A couple of months ago, I started worrying. Just a little bit. I tried to ignore it and tell myself that even though Audrey was only saying a few simple words and by this age, Maggie was nearly speaking sentences and saying complicated words, IT WAS OKAY AND AUDREY WAS FINE. Every kid develops at their own pace! But you know… moms worry. I did too.
WELL! Turns out she is one of those kids who went from saying “Mommy”, “Daddy”, “cup”, “uh-oh” and… not much else to speaking in 2-3 words phrases practically overnight. The kid never stops now! There are conversations happening! I forgot, you guys. I forgot how awesome this part is.
Things she has said in recent weeks (this is like, 1% of the list because I can’t even keep up with what she knows anymore!):
“change bum!” (pointing to her changing pad on the dresser as I get her from her crib in the morning)”
“wah Gah-Nee go?” (She calls Maggie ‘Gah-Nee’ and we hope she never stops. IT IS SO CUTE.)
“Bad Daddy!” (complete with hand-slapping when Dan was trying to tickle her)
“Hi Gah-Nee!!!” (practically squealing when she saw her at breakfast)
“Elmo tee-bee!” (she, uh, wanted to watch Elmo, I guess.)
“Mips!” (when she sees me putting on chapstick and she wants some)
“Haahn-geeee!” (when she’s hungry)
“Daddy! Wah arrrrr youuuu?” (in the car on the way to meet Dan after work)
“BYE CAAAA-ROOOOOOL!” (yelling good-bye to her teacher/my aunt at daycare)
She told her first knock knock joke. Maggie tells the one about the interrupting cow (“interrupting cow who?” and then you interrupt the person by saying MOOOO!) One morning Audrey said to me “Gok gok!” I played along: Who’s there??! “COW!” Cow who? “MOOOOO!” I don’t think anyone has ever said “MOOOO!” with more enthusiasm.
The girls fight now, usually over blankets and pillows in the living room, which OMG YOU GUYS WE HAVE ABOUT A THOUSAND OF EACH OF THOSE THINGS. But that matters not at all, because they always both want the same specific pillow (“pidd-oh!”) I have to give Maggie a ton of credit- she has been amazingly patient with Audrey most of the time. She talks to Audrey and tries to explain “Here, you play with this one, I’ll use this one!” and only gets mildly frustrated that her not-yet-two-year-old little sister does not. get. it. heh
One day last week during the frantic final minutes before heading out the door for daycare drop-off, I asked Maggie to help Audrey put on her shoes. Maggie was more than happy to help, but Audrey would have NOTHING to do with it. She was holding her shoes and her sippy cup and as soon as Maggie so much as LOOKED at either of them, she shrieked, “NO!!! NO GAH-NEE! MY CUP! NOOOOOO!”
Poor Maggie tried so hard to explain: “Audrey, I’m not going to take your cup! I’m going to HELP you get your SHOES on!”
I of course was in the other room CRACKING UP at the whole exchange because seeing your five-year-old get a dose of her own non-cooperating medicine is kind of thrilling, I’m not gonna lie.
Around a year old, maybe a little later, Audrey got the hang of drinking from a sippy cup and stopped taking bottles during the day. But man, did she hang on for dear life to that bedtime bottle. Twenty-two months old and she was still drinking a full bottle of milk, usually on one of our laps on the couch, while we watch The Berenstain Bears before heading upstairs for a book and bedtime. It became a routine, and honestly, I was in no huge hurry to break her of the bottle habit. For one- I learned the first time around not to sweat the little stuff like that. (See also: Maggie and her pacifier until 33 months old.) NOT WORTH THE EFFORT! It’s not like she was going to head to KINDERGARTEN and still be drinking a baby bottle at night. And also, I figure if people nurse toddlers before bedtime for comfort, how much different is it that she gets a snuggle and a bottle of milk before going to bed? It’s milk! Who the heck cares how it gets into her body? And finally: IT WORKED. She rarely puts up a fight at bedtime and sleeps like a champ. You do NOT MESS WITH SOMETHING THAT IS WORKING.
But, one day last week, just to see, Dan snuck in a sippy cup for the pre-bedtime snuggle. She didn’t bat an eye. The next night, she fussed and pointed to the cabinet where the bottles are, but Dan just handed her the sippy, and she quieted down and took it from him.
And just like that… Audrey is done with bottles. WHOA.
And finally, a little update for you on Audrey’s neck! A few people have asked me lately how she’s doing, and the answer is: FANTASTIC. It was so hard seeing her neck so swollen for so long (it’s been 2 months since her surgery, almost 3 months since it all started) but finally, a couple of weeks ago, almost overnight, the major swelling just disappeared. The surgeon said it might take a few months before we saw any changes, and he was right. A few times I questioned that because we literally saw NO CHANGE for weeks, but her face is finally an almost normal shape again! The only remaining issue now is the scabby incision spot that still needs some more healing time. But we keep a bandage on it when we’re out and about, and when we’re home we try to let the air get to it and it’s starting to really heal nicely. Our goal is to have her Back To Normal by her 2nd birthday.
WHICH IS IN SEVEN WEEKS. JUST FYI.