Isabella at 19 Months

Isabella turns 19 months old tomorrow. It's been an interesting month, full of behavior-related battles. I really, really love my daughter. Honest, I do. But lately, her attitude has made wish her toddlerhood away so we can hurry up and get to the good stuff, like baking together and completing activities that don't end 5 minutes after they've started with both of us having a temper tantrum.

Good stuff first.

This month, Isabella has gone all stalkerella with her interest in our three cats. She asks for them all the time ("See Chubbie!"), and when she does, she sprints to them, and wants to jump on them and hug them and maul them with love. The cats? Not so very much interested in this kind of attention. Yesterday, she wanted to give her sippy cup to Claudia ("Claw-la. Sippy cup?") She was kind of devastated when I informed her that Claudia no more wanted her sippy cup than she wanted to take a ride in her push wagon, which is what Isabella wanted Claudia to do earlier in the day.

Isabella is really into parroting these days. She's taken to saying, "Oh, God!" (which is something I say a lot, and which is a whole lot better than repeating "Holy fucking shit!", which is also something I say quite often). It's only a matter of time, though, before she lets loose with a choice word, and when she does, I will blame her potty mouth solely on her father.

She is saying a ton of three, four, and sometimes five-word phrases. Some of my favorites:

"Whoa! What is THAT?"


"There it is!"

I know many kids do this far earlier in their lives, but she has just this past month discovered the joys of jumping on the furniture, which has led to more than one ugly red mark and bruise on her noggin. And she's far more adventurous in climbing the inclined mats at her gym class than she used to be.

She's also able to follow Simon Says directions, or at least when she feels like it. It's been kind of awesome to watch this seemingly minor behavioral milestone emerge, but it shows that's she able to listen, comprehend, and move her body accordingly.

If only she would follow my directions as well.

For the past month or so, Isabella has been prone to temper tantrums. The slightest perceived injustice, such as refusing to give her a snack too close to dinner, or closing the door down to the basement so she doesn't tumble down the stairs, will set her off. I've learned I have to go very slowly with her morning routine, because if I have the audacity to place her on her changing table to try and change her diaper and get her dressed for the day before she's ready, all hell will break loose. Sometimes I feel as if I'm handling a 23-pound grenade that can go off (and does) at any moment. These temper tantrums are frequent. And frustrating. And I want them to end.

The food battles have continued too. Dinnertime is absolutely my least favorite part of the day, and I do everything in my power to avoid having to feed her this meal. Unfortunately, the hubs is seldom home when it's her dinnertime, so this chore (and it is a chore) is all mine. She often refuses to eat anything at all. Or screams, writhes, and turns her head away from me when I attempt to get her to eat anything. My mother is of the opinion that I should just give her oatmeal and fruit every night, since that's what she likes. And that kind of parenting, my friends, is part of the reason yours truly eats a grand total of seven different foods today. I'm not feeding my daughter only what she likes (and this changes constantly) on any given night. I am not a short-order cook. I will continue to serve her vegetables and whatever main dish I've prepared for that night. She has to at least try it. If someone has figured out the key to getting toddlers to eat consistently, please let me know, because most nights after her dinner battles, I want to take the nearest bridge.

Current Likes: Stickers, coloring, brushing her teeth (all 8 of them)

Current Dislikes: Diaper changes and nail clippings

13 Responses to “Isabella at 19 Months”

  1. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    19 months!! That two-year mark will be here before you know it!

    I wish I could tell you that the temper tantrums go away completely, but I know I'm a living example that even adults experience the occasional meltdown. And as far as the food issues go - well, I'm inclined to agree with your mom about giving her the oatmeal and fruit and not turn it into a battle. I can understand you not wanting to be a short-order cook (uh, remember I've got Jacob who doesn't eat ANYTHING). Give her the fruit and oatmeal along with whatever you are having for dinner, and don't force anything on her. In my opinion, I think that's when the real food issues start. As picky as Jacob is, he's slowly starting to expand his likes. He can even eat a banana now with only mild gagging!!  

  2. # Blogger Marie

    She sounds like a riot with the cats. Love that cat pic! Isabella's hair is getting long! I have a little boy who thinks he's a cat -- I'll have to ask him to be a cat for Isabella sometime.

    Ah the tantrums. Dare I say they were a regular here til about age 3 1/2? Deep breathing and leaving the room help sometimes. I've considered earplugs too!  

  3. # Blogger Mom24

    She sounds so adorable. I got pregnant when my son was 18 months...I really identify with where you are at. I bet she will love the baby!

    One thing we have found with our 4 kids is that they all go through a tantrum-my period. If it was sooner, we didn't get it later, if we didn't get it sooner, we definitely got it later.

    About the dinner hour (otherwise known as the *witching* hour! LOL)
    If there's any way that you can all sit down together to eat that meal, that models for her what people do at dinner. But, if not, here's my assvice--Try to make it as stressfree as possible. If she senses you are stressed (gee, try to find a mom of a young child who's not stressed at that time of day, let alone a mom who's pregnant and worrying about that!), she will feed off that, and that's not good. I would try to make sure she does get a healthy snack an hour to an hour and a half before. That serves two purposes, you will know she's had something healthy and maybe not worry so much about what she's eating or not, and if she's not quite so hungry and tired she might not object to the foods so strenously. I agree with you, I would not give in to the oatmeal thing. I would never try to make her or cajole her to eat. Give her the food, if she eats, fine, if not, that's OK too. It is absolutely amazing how little a child that age needs to thrive. Try to include something, if you can, at least most days that you know she likes. Just try to be very matter of fact. The last thing you want is a battle of the wills, because YOU CANNOT WIN that! Good luck!  

  4. # Blogger Christine

    Wow, almost two years. I can't believe it! I love that she rocks the transitional baby mullet. They're my favorite.

    I have no advice on the eating. But I think you're going about it the right way and if she's not losing weight I think she's alright.  

  5. # Blogger Editorgirl

    man where does the time go? I really get a kick out of her facial expressions, like me, you're little girl's face says it all in pictures. Too funny! I hope you're doing well. Breaking out the KitchenAid one last time before we move tomorrow to make an Easter pie :-) I always think of you when I use it now - can't imagine why I was ever afraid of the darn thing. Be well  

  6. # Anonymous Shannon

    This made me laugh! I can't imagine why a cat wouldn't want to be pushed around in a cart or drink from a sippy cup. Really, Claudia needs to adapt! Because you know how well cats adapt to new situations.  

  7. # Blogger l

    Keep trying to feed her different foods! It'll be a long time before she thanks you, but some day she will! I think.  

  8. # Blogger My Wombinations

    she is so darn cute! Hey, you have to read the new Stefanie Wilder-Taylor book! You will love it. "Naptime is the New Happy Hour"  

  9. # Blogger sher

    Loved reading that! And the pictures are delightful. I love the look on her face, with the cat. By the way, the cats should count themselves lucky that she can't dress them up in clothes yet!  

  10. # Blogger beagle

    Of course you know I would love the one with the cat! They look so sweet together!  

  11. # Anonymous PreSchool Mama

    You're lucky she likes brushing her teeth! I had a hard time getting my son into the brushing habit. He still can't get it done with soon enough.

    Adorable little girl, BTW!  

  12. # Blogger Damselfly

    How did she grow up so fast! Her language skills are amazing!

    Tantrums are a lifestyle for Fly.  

  13. # Blogger Shannon

    with Lore I feed her one thing I know she will like and one not so sure of... and it tends to work... but if she says all done then that is it.. the meal is over... and if she wants a snack (normally a cheese stick) she can have it because I know the milk backs her up so if she hasn't pooped yet I know she can't eat that much until later...

    Poor kitties... I bet they need a vacation lol...  

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