Lulu’s 21 months: Love & Hate

The fun, tantrumming, learning, growing, picky eating, opinionated toddler-ness is in full force.

Miss Lulu is full of opinions. Mostly involving the word, “NO.” And she believes we, her parents, are psychic and know that she wants this particular sock on her hand in this particular way. Or that the frog puppet is supposed to turn the pages, not me.

She is learning learning learning! She is quite the little sponge – learning letters, sounds, counting, shapes, new books, new ways to imagine and play – most of her imaginative play involves food and her stuffed animals.

LOVES

1. Bath Time- Dave or I just have to say the word bath and it will send Lulu in a frenzy of excited signing, saying, “BATH!!!!! BATH!!!!!!!” over and over and pulling us toward the stairs as fast as possible. Bath time is bliss. Bath time with bubbles is the only way I can turn off the water without hysterics. The bubbles also elicit the same excitement. “BUBBLES!!!!!”

2. Fruit- Apples, strawberries, bananas, fruit smoothies, kiwis. They are all amazing, sweet, and the best food EVER. The opposite of broccoli.

3. iPad- same time of excitement as with bathtime. I thought I was the favorite. But in the morning, when she’s calling, “Momma? Momma? Momma?” and she is very happy to see me. And then she see’s the ipad on my nightstand where it charges every night and she says, “IPAD!!!” and all thoughts of me are gone and replaced with the joy of playing Interactive ABC. She knows how to get to Netflix, so she can watch Curious George, Y.G.G., or Backyardigans. She knows how to get to the apps she wants, can spell words, find letters, talk to Elmo, sing songs, and learn new signs. And the way she uses it, it may seem that all we do is give her the iPad – but really, she’s just a quick learner. And yes, it is a great tool to use to distract a toddler :).

4. Teddy’s Tail and then Teddy- Our cat is fluffy. The fluffiest part of our cat is his tail. It waves around and just begs to be pulled, sat on, grabbed, and chased. Poor Teddy. And pulling
Teddy’s tail, hitting Teddy with toys, and otherwise pestering the cat is reason #1 for time-out. Mostly to remove little miss persistent away from the poor defenseless animal. Well, to remove her from the situation to prevent Teddy from remember he still has claws.

5. Sunglasses- are the BEST EVER. Unless they aren’t in the right spot. Something about the way they change the world into a darker shade is just amazing!

HATES

1. Green food- Lulu used to eat everything. Then green foods must have developed some kind of funny taste because Lulu no longer finds them palatable.

2. Sharing- Nothing sends Miss Lulu in a rage like sharing. Even the word makes her start gathering all her things and preventing anyone from touching them. Playgroup time is… interesting. She just loses her mind. We play games and play with toys together and she shares food sometimes. We had a slight breakthrough last night when we were playing catch, and after all the balls ended up in the kitchen (because she didn’t want us touching them) Viddy had the idea to hold Lulu’s arms and help her throw and catch back and forth with me – and all was right with the world. I know she’ll learn to be OK sharing in time. But right now, it is the worst thing EVER.

3. Heights- Sometime over the last few months, Lulu decided that laying on her back on high surfaces, like the ottoman or our bed was scary. Very scary. Clutch the bed and cry scary. She can climb of her own volition, but the fear sets in when she’s laid on her back. Or tossed in the air.

4. Waiting/Patience- Similar to sharing, the word wait or patience will start a flow of tears and wails. I believe in teaching patience and waiting – she’s getting to the point where learning how to be patient is important and slowly and surely we’re introducing her to the concept – much to her dislike.

Development

Around Christmas I realized that Lulu knew all her letters and their sounds. And the funny thing was, I didn’t teach her. Her babysitter didn’t teach her. She learned all her letters and their sounds from a Leapfrog letter pad thing. So, then after talking to some friends I decided she should probably have some exposure to the lower case letters, as well. And within a few weeks she knew all the lower case letters. She enjoys pointing out letters on mine or Viddy’s shirts, in grocery stores, in books and on boxes. She has an animal book and she’ll point out letters of the animals names. It’s wonderful to watch her learn and grow.

Counting is going well. She gets up to six without any trouble – and she usually forgets about seven. Eight is her favorite number to point out, and she recognizes it the best. And in the last few weeks she’ll answer when we ask how old she is, she’ll say, “olll gool oooool gol.” and hold out her pointer finger.

Just recently in the last couple of months has started her imaginative play – like I mentioned earlier usually revolved around food and lotion. Any empty container is either food and she’ll pretend to eat it, feed it to us, feed it to her stuffed animals or put on lotion on her face or our faces. We put lotion on her face every night due to her eczema issues. She’ll take her stuffed animals or dolls on rides with her on her dinosaur toy or put them in her booster seat so they can eat.

Her first independent phrase was, “Five little monkeys.” Because she wanted me to sing it to her during dinner. Her other favorite songs include, Little Bunny Foofoo, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam, Baa baa black sheep (she asks for that song every night when I ask what she wants to sing), Twinke Twinkle, and ABCs.

Viddy and I talk about parenting often. It’s a fun puzzle to figure out together. And one of the most important things I’ve learned about parenting – is not to judge other people’s parenting (except for, you know, abuse). Every parent is different, every child is different. I know the things that we do for discipline, like time out, or our TV decisions may not work in the same way or at the same age – but it works for us. This is not a defensive statement, but just an acknowledgement that it’s just one great experiment. And I know that our next kids will be parented slightly different based on their needs and temperaments.

We are coming up on 3 years of marriage and celebrating the birthday of a 2 year old. Lulu has brought so much joy to our lives and we feel very blessed to watch her grow and learn and love. Children are little miracles. Viddy and I are both looking forward to growing our family again as soon as my little thyroid issues are under control.

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