Isabella at 18 Months

Isabella turns 18 months old today. My baby is suddenly a year and a half.

In the past month more than any other, I've realized that she's becoming such a little person. She's long possessed definite opinions and wants with no shortage of ways to express them, but now when I see her running around the house, using words to ask for things instead of pointing, and playing and dancing in her own unique little ways, it's evident she is no longer a baby. Of course, she will always be my baby, but to the rest of the world, she's a total toddler now.

That language explosion people talk about occuring at 18 months? Completely true. She's learning so many new words literally each day, and is putting more words together. While she started with "My Dada" a few months ago, in the past month, she's saying "Zipper up," "Hi, Mommy/Daddy" and placing "More" in front of everything ("More cheese," "More milk," etc.). And my personal favorite: "Oh! See!" when she glimpses something interesting to her. My two favorites: "Oh, bubbles!" (in the bath) and "Ohhhh, sun") when she sees the sun streaming in through the windows in the morning. Everything is new and interesting for her, and I absolutely love watching her explore and learn.

Eating snow = fun

In addition to a rapidly growing vocabulary, Isabella is also able to identify some additional letters of the alphabet. A few months ago, she developed a fascination with "W." She would point it out wherever she saw it, and say, "Double-da." Now she can identify and say the letters E, O, W, and X. And she also asks to sing her "ABCs." She doesn't know all the letters in the song just yet, but she will say the first four letters (A, B, C, and D), the O, the W, the X and the Z, and then "Me!" at the end of the song ("Next Time Won't You Sing With...").

For all her big-kid ways, she is still very clingy and demanding of my undivided attention. If I'm on the phone, she resents it and begins to whine and cry. If I'm (god-forbid) attemping to write an email, she is crawling up my leg or repeating "Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!" over and over. And in the last month, she's even been hesitant to leave my arms when one of my relatives comes over to visit, and she sees them all the time. I'm hoping the Clingon behavior ends soon because there are days when I really feel as if she's pasted herself to my anatomy so much that I've actually gained 21 pounds.

Dinnertime has turned into an absolute nightmare this past month. Isabella twists, turns, writhes, cries, throws food, and absolutely refuses to eat most nights. She used to love chicken. Now it's floor fodder. She used to devour quite a few, although not all, vegetables. And now, even though I'm coating them with cheese, she's spitting them back out at me. It is massively frustrating to say the least. I was a fussy eater growing up, and my mom would feed me whatever I wanted seven nights a week. That, coupled with my digestive diseases, turned me into an adult whose diet is composed of basically five different foods. I'm determined to not have my daughter turn out like me, so I'm avoiding making her a grilled cheese every night for dinner. Instead, the hubs and I beg, we plead, we cajole, we tempt, we line up her stuffed animals on the table, we do everything short of bringing in a tap-dancing monkey to get her to eat. Sometimes it works. Most nights, it doesn't.

I'm not eating, and I'd like to see you try and make me.

At 18 months, it's readily apparent that her emerging personality mirrors my own, and not the hubs'. While he is a laid-back, patient, go-with-the-flow kind of guy, Isabella is strong-willed. She is stubborn. She will not settle. She is highly verbal. She is demanding. She is independant. In other words, she's me. And she is also my mother's revenge.

But as much as I waver between sticking a For Sale sign on her forehead and planting her in my front lawn, and hiding her under my bed so she can never, ever grow up, she makes me smile each and every morning when I go in to get her up, and given my decaffeinated existence, you can't put a price on that kind of wake-up call.

Current likes: Babies (babies in books, babies in the store, babies, babies, everywhere), birds, hiding under the dining room table.

Current dislikes: Dinnertime, vegetables, handing over the reins of her dictatorship

14 Responses to “Isabella at 18 Months”

  1. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    Eighteen months is SUCH a milestone!! I had to laugh at your post, because it sounds like something I could have written myself. The food. The clinginess. The stubborn personality - Isabella and Bridget are very much alike!

    as Bridget calls her, "Isabwelwa"  

  2. # Anonymous Amy

    Oh, I just love that middle photo. Such a little personality shines through, and I've never even met her. I love stubborn toddlers who know their own minds (I had one), although I know it doesn't make for easy days for you!

    And the food's weird, isn't it, how some people just seem to be born much pickier than others? I've got one VERY picky eater and one who'll eat just about anything, yet I fed them both the same way when they were little. I feel your pain, I really do.

    This post is making me feel too first *baby* just turned 9. :)  

  3. # Blogger Tracey

    At least she's a cute dictator, right? 18 months is a big deal, esp for moms. She's no longer closer to the 1 year old side of 1. She's rounding towards 2.... It's wonderful and gut-wrenching all at the same time.  

  4. # Blogger Beagle

    Love the double fisted sippy cups!  

  5. # Blogger My Wombinations

    SO hard to believe that she is already 18 months. She looks more like a kid--amazing! I can't wait for Sam to be this age. On the other hand, that is when the new baby is coming, so maybe we should take our time getting there.

    Anyway, she is lovely and perfect. What a cute age!  

  6. # Blogger Thalia

    From what I've read, most toddlers go through a fussy age, it's about them separating from you, realising they are a different person. Don't assume that because she's refusing food now that she always will. Just keep offering it, and not making it a big deal if she won't eat it.

    She is gorgeous!  

  7. # Blogger Marie

    Wow - 18 months! All sounds normal to me. Seems like the phases come & go - with food, toys, books... We're just re-entering a "carrots are OK" phase. And all the sudden cheese is acceptable once again. Who knew?

    Those pics are precious! And holy cow, does she look like her Mom or what??  

  8. # Blogger MsPrufrock

    Yeah, this post could just as easily be about P - down to the love of babies and birds.

    Yesterday we were at a park which has some rabbits and guinea pigs, and P kept offering the poor guinea pigs dried leaves, the whole time shouting "Baby! Baby!" at them. I guess it was her version of "Hey you! Come here!" As for birds, she can't say the word without shouting it and her head nearly exploding from excitement. Seriously, if we are turning the page of a book which will have a bird on it, we move our delicate ears away from her big mouth.

    Marie took what I was going to say. Isabella looks just like you, especially in that last picture. I guess that kind of makes sense as she's your offspring and all.  

  9. # Blogger sunShine

    Eighteen months already? It seems like she was just born yesterday. She is so beautiful and so smart. Pat yourself on the back, you are doing a wonderful job!  

  10. # Anonymous Shannon

    She's so big! And super cute. Love those big brown eyes.  

  11. # Blogger l

    Dictatorship? Heh. Maybe she could start earning her keep by offering leadership coaching to Fidel's little bro.  

  12. # Blogger sher least she's eating snow?? And she looks so adorable. I was a very fussy eater when I was her age. Now I eat almost anything that's not nailed down!!!  

  13. # Anonymous Laura McIntyre

    Happy 18 Months, she sounds so bright and is completely adorable.

    Does she eat much the rest of the day? My almost 3year old has never been a big dinner eater and some evenings doesn't eat a thing, although at first i worried these days i don't bother and refuse to make her something special. She eats plenty during the day though  

  14. # Blogger Jesser

    Oh my goodness. She is such a cutie. And you're right ... she totally looks like a toddler. How heartbreaking and wonderful. "Handing over the reigns of her dictatorship." LOL. I think I can relate!!!  

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