You were sixteen months old this week, and I wish I could take a single day with you right now, wrap it in plastic, hide it in the back of the freezer and save it forever.
It is hard to figure out what to say this month, because every time I turn around there is something new, you are somehow different. You absorb everything around you and incorporate it all into yourself and then spit it back out with your own special spin. You are so whip smart that is scares me. Maybe all toddlers are that way, I don't know, but you send me reeling with the things you know, both the things we taught you and the things we didn't.
After refusing to talk until you were good and ready, you have developed quite a vocabulary this month. You will mimic lots of words, but the ones you volunteer are mama, dada, bye-bye, bubble, back pack, ball, (fruit) bar, diaper, hat, book, umbrella, and Olivia. I admit, it takes a discerning ear to know what you are saying and to tell the difference between most of these words, but you know what you are saying and, more often than not these days, so do I.
When asked, you can identify Mommy, Daddy, and Mia, Grandma, Papa, Mimi, Grandpa and Baba. You can also point to you own or anyone else's nose, ears, hair, head, mouth, tummy, hands, knees, feet, toes, and bottoms. I taught you bottom just because I thought it would be funny, and it is.
It can be very frustrating to be sixteen months old. You know and understand so much these days but can still communicate so little that you are often reduced to tears and angry screaming when I don't understand what you want. You are also reduced to tears and angry screaming when I do understand what you want but refuse to comply. Sometimes I glimpse a preview of your toddler tantrums, and I admit I think you will mature into a formidable opponent. The rules are pretty cut and dry, though: no, I will not give you a knife to chew on to stop you from screaming, but yes, I will give you Daddy's toothbrush.
You are growing up so quickly now. More often than not you sleep through the night, and you have even started to eat something other than your four acceptable foods. In the past week you have tried, and seemingly liked, scrambled eggs, two kinds of pasta with tomato sauce, raisins and banana. You did not like the vegetables from my fajitas, but hey, they can't all be winners.
You are obsessed with socks, shoes, books, and the contents of your newly designated Mia Cupboard. One of your continuing favorite games is to come up behind someone sitting on the floor and push them until they fall over. Then you lean down and give hugs and kisses and pats on the back for a while, and then sit your chosen target back up and do it all again. I could happily play this game with you for hours because the hugs and kisses are so precious to me.
Mia Bean, you are not my little baby anymore. You are a little girl, a real person with real thoughts and ideas and desires. Getting to know you over the past sixteen months and again with every day is a great and awesome blessing on my life.