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10 Toddler Discoveries at 18 Months

We’re one day shy of 18 months and I love this age because so much is new to Vivi. Tonight she saw me add onions to a hot pan and the sizzle they made caused her to stop playing with her cup of crushed ice so she could investigate. (See also: Crushed ice, best ‘waiting for dinner to be done’ toddler snack ever.) Addie took a running leap onto a sheet of bubble wrap last week and ever since Vivi has been stepping on anything and everything she can to see if she can make it pop.

She has a general idea of how the world works, a framework if you will. Bedtime routine, morning routine, mealtime routines…now we’re starting to fill in that framework of routines with the fun stuff. New adventures and new chances at independence happen everyday, just yesterday she found a slide she could get up to, and slide down, by herself. The best part? She squealed “WHEEE!” on the way down every single time. For now her discoveries are pretty simple, but considering this time last year she was just a lump scooting across the floor? It’s amazing how far she’s come.


  • Diaper Changes 1 of 10
    Diaper Changes
    Perhaps it's because she's in cloth diapers, perhaps it's because she's a diva...but when Vivi pees she takes it upon herself to go get a diaper, pull you over to the carpet and lie down so you can change her forthwith. I take this as a very good sign when it comes to potty training. It also makes me really happy I tried out cloth with this baby, demanding super frequent changes would be an expensive little quirk if we were wholly reliant on disposables.
  • Music 2 of 10
    Music
    All babies have an innate sense and feel for music and it carries straight on through to the toddler years. Vivi doesn't use very many words, but she knows how to use her body to get what she wants, and when she wants music she dances AND IT IS ADORABLE. She'll come up behind you, tap you on the leg and do a little jig with a big smile on her face. When you ask her if she wants music (or baby tunes as we call it) she dances even more. Bonus fact? Vivi loves (LOVES) The Black Keys more than any other band, style or music she has ever heard.
  • Playing Dead 3 of 10
    Playing Dead
    I'm not sure Vivi grasps the concept of us spying on her with the video monitor, but somehow she's come to understand that when the camera moves something is going on and she fakes being asleep. She'll go from standing and singing in her crib to facedown and motionless before the camera even moves a full inch. When she spent the night at my friend's house the other night, my friend emailed me the next morning to tell me that as soon as Vivi saw that she was not me, she played dead.
  • Rain and Puddles 4 of 10
    Rain and Puddles
    I let Addie take Vivi out in a rainstorm last month and ever since Vivi cannot get enough water falling from the sky. It's hard to tell which she likes more, the actual rain or the resulting puddles. She can spot a good puddle from 100 yards out and can be happily sitting in it within a nanosecond if you're not paying attention.
  • Baths 5 of 10
    Baths
    Vivi went from loving baths, to hating baths, to detesting baths, to being okay with baths back to loving baths. Tonight I said "Bath time!" and the little kid tore off as fast as her little block feet could carry her. I found her tearing at her clothes in complete frustration by the side of the tub as she tried to take off her shoes while holding on to two little dog figures she loves playing with in the bath. Once she's in the bath she grabs the little bottles of baby soap, "pours" some into her hands and washes her feet. Crap she's cute. She also rubs "lotion" on herself when she's done.
  • Bellybuttons 6 of 10
    Bellybuttons
    Take your shirt off around Vivi at your own risk, for she will go diving for your bellybutton. Thankfully she has stopped climbing up my dresses in an attempt to poke my bellybutton, but she still lights up whenever one presents itself. She's equally fascinated with nipples. Man nipples, my nipples, cat nipples. We don't call her pokey little Vivi for nothing.
  • BIRDS! 7 of 10
    BIRDS!
    When birds fly overhead you would think they were about to rain down cotton candy and dreams the way Vivi reacts. She throws her hands into the air, tweets and chases them for as long as she can. Nothing pulls her attention away from whatever she's involved in like a flock of birds squeaking, squawking or honking overhead.
  • Buckles 8 of 10
    Buckles
    Vivi's first buckle discovery was on Addie's old helmet. Her obsession has since moved on to her high chair, her stroller and her car seat. In the words of another mom friend "The game never ends without tears." Once she gets the buckle snapped there are tears that the game is over. When anyone tries to help her unfasten the buckle, there are more tears that someone is interfering, so begins the game again. After buckles we move on to buttons. Addie went through a fierce button loving phase.
  • Airplanes 9 of 10
    Airplanes
    Vivi knows the difference between airplanes and birds and reacts accordingly. Birds get screamed at, airplanes are waved at. Doesn't matter how fast they are going, how high they are or how big they are, Vivi waves at every plane as through she is the solid ground welcoming committee. Oddly enough when she took a ride in a little plane a couple of weeks ago there wasn't much waving. At all.
  • Basketball 10 of 10
    Basketball
    I played one ten minute game of basketball with Vivi around while we were in Ohio. Cody and Addie were off doing grown up things so Vivi and I hung out by a basketball banker, Vivi had one ball, I had another. I'd toss the ball up and through the hoop, not thinking much of it. At church on Sunday Vivi kept lobbing a little beanbag up at the ceiling when we realized she was aiming and pointing at the basketball banker hanging from the ceiling. Cody's head nearly exploded with pride, then indignation that I was the one who showed her how basketball works. She was stoked to find a little kid hoop and ball in her nursery class later on. Bless her teachers who lifted her up several dozen times so she could finally make some baskets of her own.

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Find more of Casey’s writing on her blog moosh in indy or her Babble Voices site Shutterlovely. She’s also available on twitter, facebook, flickr and Instagram. If you can’t find her any of those places? Check the couch, she’s probably taking a nap.

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