Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A decided opinion

"Upon my word," said her ladyship, "you give your opinion very decidedly for so young a person. Pray, what is your age?"
"With three younger sisters grown up," replied Elizabeth smiling, "your ladyship can hardly expect me to own it."
Lady Catherine seemed quite astonished at not receiving a direct answer; and Elizabeth suspected herself to be the first creature who had ever dared to trifle with so much dignified impertinence.
                         - Pride and Prejudice, Volume II, Chapter 6

Oh 15 months, how I forget your trials!  I love children and I so enjoy being a mama but some days I think there is nothing more irksome than raising a 15-18 month old.  That transient age where my little ones now have the courage to venture an opinion, but not the means to carry it out.  The age of grunting and shrieking and laying prostrate on the floor in a fury ... and the age of so many bumps and bruises.  The age where I look in my daughter's eyes, through a mess of tangled hair that she has ripped out of her barrette for the 30th time that day, and see so much more spice and not a whole lot of sweetness.  Oh yes, we're growing up around here.

Unfortunately, like her brothers before her, while her feet are finally walking and her brain is reeling with new information to process, her language skills just aren't up to par yet.  She has two words in her repertoire - Mama and Dada.  She can also sign two more words - "more" and "all done."  Everything else she wants to say is communicated by saying "uh" in varying degrees of length and volume.  And is almost always accompanied by a pointed finger or a pounding of the fist.  For instance, when it's time for bed she always puts up the same fight - she arches her back, starts yelling all sorts of "uhs" and points her finger out the door like there's something out there she needs.  Of course, there is not.  Because once we walk out into the hall she is completely satisfied ... until we walk back into her room again.


And she's suddenly taken a liking to whatever goes on in the kitchen.  She's figured out that her older brothers stand on stools to help out so why shouldn't she? If I even flick on the faucet she's over at the stool, pointing and saying "Uh, uhhhh, UHHHH!!" until one of us either distracts her or sets her up on the stool.  Of course, she's still quite new on her feet and once she starts in one on of her excited dance moves she inevitably falls off the stool. You'd think by now she'd be over that venture but alas, her obstinate nature won't allow it.  She figured out how to crawl up on the stool all by herself and is entirely too tempted by a hot stove or sizzling pan.  If I could take my eyes off her for a second I'd close them and sigh, instead I repeat to myself over and over in my head "Be thankful she's interested in helping. Be thankful she's learning young. Think of how helpful she'll be in a few years ..."

Sitting in the big girl chair ...

... annnnd the graceful dismount.
So young and yet so grown up.  Chatting away on her toy cell phone.  Prancing around the house with a purse over her arm.  Crawling around the kitchen with her pretend camera around her neck.  She's so girly, so mini-me and yet not quite what I was expecting this go-round.  She's not afraid to push around her older brothers, stick her tongue out at daddy or throw her plate when she's not happy.  And while we're thankful she's finally walking and able to change her location she pleases, her favorite place to be is clutching my legs begging to be held. She's long enough to wrap her arms around my neck and bury her face on my shoulder.  And she knows once she does, she's golden.  For who can put down such an affectionate child?

So yes, we're on the cusp of "the difficult months" (at least in toddler years, don't ask me about anything beyond that!). For the first time since Jude's birth, I've had kids at the same age in the same house.  Jude was 15 months and just learning to walk soon after we moved in here.  And I like the familiarity.  It's no surprise that she trips over the same transition in the entry way that Jude did, she's found the same drawers to empty as him and I've no doubt that very soon she'll discover she can remove the slats from the blind in her room and use them to knock down the wall hangings above her crib. Somehow the familiarity, the expectedness of it all, makes it seem less daunting. 

But heavens, we love her!  And all her quirky little ways.  As Jude says, "Ju-ee-ya so coot Mom, she so coot!"And she is, even when she's throwing herself on the floor and kicking her feet because she can't have a jellybean.  Even when she's running her syrupy hands through her freshly done hair.  Even when she's tripping up and down the musical scale with her "uhs."  Fifteen months does have it's charms as well as its follies.  And it won't be long before I forget the drudgery of this age ... for the third time.  At least until the next kid arrives at this stage!

*Sorry about the photo issues lately. I think it is a Photobucket issue so I switched to Picasa and hopefully that will take care of it!*

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