AGE: 17 1/2 months
Summary: For at least three weeks, she’s been sick and congested, teething, drooling A LOT, sleeping in but skipping naps, battling fevers and acting out by swatting, yelling, stomping and throwing things. Amelie does not feel well and it has been rough on all of us.
It takes all of my energy to get us through a normal day and when the days greatly depart from normal, I feel like hiding. I know Amelie can’t help herself because she’s feeling so crappy. For the longest time, she only had two teeth and now she has at least seven! Pile on being sick and not knowing how to blow her nose or communicate with us must be so frustrating for her. She’s been extremely cranky – all day, during naptimes and nightimes.
Amelie is still showing preference to Daddy. He’s fun! He reads books loudly with animation! He plays pretend with her stuffies! He gives her floppy crazy piggie back rides! He dances and gallops around! He eats what she feeds him, no matter if it’s been on the floor or in her mouth first! He chases her (my goodness, she loves to be chased)! On the other hand, I am creaky and slow moving these days. She is well aware that Daddy is the main attraction no matter how enthusiastic I try to be. She’ll blow right by my open arms with three stuffed animals and two books clutched to her chest to go find him instead. Daddy has been taking Amelie to swimming lessons on Saturdays while I coach. She enjoys it immensely. I was able to join them the past few weekends but she only wants to be with Daddy in the pool. It hurts but I totally get why. I’m trying to remind myself to be thankful that she has him to give her all of this delight, energy and dedication so I’m working hard not to be offended (not necessarily succeeding though).
One night when she was having difficulty falling asleep, I came into her room and picked her up. She wrapped her legs around me and put her head on my shoulder. Her sobs eased. I recognized that although I’m not very fun, this was my time to be the Mommy she needs. I held her and we swayed together in the dark for a long while. I think it’s what we both needed actually.
Socializing: Before it frustrated me that my sweet Amelie was getting pushed around by other kids. Some Mommies stand by and let their children do whatever they want at the expensive of mine. At the museum, a Mommy was came up to chat just as Amelie and I were about to read a book together. The book was in Amelie’s hands. Her son swiped it away and then he and HIS Mommy sat down and read the entire book while Amelie and I watched the injustice of it all! I tried to diffuse the situation by handing Amelie one of our own books from the diaper bag but her son jumped up and grabbed that one too! So the Mommy started to read him that book… She stopped part way and asked absently “oh this is your book, isn’t it?”. I nodded and we moved away from them. I felt bad because it’s so confusing for Amelie. I’m demanding that she be considerate but other kids aren’t held to the same standard. And I don’t know how to stand up for us because it’s not my nature. I know this social stuff is only going to get more difficult/complicated and I’m dreading it.
So, anyhow, that’s been going on for a while but now I have a new social problem. Lately, especially since feeling rotten, my little sweetie has turned into the aggressor! She is swatting at any kid that gets near her even if they are only walking/crawling by. She’s subtle about it – it doesn’t look like much but I know exactly what she’s doing. I watch closely and reprimand her when she does but how can I stop this behavior?!? She’s even snarled and yelled at a few kids…a full out yell! What I’m hoping is time will teach her that this is not okay. I’ll have to stay consistent/vigilant until then. Right now she’s at that age where she’s around kids almost every day of the week but she’s not actually interacting with them that much. She has very little experience practicing being social. I know with the new baby’s arrival, she will learn quickly and at least I can referee…
Food: I’ve become that Mommy: my diaper bag is filled with juice boxes, packaged crap, squeezy packets, fruit snacks. Most days, Amelie and I subsist on applesauce and graham crackers (plus coffee for me). It’s frightful! Thankfully Daddy makes us dinner otherwise we would probably never eat anything real again.
Talents: She still doesn’t talk much but she’s signing a little more (“yes, “no” – she does a lot of that,”thank you” and most recently, “baby”). It always catches me off guard how much she understands though. The other day, we showed her a picture of a parrot. She confused it with “carrot” and pretended to eat it! She loves to read animatedly and play pretend with her stuffies. She likes to do things herself: put on her hat, grab her shoes to go outside, pull on her shorts/shirt, blow/wipe her nose, clean herself in the bath, comb her hair, and feed herself using her own utensils (sometimes one in each hand). When she’s with me and I have to use the potty (which is constantly), she insists on having her own wad of toilet paper so she can wipe herself too (so super cute)! She did an accidental summersault when showing off her headstand for Daddy. Her latest animal sound is Angry Duck (which Daddy taught her) and sounds exactly how you think an Angry Duck would sound…
Oh and now she knows how to pick her nose. I guess she’s Mommy’s girl after all. 😉