In a few days, Anneliese will be 23 months. Almost two.
She is really in an exciting – and difficult – phase. She’s SO nurturing and sweet, so exuberant and creative, and so frustrated (with wanting to be able to do more, communicate more, know more – FASTER) and attached right now.
I think part of it is that she’s teething her 2nd year molars.
For the longest time (a while back), she was getting tooth after tooth, sooooo slowly, and she was so miserable … that I was almost afraid her “teething personality” was her real personality. Then she finished teething for a while and her REAL self returned. Now we’re in teething-personality mode again. She needs lots of sleep, gets irritated with things quickly, wants to nurse far more than usual, and wants to be held as much as possible. I’m trying my best to help her through her frustrations and irritations, and to let her know that I’m here for her whenever she needs me.
I’m 98% sure her frustrations have nothing to do with her brother. She has nothing but sweetness toward him. She gives him kisses…
…helps to entertain him (here she’s wiggling his mobile and saying “Dance! Dance!!!”)…
…and when they are nursing together, she pats him gently, holds his hand, or strokes his hair. She loves to name his body parts too. If he is upset, she will often tell me to nurse him. And if she wants to join in, she knows that we always let him latch on first, so she’ll tell him, “Yatch! Yatch!” and sometimes try to push my nipple into his mouth. So funny and sweet!
Anneliese’s imagination has continued to blossom, and she can entertain herself with the simplest things.
She often wakes from her naps and spends a lot of time playing in her room before she asks to come out (by knocking on the door, or asking “Mama? Mama?”) I’m so glad she can happily play independently, and it’s fun to see how she uses her toys when she’s on her own, versus when she has readily-available help (If I’m in the room, even if I’m not playing with her, she often asks for help, but if she is in her room playing alone, she persists for much longer).
In this screenshot from my homemade iPhone baby monitor, she’s rocking one of her baby dolls in the glider in her room, patting its back. She rocked the baby doll like this for about an hour!
She has also often “mothers” Joseph’s lovie. Here, she’s rocking it on her rocking horse. She has also sat it up in her high chair and buckled it in.
And here, she’s telling the lovie, “Nurse!” and then so sweetly pretending to nurse it. I love that she is so nurturing in her play.
Nursing Joey’s lovie again. This time she made sure to align the baby’s face with her nipple. So funny! And she was so serious about it.
As I mentioned before, she’s been very “attached” lately. I don’t like the term “clingy” because that carries so many negative connotations. Instead, I’m glad that she can recognize her VERY STRONG EMOTIONS right now, and know that sometimes she needs a little “time out” to snuggle with me (and often her brother too). Usually after a good cuddly nursing session, she feels much better and runs off to play happily.
She doesn’t like to be worn very often anymore, but now and then she does want to be close at a time when I can’t really hold her in my arms. Usually this only lasts 5 minutes or so, but I’ve worn her on my back while cooking and ironing a bit recently. It keeps her close and happy, but also keeps her hands away from the iron, hot pans, sharp knives, etc. After a few minutes, she asks to be down again, and is able to entertain herself again.
Even while being so “attached” she is also gaining so much independence (which I don’t think is a coincidence – she has a secure “home base” in me, so she feels more comfortable exploring)! She is often so engrossed in her play that she doesn’t even seem to notice that I’m around. Getting her to look at the camera is usually a lost cause these days, and I really don’t mind. It’s so fun to see her so engaged in her own explorations.
She has grown so quickly, and every day she’s learning more, doing more, and shining more.
My Anneliese… almost two!