> 20 months + > 150 words = 1 proud mama

(originally published May 12, 2014)

this is a few days late, but my big little bee is 20 months. quite a milestone we’ve made it to.

i know of moms who could blissfully rock their newborn for the rest of their lives and others who are so glad when their kids have gained some independence. but for me, i just don’t think it gets any better than these early months of toddlerhood. my ‘job’ as a stay at home mom in the last few months is closer to play now than work. so what better time to throw in another baby to the mix, eh?

but back to bee…

i did the completely overly-analytical-mom-thing and counted up her words today and if you take into consideration all her mastered spoken words (money, boo-boo, cookie), sounds (meow, beep, wee-o-wee-o), names (mama, betsy, elmo), almost the right words (bobby = broccoli, popies = popsicle, and easta = Easter), and signed words (more, hurt, friend), she tops out at nearly 150 (this was the count at exactly 20 months..she repeats almost any word we say now just a week later)! which is positively crazy to me considering the list was closer to ten words just three months ago and maybe twenty just two months ago. she can count to five and regularly points out when she sees two of something. and if it’s more than that she usually opts to just say ‘all’. as in, I want all the things.

looking at her first chosen words gives a nice glimpse into what’s most important to her: tatoo, peace, nike, candy, mine, beer. whenever she says ‘hey’, she also says ‘daddy’ for reasons unbeknownst to us and she also has one word that she says constantly that we have yet to translate: ‘cobby’. she spits that one off on repeat whenever she’s talking to george, or dolly, or her rubber duckies that have become constant companions outside of the bath, so i can only presume that it’s a filler word. and she has also adopted my filler sounds: ‘hmmm’ and ‘k’, and says them constantly to herself as she’s playing independently. it’s funny what you don’t realize about yourself until you have a little mockingbird following you around.

speaking of independent, i recall reading some different approaches to parenting. one of which calls for encouraging independence by placing your baby on a mat and timing their ability to remain engaged with their toys, then gradually increasing the amount of time each day. luckily i never did this, because encouraging independence is the last thing i want to do right now. it comes so naturally to her; not surprising given both of her parents’ personalities. cuddles are few and far between and i have to keep her very engaged in an activity for her to not become bored with me. her favorite word is still ‘go’, but she also says ‘home’ so much that i think it’s sinking in that home is also a happy place.

her favorite activities of the moment are pay-do (play dough in which she directs me what to make for hours on end), pool (tupperware tub filled with water in the backyard), see-ides (slides), ings (swings), and tea parties.

oh man, the tea party. i have been working so hard to get to this stage of development where we can play pretend (otherwise knows as mommy doesn’t have to buy any toys or art supplies and we can be entertained in doctor waiting rooms). she has no conceptual idea what tea is. has never seen a tea cup in my memory. and yet, she got it instantly and offers me tea and cookies with a striking regularity. bee hosts tea parties made out of play dough, in the bath, dressed in tutus with stuffed kitties, with kitties on a page of a book, with kitties on a magnadoodle, and even over skype with her grandparents. but mostly just a simple party with mom and bee’s little hands. just as the japanese tea ceremony focuses not on the drinking itself, but about aesthetics of the ritual and preparing a cup from your heart, bee just gravitates towards the process of pouring and serving and captivating the attention of her guests. just as her dancing and chalk drawing are forms of self-expression, this make-believe tea thing really does seem to be a performance art. and i could sit back and watch this all day. and i’m lucky. because it’s exactly what i do.

now for my proud mama moment…


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