All your growing up seems to be slowing down. You have now checked off all the major milestones - rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, talking. All the changes you go through now seem much more gradual. But then I stop and think about it, and realize you haven't slowed down at all.
At 15 months you are 20.5 lbs, 29" tall. Still a peanut, but a perfectly height-weight proportionate peanut. And who doesn't love a well-proportioned peanut? Your head circumference is still 80+%, while your height and weight are still ~15%. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that when we play and you throw your head back in laughter it gives me a bloody nose.
That bloody nose makes me feel a little less guilty about all the bruises on your forehead. Those bruises are hard earned. You love to climb on chairs, dressers, boxes, step stools, bath tub ledges, dogs, other babies, and Mom, just to name a few. It is hard to keep tabs on you.
Your vocabulary is pretty typical, I think. "Mama", all the time, for everything. And you manage to say it in a very demanding, Italian accent. You know "Dada" but use it less, though the other morning when you called for "Dada" instead of "Mama" I earned myself an extra hour of sleep. You're working on "nose", though every time you say "No" you jab your little finger up my nose. And "eye" earns a similar gesture. Your favorite food, bananas, causes a constant request for "Nana". A recent, random addition, is "Bubble", which you can actually say correctly. Other words.... ball, night-night, hi, bye-bye. You say "moo" and "baa" for cows and sheep, though I don't think you really grasp the meaning; but it's a fun party trick. And, of course, "NO". Also said in an Italian accent. Always said to mock us when we are trying to get you to stop doing something. We are guilty of frequently laughing in response, definitely teaching you bad habits.
Up until, oh, about 12 months of age, I felt like I was pretty free to do and say what I want. You didn't seem to be paying much attention. But now you most definitely are. If you see me putting on deodorant, you make the same motion. You find a q-tip (we're not clean people) and automatically stick it in your ear. You wander into the bathroom, find dad's shaving cream (capped, thankfully) and pretend to use it as shampoo. You blow on your food to cool it down, just because you've seen me do it. You grab my cell phone (any chance you get) and pretend to talk into it. Only, goodness, I hope I don't sound like that on my cell phone.
I'm not sure I'm ready to be a good role model. I used to avoid doing "bad" things around you, like watching TV, playing on my laptop, or fiddling with my cell phone. I made a point not to always "entertain" you, and you're great at entertaining yourself, but I wanted to model good behaviour. That was easier, though, because you weren't paying attention or were asleep for most of your first year. I now find my efforts to model good behaviour exhausting. I'm a techno geek. I have a blog, after all. And my efforts to shield you from technology are hard when I, myself, am so wired. My efforts to only feed you nutritious food are difficult when I, myself, love me some junk food.
Ultimately, I know I'll have to strike a balance. I think often about what I want for you. My greatest concern, I think, other than the standard I-want-you-to-be-happy-healthy-and-kind, is that you don't end with a feeling of entitlement. As someone who teaches college students, the issue of the increased sense of entitlement in today's students is a frequent topic of conversation among my friends and I. Is it the technology? I wonder. Not a lot else has changed, I don't think. I worry a lot about this. I worry that arguments between DH and I will damage you, somehow, though I like to think that the frequent hugging you see between us will trump the arguing. It seems to, because you get giddy every time you see us show affection towards each other. It makes me think we're doing something right. You know what else makes me think we're doing something right? You. You're precocious, curious, independent, smart, happy, funny, and everything I wanted my daughter to be. Turns out it's difficult to parent such a precocious child, but I think it's worth it. I love you, munchkin, and you're better than anything I could have hoped for.
Continuing in the vein of omg-it's-so-fun-to-dress-up-little-girls-in-matching-outfits. We added a holiday twist, and our neighbor donned a Santa suit. The girls were a little unnerved by this, and this is one of the few photos I snapped before MJ was over it...
ZOMG-this-toy-has-flashing-lights!!! Strange man behind me? Don't know anything about it.
Of course we tried again, but just because we tell her something's okay doesn't mean she believes it. At least she has learned the stay-away-from-weird-looking-strangers lesson early on. And now she has more pictures to add to her teenage-grudge-file.
Plotting her revenge, I suspect. That's probably what the hourly wakes up that night were all about: flashbacks to her santa trauma and her way of getting back at us.
God, I love my neighbors. I love their babies. I love how much they have made this first year of parenthood sane (parents), fun (parents & babies) and adorable (just the babies). I think I had the best snowed in Saturday ever. There will be more pictures, don't you worry.