As I was preparing a few pictures for this post, Daphne climbed up into her high chair all by herself and sat there, smiling proudly at me. That’s the thing about these pictures, they don’t fully capture her, not even close. These are the pictures taken with the real camera, but it’s the ones we take every single day on our phone, the small and blurry snapshots of her playing with puppets or trying to walk the dog, that provide real glimpses into our beautiful child. And those aren’t as easy to upload here or to edit, and so instead I’ll try to explain with words the essence of Daphne at 16-months. Normally I’d put this on the site I created just for her, but with a billion blogs to tend to, I’m all about keeping it simple these days.
Music. At around thirteen months old, Daphne starting trying to sing the MyGym “Goodbye” song. To this day, she walks around the house singing, “Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.” And about 6 weeks ago, she added “Old McDonald” to the repertoire, dazzling us all with the only part she can verbalize, “Ei, Ei, ooooooo.” Recently, she tries to sing “If you’re happy and you know it,” by repeating “happy” over and over again, while also singing “ba, ba, ba,” for her newest favorite, “Ba Ba Black Sheep.” Anytime I need her to sit still or lay safely on the changing table for a diaper change all I have to do is sing. I hope her love of music lasts forever! Most days, she grabs the remote and points it at the TV and demands, “dance!” She loves the toddler music station all day everyday, and it helps us get through long car rides too.
Other People. Since she turned a year old, we’ve watched as she’s gotten more and more comfortable with people outside our little inner circle. The other day I met some girlfriends at the Manhattan Beach Pier, and it warmed my heart to see her grab my best friend’s hand and lead her toward the aquarium. She doesn’t seem to care for the woman who comes to watch her once or twice a week for an hour or two though, but I think that has more to do with the fact that she knows I’m leaving than it does with the woman herself. As for other kids, she loves them and stares in wonder like they’re wild animals at the zoo. She’s just beginning to interact with children beyond parallel play, but besides MyGym, Music Class, and the occasional play date, we could probably both benefit from getting out more.
Words. Interestingly, Daphne has traded saying “dog” for barking. She also likes to squawk like a bird to point them out, ba like a sheep, and howl like a wolf (she loves Merp’s Minnesota Timberwolves paraphernalia). All day long I get demands from my little baby girl, “up,” “dance,” “open-up” (she absolutely loves to play with sunscreen and lotion and enjoys trying to lather her legs up like everyday is a beach day), and “that.” Daphne knows what she wants, BUT she can be talked off the ledge easily, or redirected without incident for the most part. So far tantrums have been mild-ish, none lasting longer than a few seconds, as long as her Kermit or Animal puppet are close at hand. Other new words include, “Henry” the dog’s name, “happy” as mentioned above, and “D” (she points out the letter D whenever she sees it, but other letters too so I think she may think all letters are called D!). She’s also gotten very vocal about things she likes with “mmm” and “yum” and “whoa” and “wow.” “Hats” are also a huge favorite to this day. She points out hats in books, on TV, and on strangers. Which leads me to shoes…
Watch Out Imelda! Daphne LOVES shoes. She takes them on, off, on, off all day long. She tries to put hers on me and mine on her. She’s gotten really into gently placing my flip flops on my feet. And half the time she’s walking around the house as our “one shoe wonder,” one on, one off lost somewhere in the yard.
Toys & Play. Although Daphne has been hugging her bird toys on command since about a year old, it wasn’t until recently that she’s gotten “attached” to her stuffed animals. It’s not that she loses it if they’re not within reach, it’s that she’s become protective of them. She does NOT care for it when our remaining dog Henry mauls her Dolphin stuffed animal (her current favorite). She’s so sweet with her all of her stuffed toys, making them kiss each other and us. It’s adorable! She walks around with a Kermit and Animal puppet on each hand, which is as cute as it sounds. She also loves to try to dress herself and tear apart the shelves in her room, flinging clothes everywhere, it’s awesome for her, not so much for me. Drawing is another favorite thing. Since about 13 months old, she’s been the pen detective, hunting down pens and paper like it’s her job. She’s pretty good at only drawing where she’s been told too, though her little kid chair is covered with red scribbles. New on the scene are blocks and legos, Merp and I were astounded that she built a tower of blocks 8 high! We think she’s a genius, obviously.
Fears. D HATES, with a tear inducing, lip quivering passion, the vacuum and the Rumba robot. I think this all started because Hercules, my deceased love pup, would attack any operating vacuum like he was going after a rattle snake, barking and growling relentlessly. D seems to have relaxed a little bit about it, but she still is not a fan.
Books. Add this to the list of obsessions. She loooooves them. And I’m happy to report that her current favorite was also mine as a kid. “Go Dog Go” is just such a great book! As I write these, she’s sitting on the floor paging through “You Are My I Love You,” which Merp and I both can’t stand (his least favorite line: “You are my water wings.” Yeah.). Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boynton books are hits in general, but we definitely need to add more to the repertoire. We just signed up for Bookroo, after reading about it on a friend’s awesome new site Chirpychatterbox.com. I can’t wait to receive three new board books each month! When you start to hate your kids books because you’ve read them so much, you know it’s time to kick the reading game plan up a notch. Seriously though, without any prompting at all, Daphne has just always loved books which I hope is something we can continue to love together as she grows.
Sleeping & Breastfeeding. As has been the case for awhile, she starts the night off alone at around 7:30, and now I just join her around 11, which means Merp gets better sleep too. We’ve put a mattress on the floor a la Montessori bed, since she has never done well with the crib. And I join her because it is just too exhausting to walk down the hall at night. She then breastfeeds approximately twice and won’t take no for an answer. She’s down to about 2 times a day too. Night weaning is coming… and it’s not going to be fun.
Food. D still loves chicken and cheese, avocado and grapes. A new favorite: Dates. She still won’t drink milk and doesn’t care for juice. Sadly, she doesn’t seem to like pouches anymore either, which sucks because they are just so easy. And things like Goldfish, she’ll have one or two of the Annie’s organic brand, until they end up all over the floor.
Rashes. You’ll notice in many of the pictures below that D has a rash face. The theory is that the binky, still used for naps and car rides, rubs against her sensitive skin. But I’m starting to wonder: could she have a food allergy? I plan to make a doctor appointment soon.
Nicknames. Variations of “bug” seem to have stuck. “Buga” is the most frequently used one these days. Piggy Wiggle is a new one because no matter how hard I try the kid is just a mess! Gone are the days where she’d be fit for a steakhouse. Long gone.
Daphne, the light and love of my life, is affectionate, sweet, silly, sometimes shy, smart, and a good listener. She wants to be good. She tests our limits from time to time, but in general, and this may be a phase, she wants to follow the rules. She wants to learn. Though she does exhibit streaks of independence with things like walking (not climbing) down the stairs and using big girl eating utensils. At 16-months, she’s a bird and book and shoe loving little girl who is also fascinated by cars and airplanes. Whenever an airplane passes overhead, she points and says, “Ahhhhh.” We are enjoying every minute of dancing around the house with, running through the yard with, and exploring this new life with our baby girl, who’s less and less a bay every day. I thank God and Allah and Jesus and Buddha every single day for making me Daphne’s mommy, the biggest blessing of them all!
Now for more pictures! I’m bummed because I spent a good two hours editing them, brightening them up and making them pretty, but can’t find the touched up photos ANYWHERE. Argh! These will have to do. For more Daphne-centric photos follow me on instagram @stephmignon that’s where the good stuff is. 🙂