For the past several weeks, I’ve felt a level of exhaustion/fatigue that I haven’t felt in a really long time. I mean, I’ve felt tired every day since the day Annabel was born, but this has been ridiculous. My right eye has literally twitched every day for the past two weeks.
Anyway. That’s meant to justify why I haven’t been posting too much and how, with only a few posts between them, we’re already to Annabel’s 17 month update! Part of my exhaustion has to do with the insane amount of energy that Annabel has herself and that which she requires of me on a daily basis. In the past month, she has really picked up the pace and I am feeling it!
Annabel hasn’t felt like a baby baby in a while, but in the last month I’ve really started to feel like I’m spending my days with a real little person. A person who is becoming far more aware of her surroundings and now wants to have a say in everything, even when she can’t say everything. Gone are the days when I could sneak most anything past her. Gone are the days when I could go for a walk, pass the playground and continue on. No, these days she spots it the moment it comes into view, starts pointing like a maniac and whining until I pull over for a little play time action.
And a little snack….
And more play.
Gone are the days when we could walk into the front yard and she’d be content to play there without spotting the field across the street and needing to venture over.
Gone are the days when I could let her play in her room for a few minutes while I threw clothes in the washing machine and enjoyed a moment to myself, knowing that the worst she could do was empty all of the clothes from her drawers. Nope, not anymore. Now she has discovered that she can climb her rocking chair,
and use that
to hoist herself into her crib.
By herself. Leaving me to sweat bullets. (And of course take pictures)
Yep, things just got real around here! And all of this new found independence has led to some challenges, some frustration on both of our parts as she tries desperately to tell me what she wants/needs and I try equally desperately to understand. There are some really trying times as Annabel begins to assert herself and demand more control over her environment. The food battles continue, and “no” has recently made a more prominent appearance in her vocabulary, which is simultaneously so adorable that I can’t stand it and so scary that I fear for my patience in the coming months/years. It’s only still adorable right now because she hasn’t figured out that she can yell it at me when she doesn’t want something, but rather will just repeat it in the cutest voice for no apparent reason. I know my days are numbered with this.
The things she has always disliked have remained unchanged, but what has changed is her physical strength and ability to fight those things. I now feel like I’m wrestling with a baby mountain lion to clip her finger nails, and when she doesn’t want to sit in her high chair, you can just forget about it!
And yet with all of the new challenges comes all sorts of new fun and laughter as well. She plays “peekaboo” like it’s her job, hiding behind her hands or sometimes, behind a chair and then popping over the top.
She hands me my iPod all day and says “dance” until I turn on the music. She is still pretty shy in most situations, but when we’re outside in the yard or out on a walk she yells “hi!” to every passing stranger. She does the same thing in the grocery store and people comment that she’s the welcoming committee. When friends come over, she takes a few minutes to warm up, but if she likes you, it will only be a matter of time before she’s feeding you chips.
And bringing her toys and books over to show you.
And then there is the sweetness. She gives the best kisses you could ever hope for and always hugs you on both sides.
In the mornings, when she wakes up before she’s actually ready to start the day, she loves to lay in bed with me and snuggle. On the days that I have to get up and get ready for work, it is absolute torture to have to peel her off of me, when all I want to do is soak up those cuddles.
Yes, I’m beginning to think that it’s this balance of frustration and joy, difficulty and ease, that defines motherhood.
Happy 17 months, Annabel Kate!
If you missed our other updates, you can read them here: