and says "ahh-keh" or just comments "Mom," and goes on with what she's doing. She had a great time with Grandpa and Halmoni when we went to visit, particularly Grandpa--I'm thinking she remembered him from when he visited for her birthday.

She says "kagul," which can mean either cup or the water in it; I keep a glass in the bathroom and when she says it I fill it up and give her a sip. She can't hold it herself and drink, not successfully anyway, though she loves to try. She likes playing with her cup in the bath partly because there, it doesn't matter if the water spills out. She surprises herself occasionally by getting it all in her mouth; she sits there (she's much, much better with the sitting lately) with big eyes after the gulp, and I sing one of my many Chloe-specific adaptations:

"I have a little daughter
Her name is Chloe S
I put her in the bathtub
Because she was a mess

"She drank up all the water
She ate up all the soap
She tried to eat the bathtub
But it wouldn't go down her throat"

She continues to be a good eater, sometimes too good. She loves everything: fruits, vegetables, meats, breads, tiny sips of hot chocolate, whole olives. Even raw dough. We were making egg rolls the other night; Eric and I were at the stove discussing meat:veggie ratios, and Chloë was over by her little table, where we have a bowl of crackers or fruit most of the time and her sippy. (Not so good: she doesn't like water anymore, unless it's out of my glass. But she drinks her half-and-half juice with pleasure.) I turned without knowing why and saw the package of egg roll wrappers in her grip, the wrappers ripped at one corner and one whole one stuffed in her mouth. "No!" I shouted. "Nanana!" she cried around the wrapper, still chewing.

The egg rolls turned out well anyway. They did end up being too late to be dinner, so instead of sampling one, Chloë had tofu with barbecue sauce. Neither Eric nor I would touch it--I don't like barbecue sauce and he doesn't like tofu--but our fusion child scarfed it down and asked for more. She likes artichokes, too, and pasta salad, and pumpkin pie, and green beans in butter. She especially likes anything of the right consistency for her to stab with a fork and successfully bring to her mouth herself. Mealtime is sometimes quite messy, but it's usually a lot of fun.

She's on her way to becoming a one-nap child instead of a two-nap one; she sometimes refuses to sleep in the afternoon and sometimes takes only a very short one. Other days she sleeps practically all day. She's taken to asking (by pointing) for her pillow and blanket from her crib and snuggling down with them on her floor, even when she's not actually tired. When we're in the living room watching one of her shows, she'll often put her head in my lap or curl up next to me. It's a sweet time. Though I have to remember to keep a book or something close at hand, because she's only got a few shows and I know them pretty much by heart.

One of them, Baby da Vinci, features the "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" song. She loves the video in general because it has so many kids in it ("Baby!" she says, turning to me to make sure I'm aware. "Baby baby baby!") but her favorite part is when that song comes on, and lately I've been having to play it for her four or five times in a row. "Heaaaa," she says, patting her head. She knows where her shoulders are, but during the song she usually hits her head, her toes, her eyes, and her nose, and is content to wait for the song to catch up with her. Eric and I tap the appropriate body parts during the song to help her along.

She has three winter hats, one her halmoni bought her and two that I made, and she loves to pull them on and tromp around the house in them. She also likes trying on Eric's blue hat, which is enormous on her but looks adorable when we turn the brim up. My fears of her freezing to death because she wouldn't keep a hood on are assuaged for now, though of course we haven't actually taken her out in truly cold weather yet. We'll see how it goes.

We're not really doing anything on the potty training. She likes to sit on the potty, and occasionally she does something in it, but I don't think she's made the connection that she's always supposed to do that in the potty rather than in her diaper. Mom and Dad say we need to time when she normally, er, eliminates, and make sure she's on the seat at those times. We haven't yet gotten our act together to do that, but it sounds promising.

Her understanding is amazing. I tell her things like "We need to change your diaper so we can go shopping, so let's get your pants off," and she leans into me to let me remove her pants. I say "Can you hold your bottle when we go downstairs?" and she walks from her room to the top of the stairs with it, stopping to close the lid to a box, and waits for me there to lift her down. She can obey instructions like "give this to daddy" or "put that in the trash," and is often helpful when I'm folding clothes by putting her bibs in the special bin we keep them in. She's so pleased to help, and I'm so proud.

She's gotten very keen on trying on clothes lately. Usually when she's already fully clothed. She'll extract a shirt from the basket of laundry I'm folding, or pants from her drawer, sit down and try to pull them on. (It's always on her legs.) She's actually gotten close to getting on a sock a couple of times, and is pretty good with her hat and mittens. She also continues to enjoy removing her pants. At least, I have to assume she enjoys it; why else do it?

She's a good girl overall, reasonably obedient, but she's starting to explore more. Thus, the egg rolls, and how we're moving things away from the edges of counters and tables. We got her some crayons and a coloring book recently, and since then we've been having to constantly define what can be drawn on and what can't. When we've all been in our bedroom messing around and she toddles down the hall, we don't let her go in silence more than maybe a minute. She hasn't gotten into serious trouble or injury yet, but it's only a matter of time.

She's fond of pretending to eat my face, probably because it usually ends in her being tickled and hung upside down. When I make funny noises she makes them back at me. She loves to go in to wake up her daddy; sometimes she flops down and uses him as a pillow, sometimes she sits and stares, and sometimes she starts jumping up and down on the bed. She's definitely continuing to be a lot of work, but she's also definitely continuing to be worth it. Chloë times are fun times.

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