I know I say this every month, but 18 months is the BEST age. Wrenn’s little personality has really started to come through – I can tell she’s going to be a joker and a leader and strong-willed and outgoing. I don’t keep a baby book, so this post is mostly for me, so I can take a snapshot in time and remember this wonderful stage.
Wrenn loves to talk (which was a given, if you’ve ever met her dad and me). She will TRY to mimic just about any word we say, and sometimes it sounds like our word, and sometimes, well, it’s nothing like what we just said, which is extremely entertaining. Some of the words she uses include: mama, dadda, papa (grandpa), momo (grandma), more, happy, cracker, dough, tree, NO! (her current favorite), yeah, wow, woah, bath, baby, shoe, Jay (for Mama J, her grandma), ho ho (like Santa) and okay. She also knows the following animal sounds: meow, woof woof, and MOOOO!!! When I ask her “What does the cow say?” this girl will tip her head back, and with great delight say “MOOOOO!” She basically thinks every animal is either a dog or a cow, so anytime an animal comes on TV, I hear “MOOOO!”
Now, she understands SO MUCH more than she can say. She also does a lot of babbling to herself in another language. I love to silently watch her as she walks around her playroom, talking to herself so seriously in words that I don’t understand.
Sign language has been a life saver for us – it has allowed her to communicate her desires with confidence, which eliminates a lot of frustration. Her current signs include: hungry, more, water, milk, change my diaper, sad. We’re also working on: tired, angry, happy. I encourage all parents to give sign language a try – it takes weeks, sometimes months of me using it before she starts using the sign, but it’s like one day she just adopts it. I always sign and speak the word at the same time, and it’s really no extra work for me. I use this website for quick video tutorials anytime I need to learn a new sign.
Some days, Wrenn is such an adventurous eater, and her dad and I swell with pride. She loves (cooked) sushi, Indian food, prosciutto, brie, sweet potatoes, and scrambled eggs with mild salsa. Other days she wants nothing but crackers and grapes and blueberries. I hear this is pretty normal, and so we try really hard to not make food a battle, but to just start with small options and if she doesn’t look interested, try something else. She’s much more interested in breakfast and lunch than in dinner (I think she gets less hungry as the day goes on), and her go-to favorites include: pears, apples, shredded cheese, ham or turkey, grilled chicken, apple sauce, any sort of bread or cracker, and of course, anything sweet. Also – I have noticed that Mr. Right and I don’t eat many vegetables… oops. We’re trying to do better since little eyes are watching!
Wrenn has (almost) dropped her morning nap, and we haven’t quite gotten into a good rhythm for her afternoon nap. Lately she seems to be napping for me around 12:30ish and lays down anywhere from 1.5-3 hours, although some days, there’s no nap at all. And on those days… well, they’re not pretty. Wrenn seems to need a lot of sleep, just like me. At night, she typically goes to bed around 7:30 and wakes up around 7:00 a.m.
Wrenn’s favorite things include going to the park, riding in her red wagon, taking baths (she’ll yell “BATH!” and then run to the bathroom door), and dancing. OH, THE DANCING. This girl dances anytime she hears music – I wish I could live my life with such reckless abandon, not worrying about what anybody else thinks of me. She also seems to need lots of hugs/cuddles – she’s not the type of child to want to cuddle for long periods of time, but on certain days she’ll come up to me, give me a hug and a kiss, climb in my lap to be held, and then go back to playing… and repeat that over and over. I love it so much.
Wrenn is having some problems with hitting… other children, me, the dog, herself. It’s not a malicious act, but more caused by a lack of being able to control her emotions. I was told by a friend who is smarter than me that if I taught her words for her emotions, it would help her be able to express herself and might cut back on the hitting (which is akin to a tantrum). And so, we are diligently practicing our happy, sad, and angry signs. So far it hasn’t clicked, but again, it seems to take awhile for the signs to take hold, but once they do, she uses them effortlessly. In the meantime, I’m just thankful she isn’t biting anybody.
Dear child, you bring me such unspeakable joy. More than I knew was possible. You have caused me to love children – all children – in a way I never knew was possible. Being your mother is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me, and I tell you every single night that you are an answer to many, many years of prayer.