18 Months of Willow

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Miss Willow is now officially 18 months old! How did this happen so quickly? This is a long update so grab a cup of tea and get comfortable!

She is so much fun at this age and I have to say that this is my favourite age so far (I say that at every update don’t I?)

She has settled in very well at school and is friends with other little kids in her class. School pick drop offs and pickups involve a lot of high fives, waving, shouting and blowing kisses. It’s utterly adorable!

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Willow’s personality is really starting to come out now. For the most part, she is a calm, independent child who likes to do things by herself and this is generally a good arrangement for all of us. However, we do experience some frustration when she wants to do something that is not what we want to do, or if we want to do something she doesn’t want to. This is when we see the beginnings of temper tantrums.

She normally gets over the strops quite quickly, but she is getting very good at trying my patience. Her latest trick is locking her hips so that I can buckle her into her car seat. She has also decided that she needs to be picked up all the time. This has resulted in me developing back pain again as lugging a 10+kg child everywhere is no joke!

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Willow is incredibly helpful and generous. She loves to share things and wants to participate in all the household happenings. She is becoming a tea making expert (I hold her up and she turns on the kettle then gets the tea bag out of the tin and puts it in my cup. It’s adorable!) and really enjoys wiping down surfaces or sweeping the floor. She still has a fascination with the washing machine and I have to be really careful that TV remotes and toys haven’t been stashed inside before I do laundry.

Her favourite toys at the moment are ones that push/pull like waggons, trolleys, walkers and the little clacker wheel. She also loves blocks and objects she can build towers with – the whole point is to knock them down!

Willow is fascinated by the baby

Willow is fascinated by the baby

Her favourite game is peek-a-boo and she will often initiate sessions. She also loves fleeing from the tickle monster, naming body parts (she knows her head, eyes, nose, ears, feet, teeth and belly button), and a primitive version of hide and seek which involves going out of sight then coming running back for a cuddle.

When we visit the park she is fascinated with the slide, which she insists on climbing up to the very top so we can slide down. Naturally, I go with her, but I’m not the greatest with heights and find this experience incredibly nerve wracking! She is also a huge fan of swings.

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Sleep:

Willow dropped her second nap at around 15 months. This still causes us some issues during the week and I suspect will do so until she moves to the next class at school. She sleeps for two hours during the week – 1.30 to 3.30pm; she usually sleeps for two to three hours on weekends – 11am to 2pm.

She is still a very good night time sleeper. She sleeps for 11 to 12 hours. Sometimes we have trouble with her protesting bedtime, but these usually pass quite quickly.

Obsessed with this photo - snapped it in the park one afternoon.

Obsessed with this photo – snapped it in the park one afternoon.

Eating:

She eats well and loves her food. She eats a lot more than I expected a child her size to eat, but we never force food on her. She is a fan of chicken, cheese, broccoli with butter, pasta, peas (which she eats one at a time), melon, mango, grapes and banana.

I have noticed a little toddler fussiness creeping in here and there. Sometimes she will refuse to eat her veggies and sometimes she will refuse to eat something she loved a few nights ago.

But so far this hasn’t been often or extreme. She is drinking full cream cow’s milk before her daytime naps and she drinks a lot of water during the day.

Sunday morning play time

Sunday morning play time

Talking:

She is expanding her vocabulary every day. Her words don’t sound like adult words and it took me a long time to twig onto the fact that she was communicating with me and talking to me. But now that I’m on the same wavelength I’ve noticed that the more she practises words, the more refined they are getting. Here’s what she says:

Daddy

Mama

Nana

Baba

‘Der Tis’ (There it is)

‘dat’ (that),

‘Tata!’ Or’ Bye-Bye’ when leaving the room,

‘Ni-Ni’ (night night) when we say goodnight to her.

“Ha-O” (hello),

Hi!,

Gang-Dad (maternal grandfather)

‘Tee-Tee’ – Teeth

‘No!’

‘Nooooo– Nose

‘He’ – Head,

‘Tat!’ – often accompanied with a point at one of the cats so I think she says cat. It could also be Tango who is our male cat, but she uses it for both of them

‘Toh’ – Toys

‘WiWo’ – This is new and I think it’s her name. She was hiding behind the curtain and she said ‘Wiwo’ then the popped out and said ‘Ha!’

She asked for a ‘Tamato!’ clear as day the other day and when we were walking around the garden she toddled up to the pool stuck her hand in, looked at me and said ‘Waddauh’.

This morning I went into her room to get her up for the day and said good morning like I always do. She lay in bed looking up at me and responded ‘morning!’

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Signing:

We started teaching Willow signs when she was about 10 months old and they really started taking hold at around 14 months. She signs food, sleep and teeth brushing regularly now. We’re working on the signs for bath and water/drink

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Walking:

Willow started walking at 13 months. She has been getting better at it and is much steadier on her feet. She still falls occasionally; more so when she’s tired. She likes to walk around in circles a lot and is obsessed with carrying things when she walks. At about 15 she started walking backwards and does so pretty regularly now. Then at 17 months she started walking on her tippy toes; which is weird to watch, but very cute at the same time.

More swings!

More swings!

Teeth:

We have just cut two more teeth! So that brings us to 18. Her top two second molars broke through last week and I’m pretty sure she’s working hard on the bottom ones. We have had a lot of drooling, teething rash, crankiness and fingers shoved so far into her mouth I swear she will choke herself.

She has also started grinding her teeth, which drives me crazy. She’s done this before, when her front teeth came in, but it seems so much worse now. The sound freaks me out, but I’m trying not to make a big deal about it. I hope it’s a phase and that it will pass.

Willow had no problem figuring this challenge out

Willow had no problem figuring this challenge out

Willow attacking the bacon at breakfast.

Willow attacking the bacon at breakfast.

Pure joy

My favourite shot from a weekend away to Hartebeesport Dam with friends

My favourite shot from a weekend away to Hartebeesport Dam with friends

She loves:

Doing things by herself, offering help is met with a furious wave and getting pushed away.

Being helpful. She wipes down tables after meals, will tidy toys when asked and helps me rub her cream in after her bath.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Round and Round the Garden and she does the hand movements for both. She also likes If You’re Happy and You Know It, the Wheels on the Bus and Head Shoulders Knees and Toes.

She loves music and will clap her hands, sway her head from side to side and dance furiously when music comes one. She will also ‘sing’ along to songs. And often I can recognize the tune!

Reading! Girl loves her books

Bath time! It is her favourite time of day

School! She goes happily to her teachers and has made some good friends. Everyone in the class gets high fives when I pick her up and she always hugs the teachers when she says goodbye.

Swimming! She loves being in water. She doesn’t enjoy the parts that involve hard work and some days are better than others, but she’s progressing so well.

Her grandparents

Cats

Exploring the park and gardens

Playing on the computer with Daddy

Playing on the computer with Daddy

 

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