Last week Stella turned 18 months old and I know that this is a common thing for parents to say, but this is the best age yet. While we were at the mall a few weeks ago I looked at Wes, carrying Stella on his shoulders and thought back to our first trip to the mall when Stella was still a wee little thing of three months and I said to Wes, “She’s like a little person.” Which, duh, but also so amazing considering what she was at three months. Amazing how much she changed in a year.
We had her 18-month check up, where she weighed in at 22 pounds 4 ounces and 32 1/4 inches long. She still has a giant head, which is evident every time we try to put a shirt over her head, and makes shopping difficult since the rest of her body is relatively small. Buttons have become our best friend.
On our way out of the doctor’s office she started twirling while waiting for the elevator. I have no idea where she saw this, but she’s a twirling machine. It’s part of her dance moves and her go to movement when we’re playing. Last night Wes counted seven twirls in a row. Just watching her makes me dizzy but the smile she gets on her face keeps me watching.
She is repeating so many words lately, which means I’m constantly reminding friends and family (even Wes) to watch their language in front of her. The other night at dinner she asked for her sunglasses, put them on and then said, “Boom.” For the last few months she’s been putting her sunglasses on herself and when she gets them on correctly I tell her, “Boom! Good job!” and clearly that stuck in her head. She whispers words the first few times she says them, testing them out on her tongue, and thank you seems to be the one sign that she doesn’t want to give up. This morning, though, a peacock showed up on the television and she shouted out “Peacock!” We’ve been going to the zoo a lot lately and they have peacocks running around there, but this was the first time she said the name.
Watching her brain at work, trying to figure out her surroundings and learn new things is maybe the best part of the day. Everything is so exciting for her and I love watching her do something simple like put trash in the trash can because she is so proud of herself and so excited to be helping out. She helps empty and load the dishwasher and even though it adds about five minutes to the process, it’s worth it because it keeps her from crying or getting into trouble. A lot of what we do lately takes twice as long because she likes to do it herself, like clasp the buckle on her car seat.
She’ll start talking a lot more in the next few months and the nonsense babbling that she spouts now will fade and become just a memory, like so many other things, so I’m trying to keep it all locked in my memory.