1 is so much fun.
Isla is hitting all sorts of milestones right now which have helped her be more communicative and interactive. She’s always been so curious and such a ball of energy, but up until recently, she pretty much explored the world solo and never lingered on anything long enough to share her experiences. Now, she’s so eager to share everything she loves and enjoys with everyone around her. If she sees something that makes her happy, she wants you to see it and be happy, too. If she’s doing something fun, she wants someone else to do it with her. It’s wonderful to get to share in her happiness.
The big thing is her communication skills have exploded. Every day she picks up a new word or sign that helps her better share her experiences with us. She can say “please” and “more” for food and “bottle” to indicate she’s thirsty (regardless of what she wants to drink or what she’s drinking out of.) She loves animals and refers to all of them (verbally and with signs) as “dog.” She gets so excited about them. With Pippin, our dog, she’ll pet him, follow him around, play tug of war with him, and growl at him when he play growls at her.
She loves books, and is constantly flipping through pages on her own or bringing us a book to read to her. They definitely rank among her favorite toys, and I am so happy she’s developed the patience and attention span to sit down and read. Such a joy for Kellen and me, since we’re both bookworms.
Isla loves being outside, can say “tree” and “flower” and sign the latter. She loves to touch all the plants, and when she sees something she really likes, she’ll give a dramatic, “OooOOOoooh!” We go for walks pretty much every evening after we get off work, and she excitedly puts on her sun hat andloads up into Kellen’s backpack carrier or the stroller and then cries when it’s time to come back inside. She always insists on going up the stairs back to our apartment on her own steam (and loves going up the stairs at the park and at our friends’ house) and has a fierce independent streak. She always wants to do it herself.
She likes music and dancing. One of my favorite things to do is put on the YouTube Sesame Street channel for her in the morning before work and watch her dance around to Elmo and Abby and all her other favorites. She loves doing patty cake and Itsy Bitsy Spider. She’ll do the “roll ’em, roll ’em” hand motions when she wants to do patty cake, or she’ll do the spider hand motions or pull out the toy that plays Itsy Bitsy Spider when she wants to do Itsy Bitsy Spider. She calls it “bitsy.” Her face completely lights up when we understand what she wants and are able to do it with her.
Isla also loves shoes. That’s one that’s really surprised me because she’s otherwise a no-frills kind of kid, but she gets her shoes out for me every single morning and putting on shoes is pretty much the only part of getting dressed in the morning that’s never a battle. She happily sits still while I get her shoes on her, even if she screams and fights everything else.
Isla is a lot more affectionate than she was when she was little and constantly on the go. She gives hugs and likes to be held and tickled and will tickle you back. We’ve recently cut the rocking chair out of her bedtime routine, but there are nights when she grabs her bottle and goes to the rocker and makes it very clear that what she really wants is some snuggles before bedtime. It melts my heart.
She loves people. When we go out, she waves to everyone and says hi. She grins and flirts and puts on a show–and then inexplicably acts bashful when she finally gets someone’s attention. It’s hilarious to watch, especially since so many adults are thrown off guard by her. She really loves children, though, and she tries so hard to get their attention or to get involved in their games. She is her father’s child in that respect, very much a social butterfly.
This age is not without its trials. Trying to find something she’ll eat is always a challenge, although she is more likely to eat if: 1) she’s eating off our plates (which isn’t always possible because of our work and her bedtime schedules), and 2) she can feed herself. She has strong opinions about everything, and makes them known, and these days when we tell her “no,” she sometimes pretends she doesn’t hear us or watches us while she keeps doing it to see how we’ll react. She’s also hitting and scratching a bit, and while I know she doesn’t do it in a mean-spirited way, it’s something we have to break her of. When she hits or scratches one of us, we just put her down and walk away and try not to react to it, since all reacting gets us is more hitting or scratching. So that part isn’t fun, but I know it’s all completely normal, age-appropriate behavior and that how we respond to it will influence her future behavior…so no ignoring it or letting it slide, however tempting that may be, especially after a long day of work.
Overall, though, I have to say this has been my favorite age so far. I love getting to be a part of her world and getting an opportunity to see things through her eyes.