I have had many surprises since the day she turned 19 months.
She started rote counting out of the blue. At first it was only from 1 to 5. What amazes me is how she makes progress everyday, which shows she must have noticed the way we corrected her. Now, a week later, she will walk around the house repeating 1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10, missing her 7 and 9. It doesn't matter whether she gets it right, or understood what she is saying. It is just so funny to watch her do it. I realize a few days ago that she recognises many numbers under 10 and she knows the sequence (e.g. if we pause after counting from 1 to 5, she will almost always say 6). Haha... so cute!
We didn't set out to teach her to rote count or recognise numerals, though I did point whenever we come across them. She must picked them up from our reading (we have a few baby books that introduce simple counting) and from watching us count in our daily interactions.
Instead of her usual 'mama', she started calling 'mummy'. She must have noticed the boys addressing me as 'mummy', so she follows suit. After two days of not hearing her call 'mama', I started missing it badly. For reasons I can't explain, I felt a tinge of sadness, as if my baby has already entered another phase of growing up. The next day, I told her how much I like to hear her say 'mama' and incredibly she went back to 'mama'! Hmm... I don't know if it was pure coincidence or if it is possible that she could really understand what I was telling her. Now, she alternates between the two. :) At about the same time, 'daddy' and 'papa' are also used interchangeably.
She also started calling the boys 'nic-ness' and 'mars'. Super adorable! We can't figure out why, but in the last 2 weeks, she has suddenly become especially affectionate towards Chip. She would ask for 'nic-ness' when she hasn't seen him for a while, or she will run towards him and tell him 'cuddle nic-ness'. She hugs him from behind when he is sitting down on the floor or she may cuddle his legs if he is standing nearby. She loves to climb onto his bed and lie on his pillow, something which always makes Chip smile.
She started humming when she was 16/17 months, but now she is trying to sing and very often dances as well. She likes to sit by the window to count and name the colours of cars that pass by (so we hear plenty of 'red car', 'yellow car', 'blue car') and when she sees a bus, she will go 'round and round wheels, all day long... round and round wheels, all day long...' (that is her trying to sing 'the wheels on the bus'). Otherwise she will be swaying her body from side to side, with occasional knee bends as she 'la-la-la-ta-ta-ta-yah-yah-la-la-la' for a minute each time. We have a few videos of her dancing, sometimes with a toy knife in one hand and a spoon in the other. Just hilarious to watch. She loves the attention and will gladly oblige to perform a few more when we ask.
One morning, I offered her some Cheerios with just 20ml cold cow's milk, hoping to wean her from breastfeeding soon. After that first try, she started asking 'mama, cheerios milk' every morning. She still won't take beyond 30ml at a go, even when she sips from a cup, but she enjoys it enough to ask for 'milk please' at least 20 times a day, and whenever we pass by the fridge. Saying 'no' that often is getting a little trying though.
A few days ago, she was stacking some toys up in a corner of the room when she called out 'mama, see bun bun'. She referred to herself as 'bun bun' these days - a nickname which has evolved from 'bunny' - perhaps because this is how I address her most of the time. Throughout the day, whenever she wants to show me something, be it something that has created with toys, a drawing, a dressing up or stripping show (she puts on too much or take off too much at times), she would shout 'mama, see bun bun'. How can I not put everything down to give her my undivided attention! Just the thought of my little 'bun bun' melts my heart.
Of the three kids, she is definitely the one whose speech development is most advanced at 19 months. It is probably a girl's thingy though, since girls are known to develop faster in speech than boys. We are biased of course, hence we find every phrase/word uttered to be immensely cute. I got to admit they either make me laugh out loud or swell with pride. I am sure all my smiling and grinning at her every adorable gesture and phrase these days are cementing more fine lines and wrinkles on my face.
Recently, she started saying
- 'not me' (when asked if she had done something, such as biting the wooden table or tearing pages off a book)
- 'I want this' (um, I think she must said this at least 60 times today. She walks around the house, pointing and demanding everything, at least 3 times. If it is something she knows is forbidden, she tries her luck by repeating 'I want this' 5 more times).
- 'mama read book bun bun' (asking me to read to her)
- 'mama sit down on the chair' (I am still amazed that she would say 'on the chair' and 'in the cot')
- 'bun bun lie down mama white pillow' (this is by far the longest she has said at one go!)
- 'I drink water pls' or 'more water pls' or 'drink water green cup pls'
- 'give me that'
- 'go away' or 'mama go away' (usually involves pushing me away from the scene where she is planning some mischief)
- 'shut up' (she must have heard the boys said it to each other in jest. When I asked her who said this, she said 'papa shut up'. Oops. Of course E fervently denied it. Hee hee... )
All the funny and fun stuff aside, she is fast developing into an assertive individual with a strong mind of her own. She tells us what she likes and dislikes and is quick to say 'no' or walk away. More often than not, she runs away from us if she is asked (told) to do something she isn't keen on (e.g. sleeping).
She throws tantrums (oh yes, the Terrible-Two or Terrific-Two phase, whichever you like to call it, has arrived!) more easily and they are also getting bigger than a month ago. The easygoing toddler has gone into hiding. Thankfully, my years of parenting experience have prepared me well, so I am still unfrazzled. Just take deep breaths and this phase will be over before I know it. In the meantime, I am going to enjoy every moment of her amazing development.