In the past two months, Sloan has truly become a little human—she's strongly opinionated, is able to communicate more fluently (even if her favorite word is, "No,"), and has even started going to school (for one hour a week, but still). Almost every time friends come over, they comment on how grown-up she looks—which may sound ridiculous considering she's under the age of two, but it's been so fun to see her personality and preferences develop as of late. Here's how Sloan has grown in the past two months:
At 20 months, she’s most happy when…she's singing to herself. She claps along and just bellows out random "lyrics," but she thinks it's hilarious.
She recently just started "school"—how is she with other kids her age? I'm pleased to say that it's been really beneficial in her socialization skills. She's gotten comfortable with adults (especially those she knows), but being around other babies freaked her out a bit since they're so erratic. She's such an oddly composed kid that when she'd be around other babies who would suddenly scream or flail around in front of her, it made her nervous. But hanging out with other kids her age has grown to be something she's really enjoying. Plus, seeing her actually play with other kids - and not just kind of hangout in the vicinity of them - is so darn cute.
What’s the sweetest thing she does? As part of our nighttime routine, I sing her "lala" then tell her that I love her. Recently she's started saying "I love" (we're still working on the "you" part) and then saying "BYEEEE!" as I lay her down in her crib.
What is her relationship with technology like? Do you let her watch TV or play games on your phone/ipad? We let her watch an episode of 'Sesame Street' on the weekends, which she adores. She grabs her squad (Elmo, Cookie, and Abby) and rushes to the couch with them to watch. She and I will do silly Snapchat filters sometimes and she Facetimes with friends and family, but that's about it. She has an educational toy iPad and iPhone that she's only allowed to use on car trips. Geoffrey and I both agree though, that it's important for her not to become too consumed with technology or to have it serve as a means to distract her. I remember being bored as a kid all. the. time - on long rides, waiting at the doctor's office, going shopping or out to dinner with my parents. I want Sloan to grow used to the idea of feeling boredom and having that spark her creativity - not to always have that silenced by an iPad.
How have her morning and evening routines changed in the past two months, if at all? She isn't as desperate to eat immediately upon waking up, which makes for much more relaxing mornings. I'll grab her at around 7am (she usually is up by 6:30am, but then just chit chats to herself for a bit), then we'll pull out her toys in the living room and she'll play while I fix her breakfast. The biggest change is that I don't feel like I have to hover over her all the time anymore the way I used to when I was nervous she was going to pop something in her mouth or fall into something. She's getting to be independent and it's so darling. At night, she's a lot pickier with the songs I sing. She used to lie in my arms and look at me adoringly as I sang song after song, but now within the first few words of certain songs, she nixes them (which feels great).
How many words is she able to say/understand? Her comprehension is pretty impressive, to the point where she understands so much that we've been spelling things out when we don't want her to know what we're saying. She's saying a lot more words, though there are still plenty that need some translation. She's a very vocal kid - even when she literally won't speak one actual word, she'll talk for minutes on end to someone, gesturing with her little hands and raising her eyebrows as if she's just divulged some juicy secret.
What is her favorite out-of-the-house activity? Seeing animals. This is one of those phrases we have to spell out because on a Saturday morning if we even talk about going to the zoo/petting zoo/aquarium, she bee-lines to the door and starts making the noises of all of the animals we're about to go see.
In what ways has she grown more independent? She wants to do everything herself, from getting dressed (still a work in progress), to brushing her teeth, and attempting to not have to hold my hand when we're walking across the street. She has so many opinions now, which really makes it feel like we have this slightly bossy, irrational roommate.
Does she have any favorites (food, songs, animals, etc.)? It pains me to admit this, but she's now such a picky eater. I have no idea how she's still in the 90th percentile in terms of height/weight, since she essentially eats grapes, drinks smoothies, and occasionally eats eggs and waffles. Slim pickings. Her favorite songs are 'Silly Monkey' when we're in the car and 'Barbara Ann' by the Beach Boys or 'That Thing You Do' at home. As for animals, it's all about monkeys right now. Her impression of them isn't that impressive, but it's all she ever wants to talk about.
When is she most active? Always. Seriously we joke that she only runs and doesn't even know how to walk anymore.
In what ways is she different from both you and G? She doesn't like chocolate.
What glimmers of her adult personality has she shown, even at this age? Her strong will, good work ethic, impatience, sense of humor, and intelligence.
Has she had any behavior issues? None that are all that out of line for a kid her age. Her biggest act of rebellion as of now is throwing her water cup down once she finishes drinking. I politely ask her to hand it to me or put it back on a table, but she tosses it on the ground while maintaining eye contact. We joke that it's her version of mic drop.
Are there any traditions you’ve incorporated from your own childhood into her routines? I like doing things to mark the beginning of each season. We drove out to a farm recently to go apple picking and that was a nice way to welcome October. There are a lot more traditions I can't wait to incorporate, as soon as she gets a little older.
What do your weekends look like? (Especially considering she has to go down for a nap in the middle of the day.) We like to kick off the weekend with breakfast out, a walk to the farmers' market, a trip to see animals, lots of walks and trips to the park, and quiet time at home. The thing that's made the biggest difference with us is that G and I have been trying to give each other time on our own so that we're not walking around as a family unit the whole weekend. It's been a nice change of pace so that I have alone time with her, which I love, but also means that I can slip out to see a friend or grab a mani/pedi on my own at one point too.
What is the relationship between between Sloan and your first babies (Cali, Rocco, and Luna) like? In general it's pretty good. She's more into them than they are her, but they all tolerate each other nicely. The other morning, she offered Rocco one of his cat toys (it's silly that she can differentiate the ones that are hers versus theirs since they all pretty much look the same) and he took it. And then he WENT TO TOWN on it. Like, bunny kicking with his front and back legs aggressively, biting it, the whole deal. Even though he wasn't threatening her at all, she totally freaked. I made an effort to show her that he was only playing, albeit in a different way than she does, and that it's not scary. They're back on good terms and she follows him from room to room calling, 'Rah-Rah.'
What surprises you most about having a 20-month-old? How it keeps on getting more fun. It sounds like such a dorky parent-type thing to say, but at each new stage of her life, I just want to freeze time, since seeing her little personality blossom is just so rewarding.