I’m not sure what spurred this post. It’s not like one of those Facebook chain things where you rattle off twenty somethings about something and tag all your friends to try and sucker them into doing it too. Mostly because it’s not on Facebook and I don’t expect anyone else to do it. Otherwise it’s kind of exactly like that. But basically I was just lying there in bed before falling asleep thinking about Norah and all the cute, and some not so cute, things she does and I decided I should make a little list for the sake of memory and nostalgia. So here it goes. Twenty things about our toddler in no particular order and with varying levels of profundity…
1. As I’m sure is typical among parents with children learning to talk (although not surprisingly not universal), we spent/spend a lot of time trying to teach Norah how to be polite. We’re very adamant about her calmly saying please as opposed to repeatedly demanding something, and then of course once receiving it, saying thank you. It progressed fairly quickly through a range of necessary prompting – “say please” when she didn’t fully comprehend the word to “what do you say?” when she knew it but simply needed a reminder – and then there’s now. She knows please all too well and has decided that if she says it, there should be no question about whether or not she gets what she’s asking for. So much so that if she says please a couple times and we still say no, it turns into quite the little show – throwing her full body into it, octave shooting up, please on high speed repeat like “I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY I’M NOT GETTING MY WAY! I’M SAYING PLEEEEEEASE!” Of course most of the time she’s adorably polite, but like with everything you teach a toddler there are always a few moments requiring above average patience.
2. It’s almost impossible to capture Norah on video. The moment she realizes she’s being recorded she runs over to you grabbing at the iphone/filp/camera exclaiming “see it! see it!” This is partly due to her obsession with “seeing” (read: holding, touching and playing with) absolutely anything any adult possesses. But also, it’s because she knows that on said iphone/flip/camera there are videos of her and there’s not much she likes more than watching videos of herself. If only there was a way to explain to an almost two year old the paradox of impeding someone from videoing you because you want to watch videos of you.
3. She has a small strawberry birth mark on the inside of her right calf just below her knee. It makes us smile.
4. Norah likes the song “Sexy and I Know it” by LMFAO. Upon hearing just a few beats of it on the radio she commences her insanely cute, rhythmless dancing and chants “workout, workout.” Heck, sometimes she just randomly chants it in the car or walking down the street. Despite the inappropriateness of this song for any child, I eat this up because what’s funnier than a toddler dancing and singing to a cheesy, obnoxious pop song about being sexy?
5. At 23 months Norah is not potty trained and though we’ve begun taking some very low-pressure steps toward getting her comfortable with using a potty, we have no expectation, need or anxiety pushing us to ensure her diaperlessness by any particular deadline. Personally, my opinion of movements (PUN!) like Elimination Communication is that they’re just another way that someone found to capitalize on the fear of failure and inadequacy of new parents in order to push them into spending money on books, products and memberships. But that’s about me, not Norah. Simply put, she still pees and poops in a diaper.
6. She has four blankies, all hand-sewn by Grandma (my mom), two of which live here and two of which live at Grams and Grandma’s house. Why four and not two? Because a backup blankie was made for both houses to assist with quelling the potential meltdown of single blankie loss. What have we created with this? The need for two blankies at all blankie need times. Oops.
7. Norah can say Crosby (sort of). She associates my belly with Crosby. She gives my belly kisses, rubs it, hugs it, occasionally hits it (love tap, I’m sure), and has even said brother in reference to it. Do we think this means she has any freakin’ clue that there’s a baby inside my belly that’s about 4 weeks away from changing all of our lives in more ways than we can imagine? Absolutely not. But still, it’s pretty damn darling the way she dotes on it.
8. On the note of kisses, she truly loves giving them. To me and Pete and Grandma and Grams. To Jake and Graycie and any other pets she meets. To her baby dolls and stuffed animals. To animals and babies in her books. To Papa on FaceTime over the iPad. Often, when giving out unprompted kisses, immediately following the kiss she says “awwww.” Like “isn’t it cute that I just gave that kiss?” Of course this came from us saying awww after she gave kisses – she simply picked it up as standard procedure – after you give a kiss, you say awwww. Toddlers are so impresionable. On the other hand, every now and then one of us will ask for a kiss and she’ll flat out decline – “no.” or “I don’t want it.” At least we know she’s got a mind of her own. Dun dun dun.
9. An addendum to #4. One recent evening while playing with legos before bed, Pandora was on Pete’s laptop in the kitchen and you could ever so faintly hear it from Norah’s room. On comes the song “Pumped Up Kicks” by Foster the People and Norah, who up to this point had been steadily concentrating on her lego creations (full on tongue hanging out of the mouth focus), stopped what she was doing, stood up, and started dancing. She even said “that’s Norah’s song.” So I guess she likes that one too.
10. I know I posted this on Facebook recently but it bears repeating because it’s cutetastic. Norah calls my bras and sports bras “boobies.” If I walk into her room to get her in the morning and I’m only in my bra she greets me with “boobies on.” If she sees my bra lying around she says “put boobies on.” If she opens my bra and underwear drawer she simply says “boobies.” Boobies is a funny word. It’s even funnier coming out of a toddler.
11. Speaking of toddlers saying funny things, and boy do they…for some time now Norah has been in the parroting phase i.e. she says pretty much anything we say. This can be hilarious and dangerous all at the same time. Like the time when I was carrying her from the car to the house and noticed something on my shoe to which I naturally remarked “what the fuck is on my shoe?” (this was months ago when we were just realizing how much of a little mimic she was becoming). Almost instantly “fuck, fuck, fuck” out of Norah’s mouth. Why from that sentence did she choose that word? Because it’s the bad one of course. And she already knew shoe, so that was old news. What’s even more fun is when she takes something we say and applies it elsewhere because that indicates she actually understands it. Example: at bedtime in Norah’s room Pete was lying on his stomach on the “big bed” (queen size mattress on the floor) and Norah was climbing on him with her head near his butt so I said “don’t fart Daddy!” Moments later she picked up her baby doll and turned her over to look at her butt and said “don’t fart baby!” Full of giggles she was and of course Pete and I were in hysterics. Fart is also a funny word.
12. Norah is 35.5 inches tall and weighs 28.5 lbs.
13. She loves milk. Loves, loves, looooooooooves it. Of course, her milk is currently whole which is akin to drinking melted ice-cream so who can blame her. That said, I was a baby who hated milk, so it’s not automatic for all kids which makes me glad that she loves it because it has some good stuff in it that she needs. On the other hand too much milk is actually not good because for one you don’t want your kid filling up so much on milk that they don’t want to eat, but also, and more seriously, it could contribute to iron deficiency. If she had her druthers she’d probably knock back a quart a day, so we do our best to ration it rather than give her free chugging reign. I’m sure she still drinks more than the “pediatrician recommended” 16 – 24 oz on most days, but she’s healthy and it makes her happy and she certainly isn’t slugging sugary juice or soda or sweet tea like a shocking number of other toddlers in this country, so we’re golden.
14. Norah is just a wee bit clingy. She likes to be held a lot. Sometimes this is frustrating because we can’t do all the things we need to do on a daily basis while holding a 28.5 lb toddler but we also don’t want to hear her whine and cry because we’re not holding her. In these moments it’s helpful to remember that the day will come (faster than we want) when if we even think about holding her we’ll be given the utmost rebuff of disgust coupled with some sort of angst filled teenage exasperation of shock or embarrassment. Besides, it just feels damn good to be so loved and needed, so we hold her a lot.
15. Before going to sleep, be it at nap time or bed time, Norah requests that we sing Mary Had a Little Lamb. We lay her down in her crib and she rolls onto her side or back and through her paci she says “Mary?” Of course we oblige because it’s simply heart squishing to here her little voice plea for one song before sleep. And if only one of us is singing she definitely notices and makes sure to call us out – “daddy/mommy sing too?” The latest addition to this is that we say baaa at various intervals throughout the song eliciting the most amazing giggles. It truly is the little things in life.
16. She has never had a haircut. We’ve trimmed her bangs a few times to keep the hair out of her eyes, but that’s it. And I can’t say if it’s lazyness or indifference or maybe not indifference but an actual opinion about haircuts for toddlers, but I really have no intention of getting her one anytime soon.
17. More on the potty training. She will sit on her little potty for a bit – doesn’t seem afraid of it at all – but to keep her there long enough to actually pee we sometimes (okay, maybe all the time) have to play videos on the iPhone (of her of course). Surely some parenting expert or psychologist would say this is a big no, no, but hey, sometimes it works! She has peed in her little potty a few times. When she does, we give her stickers and tell her we’re proud of her. She claps for herself and grins ear to ear. Then she too says “proud of you.” We’re working on the whole you-me thing.
18. Every morning when Pete runs the coffee grinder Norah gets this big goofy grin on her face and waves both hands in the air until it stops. I have no explanation for this. But I can’t help but do it with her.
19. She loves: shoes – hers, mine, Pete’s, whoever’s; pretty much every fruit that exists including tomatoes; music and singing and dancing; all things outdoors – riding her trike, riding on daddy’s bike, swinging and sliding at the park, going on walks, running around the yard, sitting on the front porch, you name it; animals; duplo legos; playing in water – pool, beach, hose, bath, shower; pictures and videos of herself and other babies and kids too; her paci and blankies, but really only at sleepy time; cheese; milk of course; books and us reading to her; and a thousand other things at sporadic intervals and with varying levels of enthusiasm. She’s really a happy girl. I like to think we have something to do with that.
20. Norah is very much into “helping” us right now. I wouldn’t say this is a totally new thing, but whereas before she would say “Norah do it” and it was more of an interest in simply copying us, now it’s “help you/me?” (again, that whole you v. me thing, not quite there yet) and she seems genuinely interested in helping us do something – pour the milk, stir the dinner on the stove, clean, feed the dogs. This is cute! And at times not so cute. Like when she spills the dog food or throws a tiny fit because you have to put her down to actually make the dinner since a toddler’s attempts at stirring aren’t necessarily going to get the job done. But mostly it’s cute. Now if only we could find a way to keep her this motivated to help for the next 15 – 20 years. Hmm…
If you’re still with me, WOW! You totally loves you some Norah!! If I lost you somewhere around number 8, I completely understand. This is most definitely one of those long winded posts where someone could easily fall into a drooling stupor trying to read every bit of it. I have to say, this post was probably more for us than anyone else – a way for us to capture some of the bits and pieces that make our baby girl who she is and be able to look back on them years from now when she’s all grown up. So that’s it. Ciao for now! Belly post coming soon!
Elderland out. XO.