Monday, December 1, 2014

14 Months

After my last monthly post, I'm happy to report that Taylor has finally returned to her sweet self. While the word "no" is still used entirely too often in our house, the tot is finally learning some limits as to what she can and cannot get away with. And this happened just in time, because I'm extremely tired of her and the dog getting into the trash can. The tantrums have decreased and the hugs and smooches have increased. Perhaps it's the magic in the air surrounding the holiday season or maybe she just realized that I was at my wit's end. Whatever the cause, this month has been a total win. So glad to have my happy, smiling girl back!

With the holidays approaching, our weekends have been spent out and about buying our usual weekly groceries and hunting for Christmas gifts. I gotta give the tot props, because she does so well when we go shopping. She proudly rides in the cart looking and waving at everyone we pass by. So many people stop to comment on how well-behaved or cute she is, and she gladly eats up their attention. Usually, we try to find a toy or stuffed animal that she can play with while in the store (but rarely do they ever get to come home with us). This keeps her occupied while I circle the home goods section for the 20th time.

Last weekend while out to lunch, I decided to give Taylor a bit of my pickle spear. She wasn't sure at first, but after her second bite she was clapping and smiling from ear to ear. The kid loved it and went on to devour the entire thing. Jake was sitting across the table gagging the entire time due to his extreme aversion to pickles, but I was elated. Pickles are one of my favorite snacks (in fact, I ate them on the regular throughout my pregnancy), so I'm glad the tot enjoys them as well!

While Taylor still enjoys trying new foods, she hates the fact that I have to take my attention away from her for 5 seconds in order to actually cook them. In order to alleviate unnecessary tantrums, I let her sit on the counter next to me while I prep the food and let her help stir things. I've learned that it's better for both of us if I just let her help rather than trying to cook while she has a meltdown at my feet. After all, she's just curious and wants the do everything that I do, and I can't be mad about that. Once the food is prepped and in the oven, I turn the oven light on in so that she can check in on it as it's cooking. I'm not sure what's so mesmerizing about a casserole, but she will sit and stare at the oven for minutes at a time. Trust me, that's a long time in toddler world.

Aside from her love of food, our girl still loves, loves, loves to read. In fact, the first thing she does as soon as we get home is head to her room and grab a book. By the time I change out of my dress clothes, half of her body is completely buried in books. (Clearly, pulling every single one off the shelves is part of the fun.) She also loves to empty out the basket of toys and books that we keep in the living room. She pulls each object out one by one, grabs a book, then climbs in and reads. It may be the funniest yet messiest sight ever. But thankfully, this month she has also learned how to pick up her things. If I tell her to put her dirty clothes in the hamper or to pick up her toys, she does it. The first it happened, I nearly fell over. Obviously, a major parenting win. Tay learns some responsibility and I don't have to spend all of my free time picking up her crap.

Overall, this kid is a true delight to be around, and with each passing month we all learn something new. I know I say this every month, but this stage is oh so fun. She's finally playing well with others (learning to share has been an ongoing battle), has mastered all of her toys (thankfully Christmas is just around the corner), and is one smart cookie (thanks to all of that reading). She's friendly and sweet to everyone we meet and always offers a hug and kiss after she's been scolded. She is such a doll, and I'm so very thankful to call her ours.