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Life at 17 Months Old: Sweetness and Light

Photo credit: Meredith Carroll

This expression kind of says it all

Peony was born just about as scrumptious as her name suggests. As chill as can be, she went with the flow from her first few gasps of air.

Not much has changed over the past 17 months, except she just seems to be getting sweeter by the minute. I was convinced yesterday that she’d reached the pinnacle of deliciousness, and then this morning I went and brought her into the shower with me for the first time ever, and, as it turns out, she proved to be even more delightful as she stood on the floor of the bathtub and giggled as she washed my legs.

Part of her charm these days seems to stem from her blossoming language skills. She’s repeating more and more words, but even better, she’s using the few words she already knows voluntarily and in the appropriate context.

I can’t quite articulate why it’s so charming when she says “ba ba” while holding up her sippy cup, but it just is. This morning she strung two words together properly — “Bye Da Da” — when my husband left for work and I nearly burst into tears of joy at the cuteness of it all.

She voluntarily blows kisses to anyone walking out of a room. She walks around singing, “Upa baba” for “up above” in the “Twinkle, Twinkle” song. It’s a performance worthy of a Grammy, but she’s far too important as an artist to enter something as common as a contest.

My heart nearly leaps out of its chest every time she drops everything to come and cuddle with me. She seems to like nothing more (and I definitely can’t think of anything more important) than resting her head on my chest. She now totes books over to me when she wants to be read to. She’ll push her chair around the kitchen when she wants you to know she’s ready to be fed (which is about every 20 minutes or so). When it’s time to go somewhere, she anticipates the routine by gathering her shoes and socks and attempting to put them on by herself. She tries to climb into the bathtub fully clothes when she’s extra anxious to get the cleaning party started.

She’s learned that spinning around until she’s dizzy is fun, and that she doesn’t have to cry every time it makes her fall to the ground and hit her head. Climbing up on the couch is a new skill, even if she hasn’t mastered yet how to go down feet first. That’s where that not-crying skill comes in handy yet again.

When the phone rings, she’ll put her hand to her ear and say “Oh?” (for “Hello?”). It seems to irk her when I screen calls, as she thinks all rings are worthy of a response.

Peek-a-boo gets funnier to her with each round, as does This Little Piggy and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. She’s getting more independent by the minute, and at the same time, she still manages to include me in just about everything. It seems like the perfect balance for both of us.

She learned to do “cheers” at dinner last night and for the past several hours she has not tired of doing it every few minutes. Neither have I.

I know from experience with my older daughter that it just keeps getting better, but at this moment, I just can’t imagine how that’s actually possible.

Photo credit: Meredith Carroll

More from Meredith on Babble’s Toddler blog:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Mom blog, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly column on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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