It’s been a while since I’ve provided an Isla update, so I thought I’d let you know how she’s been doing these days. The last few months have brought so many changes for her. It’s like every week, we have a completely different kid.
The biggest change is in her language. Every day it seems like she picks up a new word. This morning, we were playing with one of her Elmo toys, and she looks straight at it and said very clearly, “Elmo.” You could tell by looking at her face as she said it that she’d just, in that moment, put the name to the face. It’s so cool to watch, and she clearly gets a lot of joy from it, too. Some of her words include:
- Please (say and sign)
- Wee! (Going down slides or on swing)
- Bird (say and sign)
- Kitty (say and sign)
- Dog (say and sign)
- Bah/Wah (bottle and water are used interchangeably)
- Egg (both the food and the toy)
- Bite (when she wants to eat something)
- Mama (YES!)
- Dirty (say and sign)
- More (sign, but won’t say)
- Belly button
- Go get it! (while pointing dramatically)
- 1-2-3 (and then sort of mumbles to 7, where she starts to go “yaaay!”)
- Bye bye
- Night night
She’s starting to pick up on things like body parts and animal sounds. She can tell you where her eyes, mouth, and belly button are, and at night when she takes a bath, she’ll sit and point at her belly button and say, “belly button” insistently at Kellen and me until we point out our belly buttons too. She will go “ah ah ah” at her monkey and “che che che” at her toy chicks. She’ll growl at bears and at Cookie Monster.
Isla loves to count. She’ll go “1-2-3” before throwing something or doing something else exciting, and she loves to have people count back to her or do “1-2-3” before they do something like push her in the swing or pour water over her head. In the car she’ll “count” to 7. After 3, the numbers sort of lose their clarity, but she gets to 7 every time and gets really excited. She also likes to do her ABC’s. We watch a lot of Sesame Street on YouTube, which has tons and tons of versions of the alphabet song, and she has magnet letters on the fridge. When a version of the alphabet song comes on her playlist, she runs into the kitchen to play with her magnets. (Unless it’s the Patti LaBelle version, in which case, she’s got to clap and dance along.) Sometimes she just goes in the kitchen and looks at her magnet while she bounces up and down saying a series of vowel sounds…which I guess is probably how the alphabet sounds to her for the most part.
She also loves to be outside. If she wants to go out, she’ll grab someone’s hand and escort them to the back door, where, if you don’t let her out, she’ll stand and whine and cling to the door pitifully. Outside, she loves to dump out the dog’s water bowl, throw balls, watch us blow bubbles, and play in the pool or with the water hose. She also likes to go on walks. She can climb into her stroller by herself and on a few occasions has run out to the garage and climbed into the stroller unprompted as if to say, “I think what you meant to do was take me on a stroll.”
The park is a favorite, and she is an absolute dare devil. She can climb to the top of the biggest big kids’ slide and go down all by herself with no help or encouragement, which tends to scare the buhjeezus out of unsuspecting adults. It still scares me, to be honest. Swings are also a favorite, and it is always a challenge to keep her from picking up handfuls of wood chips or rocks and throwing them. She loves to point out birds. The picture furthest to the right above was her at Zilker Park spotting a grackle and shouting and signing “BIRD!” Sometimes when we go out to eat at one of our favorite burrito places, she’ll sit and spend the entire time pointing at and chattering about the birds in the parking lot. They may have even supplanted her fascination with kitties.
Isla is a really social kid. She loves to meet new people and has never met a stranger. We started a new daycare last week, and Isla and Ms. Rhonda get on famously, like they’ve known each other forever. At the park last weekend, Isla kept following around a 2-year-old and a 6-year-old boy saying, “Hi, hi, hi,” smiling and so patiently waiting for one of them to say something back. They never did, and their parents similarly ignored her and me even though this went on off and on for the better part of 15 minutes, which sort of made me mad. You can teach your kids to at the very least be polite! But I digress. I see many tears in the future over unrequited friendships. At another outing to a different park recently, though, Isla made best buddies with an older girl. They were hugging and dancing on park benches together within minutes of meeting. Isla loves to say hi to everyone, especially to other kids, and is always trying to make friends.
She’s very sweet and affectionate. She loves to give hugs and will occasionally give or blow kisses. Before we moved, when we were having a playdate with our neighbors, the neighbors’ little girl started to cry and Isla walked over and gave her a big hug. It was amazing to me to see one so small, 15 months old, comforting another kid. Even if she didn’t really understand why she was doing it, she knew it was what you were supposed to do. She’s an excellent mimic of other people’s behavior and increasingly their words. (Goodbye, swear words!)
Isla also loves books and music. Some of her favorite books right now are Night Night, Elmo, Llama Llama Nighty Night, Llama Llama Wakey Wake (she says “yamayama”), Biscuit’s Valentine’s Day and My Fuzzy Valentine. Despite being time of day or season specific, she’s happy to read them at any time. (And I have no idea why she’s so into these. We have lots and lots of other books!) As far as music goes, we’ve put together a playlist for her of Sesame Street songs, which we watch sometimes in the mornings or at night right before bedtime while we’re trying to get things done. She’ll sing and dance along sometimes, and a lot of times, when she’s in the bath tub or the pool or just running around, she’ll start “singing” and dancing, too. She can’t carry much of a tune, but it’s pretty obvious when she’s singing as opposed to just chattering to herself. It’s very funny to watch.
Favorite foods right now include: toast, eggs, burritos, macaroni and cheese, rice and meat dishes, and yogurt. Fruits and veggies are a hard sale, but we try to sneak them into other things like with rice or meat, in burritos, in cottage cheese, or in with her mac and cheese. She will eat apple sauce and cantaloupe, and at least once chewed on strawberry repeatedly. She won’t swallow the strawberry, but I figure chewing it is getting awfully close? It’s weird because she would eat fruit purees no problem. I’ve wondered if she has some texture issues with fruit and vegetables…or she’s a normal toddler who is also her father’s daughter. Picky, and just because she liked something yesterday doesn’t mean she’ll touch it again today.
Other developments include sitting on her potty chair for about 2 seconds every night before bath time, which gives me hope, however faint, of early potty training. She’s also started getting car sick, which…ugh. I hope it’s just short lived and that some changes to our driving habits and being more aware of what causes it will help curb the puking in the car thing. That’s just unpleasant. We’ve also started brushing her teeth with a teeny tiny bit of toothpaste at night. Her teeth were starting to get pretty stained and icky looking, and because she still gets a bottle of milk every night at bedtime, I worry a lot about tooth decay. She hates having her teeth brushed, but her teeth look a whole lot better, so that’s something we’ll keep up.
I can’t think of anything else, which probably means I’ve bored everyone to tears. The short story is: Isla is busy as ever and growing up very quickly! While I still miss her being small every once in a while, I have to say, I love this age so much. There’s so much going on, and she’s so much better able to communicate. I think I could honestly handle having a 16 month old forever. It’s a lot of fun, for her and for me.