I am lovin' being mama to an 18 month old. Especially one who likes to do ballet.
I love this stage she's in of learning to talk. Daphne says pretty much everything now, so if I wanted to make a list it would be better to make it of what she doesn't say. Like I don't think she's ever said 'scuba diver.' Or 'crematorium.' My favorite of her words, though, are 'robot,' 'avocado,' and 'shower.' I don't know why; I think the way she says them are just so funny. I also love that she says 'hello' every time the phone rings.
My favorite thing is how her sleeping is about 1 million times better than it used to be. When I think back to a year ago and how stressful last summer was with all the screaming and crying and waking up all night long...oh my, I cringe a little inside. But now she consistently sleeps at least 12 hours straight each night, and takes a 1-2 hour nap every afternoon. We take her to her room, snuggle for a minute, lay her in her bed, leave, and she goes to sleep. So, so, so, so wonderful. The agonizing months of sleep training were worth it.
Daphne seems to be a bit happier with life, too. I don't know what it was, but I feel like she smiled maybe 3 times her first 6 months of life. She actually smiles every day now, and even laughs every day, which is good for me. There's nothing like a constantly grouchy baby to make you feel like the worst mom ever.
She's not grouchy here, just amazed at how loud Brynner can be while barking at absolutely nothing.
I would say my biggest struggle is the fact that she is still not great at entertaining herself. She's better, definitely, as her attention span lengthens and especially now that she can get herself anywhere she wants to go, but she would much rather have someone's full attention on her at all times. It's not an independence issue, more that she is very social and likes to have someone play with her. I've found that if I keep myself busy moving around a lot, she is better at following me around and kind of entertaining herself as she finds items around the house to distract her. But as soon as I sit down, she is right at my feet, whining for me to pick her up. I've decided that this is OK because it keeps me busy getting work done, as opposed to sitting and reading a magazine or something while she plays. I would love to read a magazine, but it's probably better to work. Of course it also means that any work I do must be something that keeps me moving, like dusting the furniture, as opposed to something that keeps me in one spot, like folding laundry or doing the dishes. Let's just say I dust the furniture a lot.
The only developmental delay Daphne has is in walking. We can all understand why: she's wearing 1-inch platform heals that keep her from being able to move her ankles. I probably wouldn't be able to walk, either. She doing well with balancing; she walks easily along the furniture or pushing her little push-cart, and she lets go to stand alone or even stands herself up in the middle of the floor. She's just not quite balanced enough to take a step.
Several people have asked lately if Daphne will ever be able to walk on her own. I'll be honest when I say it had never even crossed my mind that she wouldn't. I was completely surprised to have even been asked that. I don't know if this is a good or bad thing, but I tend to forget that there is anything 'wrong' with Daphne. She is so terribly normal that I forget to even think that she's any different from the other children we hang out with. I guess I forget that others don't see her in that same light.
Not to mention, does anyone ever have a child and then raise them to think about what they can't and won't be able to do? I hope not, and we are no different. It's one of the reasons I am glad that there has been no diagnosis made for the type of skeletal dysplasia she has and why we haven't actively pursued finding one. Can you imagine being told the box you were going to live in? To be told what you should expect from life? We expect Daphne to live and be and do. We do not actively look for limitations.
Whoa, that was a tiny little soap box I just jumped on to (stop judging my kid!) so I'll just finish by saying, we've made it 18 months, and we're pretty happy with it. We're going to keep her for sure.