I have been meaning to jot down a few notes on Willa since she turned 18 months. Here she is almost 21 months and I have yet to do it. So here it goes. It's long. It's more for my record than for people's enjoyment.
Talking - She jibber jabbers all day (when she's not sucking on her binkie) and there is a lot of meaning behind it, but her long utterances are not full of real words yet. If she talks in 1, 2, or 3 word utterances we can understand her (usually). She has too many real words to count. Her one word utterances are said with ease, and we clearly understand them. I don't think a stranger would understand every word though. She has just started to put two and occasionally three words together to form simple sentences (e.g. She said "I drop" this morning when she accidentally dropped some food at breakfast. She says, "Mama, sit down" a lot when she wants me to sit next to her and pretend to read me a book or whatever.) She can say her name, but Matt calls her Wilson so most of the time when she says her name, she says "Wilson." She still signs a lot also. She has well over 30 signs. I think she signs to avoid taking out her binkie to talk.
Music - Willa loves music. She loves to dance and listen to music. She loves when we sing to her and she has started to sing with us. She can't sing any songs by herself. Although she tries and spends a lot of time singing songs with made up nonsense words. She knows key words in every song that we sing and she'll sing the key words at the right time in the song. For instance, in ABCs she sings C, D, and me at the end. In Popcorn Popping, she sings see, pop, and tree. She's way into doing motions for songs, and she asks me to sing by doing motions. She noticed the conductor at church several months back and now pretends to lead the music during every song at church by waving her arm around. If she finds a book with music in it, she waves her arm around and sings a made up song.
Physical - Willa is fairly coordinated. Maybe this will turn into some athleticism in her future. She has a 50/50 chance, I guess. Matt is athletic. I try hard, but I'm not that coordinated. She loves to run and jump and climb. We went to a mini field day activity for toddlers at church a couple weeks ago. She didn't really get the idea of racing that day, but she has quickly learned and just squeals and laughs when she "races" herself or a friend or one of us. We don't have winners. She just likes to line up, say "ready, set, GO" and then run. Then she turns around and does it again in the opposite direction. She's been jumping with two feet off the ground since June. She loves to jump on the trampoline, in her crib, on our bed, on the couch... She spends a lot of time in time out these days for climbing onto the back of the couch and then jumping onto the cushions. I almost think she thinks it's worth it to spend a minute in time out for jumping on the couch so she keeps doing it. She's gotten really good at walking up and down stairs. She does so like an adult with her hand on the wall.
Academics - She has loved the ABC song for a while and likes to talk about letters. I don't think she knows any of her letters by sight and she can't say the ABCs without A LOT of help. She can say the first 4 alone. She has started to be interested in numbers. She can count to 10 by herself but she usually leaves out 1 or 2 numbers. She is also into colors these days. She knows blue all the time; purple and green most of the time; and pink, black, and orange occasionally. She can name and point to all of her body parts. She knows all of her animal sounds.
Interests - She loves cats. She loves to pretend she's a cat. She gets down and crawls around and meows and asks me to pet her by saying "pet". She loves when Matt and I pretend we are cats, too. There are two cats that live in our neighborhood and one of them let her pet him a week ago when we went on a walk. Still, a week later, almost every day she says, "pet" and rubs her stomach and then we talk about how she got to pet the cat. Then she says, "butt" for tail and "ears" and describes the cat and is still so thrilled that she got to touch one. She also loves babies...real babies, dolls, pictures of babies, etc. She spends a lot of time everyday pushing her baby in it's stroller and changing it's diaper (with help) and feeding it and taking it's clothes on and off (with help). She also has a little tiny tea party set that she adores. She pulls it out and pretends to make soup. She serves it to Matt and me and tells us it's "hot" or needs "spice" or that we need "more". It's fun to watch her imagination grow. She has just started to discover TV, but she is picky which is fine because I know kids should be 2 before they watch TV. The only shows that really hold her attention are Curious George on PBS, a nursery rhyme sing along DVD, and the Blue Planet DVD. She watches Curious George at 7 am most mornings M-F while I am waking up, and she watches her DVDs when I need to get dinner cooked and she's cranky and I can't give her attention.
Books - Books may be her favorite thing of all. We spend hours reading everyday (broken up throughout the day of course). Her attention span for books has really increased. She'll sit and listen to a book with a lot of writing on the pages. She loves all books....easy one word per page books, picture books, books with fairly long stories, and adult books without pictures. I can't read in her presence because she'll take the book out of my hand and "read" it out loud and flip through the pages. Cute, but sometimes I just want to get through the last few pages of a chapter and I really want her to ignore me for a bit. She knows key words in most of her books and will say them at the right time if I pause. She has memorized her one word per page books and will read them out loud by herself.
Copy Cat - She's not very good at playing by herself. Her imagination is huge, but she wants a playmate (either me or a friend or Matt). She wants our complete and undivided attention all of the time. It's hard to get anything done because she wants to do it also. She's willing to sit in the bathroom and play with toys while I shower, but that's about all of the "me" time I get when she's awake. If I am sweeping, she is right there next to me using her toy broom. If I am brushing my teeth, she pulls out her toothbrush and brushes her teeth. If I am cooking, she wants to be up on a chair "helping" me cook. We have to be careful what we do in front of her because she WILL try to do it. For instance, we have to clean our ears with cue tips in secret. I caught her trying to clean her ears with a cue tip. I can't eat something in front of her if I don't want her to eat some of it. She loves to dress up in my clothes, wear my jewelry, and try on our shoes.
Potty Training - I haven't officially started potty training but she's really interested in it and I think she may train herself. She's been going potty on the toilet at least once a day for the past 2 months. I haven't worked with her, she is just copying us. She has a little seat that hooks on to the toilet that she can maneuver herself. If we're home, she pretty much always poops on the potty. She just says "poop" whether she is wearing a diaper or not and I help her sit on the toilet. She doesn't have any big girl panties. She either wears a diaper or is naked. She's kind of over diapers though. She seems to hate wearing them. She has a harder time telling me she needs to pee so I have to clean up accidents every other day or so. She knows if she goes pee on the floor, then she has to put a diaper back on. She always wears a diaper when we are out and if she is sleeping.
Behavior - Willa has a mind of her own and a will of her own, but she is overall a pleaser. She listens pretty well and only occasionally throws a tantrum. Her tantrums almost always occur when she is hungry or tired. If she does something wrong, she sits on the stairs for time out. She's really good about sitting there and then saying "sorry" and shaking her little finger and saying "no" when I go to get her out of time out. I only keep her there for one minute. Almost always, time out works. I think it distracts her and helps to redirect her more than anything.
Binkie - Willa still loves her binkie. If she had her way, she would have a binkie at all times. I've just started to have no binkies between breakfast and afternoon nap. She still asks for it, but doesn't throw a fit. I ask her how old she is. She holds up one finger and says "one" and then I say she's a big girl and doesn't need her binkie all the time. It seems to work. She talks with it in and gives kisses with it in unless we prompt her to take it out.
Sleeping - She sleeps about 12 hours a night. Usually 7 to 7. And she naps for two hours. She is a girl that needs her sleep. She is usually asleep by 11:30 am. Church is from 11-2 so it is really hard for her. She's usually asleep before we're out of the parking lot. She goes to nursery and her leaders tell me she loves it, but she almost always cries when I drop her off. I think she is just so tired by then and knows a nap is a long time off. She does better if Matt drops her off so maybe it is a seperation thing as well. She still wakes up during the night a few times a week. She can tell us what she wants...binkie (one for her mouth and one for her hand), rock (rock in the rocking chair and hug for a minute), or fan if she's hot. Matt's more of a softy than I am in the middle of the night and Willa knows it. When Matt works overnight, she rarely wakes up.
Eating - She's capable of eating pretty much everything, but doesn't always choose to do so. We try to get her to at least taste everything and then make a decision. Her favorite foods/drinks are milk, purple grapes, blueberries, goldfish, any kind of soup, homemade bread (she'll hardly eat store bought), and cheese. She asks for most familiar foods by name or will sign and say eat or more and then point.