Tuesday, August 18, 2009

16 Month Vignettes

Wow. Kai turned 16 months old this week. Time is going so fast these days. I think part of it is the routine of our days. Or, I should say, the juxtaposition of highly routinized days and the fact that Kailey is changing so quickly in the context of that routine. Every week brings a lot of familiarity -- working, Wednesdays with Kailey, watching Kai on the weekends while Eric remodels, commuting, that rush to make dinner and have fun in the 1.5 hours between the time we get home and the time Kai goes to bed, trips to the park or the toddler cafe, walks to the store, playing on the (new!) back deck. Combine all of that with the constant deadlines (and looming deadlines), appointments, errands, house cleaning, and other tasks -- and each week has barely begun when it ends. But, despite the familiarity and the rush of each day, there is a lot of variation to our days because Kailey is constantly changing and regaling us with new tricks and delights. The speed at which she is growing up combined with the speed of every day life... I think it just has put time on turbo charge. Maybe that's not it, but it's my theory as to why time has REALLY sped up this year. Either that or I'm just getting old. But, in any event, the summer is almost over and Kailey is 16 months!! I think the best way to capture Kai at 16 months is a few stories:

Kailey loves the outdoors and is quite happy that Eric built her a deck off the back of the house that nearly doubles our living space and gives her a huge area to explore and run around. The first few days we had the deck, she kept going to the back door and saying something that sounded a lot like "OUTSIDE". She even learned to open the back door to let herself out. But, after a few trips out barefoot, she got a bit distressed. It turns out that oak leaves are sharp and ouchie to walk on. So, the other day, Eric and I were out back and Kai was standing in the doorway looking at us, but refusing to come outside. At first, we didn't know what was going on, but then she reached her arms up to me. I said, "Kai, come on out" and she looked at her feet. So I said, "Kai, do you need shoes?" She nodded and ran to fetch them, plopping herself down when she was back in view and holding out her feet to me. As soon as her shoes were on, she ran onto the deck.

Once outside, she busies herself collecting the oak tree seeds. We don't like her eating them, and she knows this -- so she picks them up and then waits for us to look at her and pops them in her mouth (the little fink!). But, she knows what "spit it out" means, and spits them back at us once she has us worked into a sufficient frenzy.

She also has gotten quite good at imitating us. She sweeps the back deck and, when Eric was still building it, would pick up the tools after he put them down and mimic him, filing the edge of the boards and squatting down to examine her work. It was too funny!

It's so fun to be communicating with her these days. In the morning we'll say, "Kai, do you want to go to Penny's house?" and, in response, she'll make a beeline for the door and start pounding on it (as in, YES! NOW! Let's GOOOO people!) Yesterday, we were in the bedroom when I asked her that question and she started running out of the room, headed for the front door. Eric yelled after her, "bye Kailey" and, without stopping or turning around, she waved over her shoulder, yelling "BYE! BYE!"

She has favorite books, and beyond favorite books - favorite pages within the books. She really likes, "My Friends" and, particularly, the page with the ant and the page with the birds. Every time we get to the ant, she stops frantically turning the pages (she likes to get through her books quickly) and points at the teeny tiny ant on the page (and then resumes frantically turning the pages). And then, we reach the birds, she stops and coos and then looks at me so that I can "sing" like a bird (you know, "tweet! tweet!").

She also loves the temporary tattoo Eric put on her arm yesterday. It depicts a little dog. It was hard to convince her to sit still to put it on (she thought we were trying to torture her and threw a bit of a fit) but, once she saw the result, she was quite pleased. She kept admiring it and then would turn to something else, but after a moment would turn to us and hold up her arm, point at the little tattoo and yell "DOG!" And when we asked, "Kai, where's your dog?" she pointed to her arm. Doug told me the next morning, when we dropped her off, she rolled up her sleeve and was showing off her tattoo to him and Penny. It's still on today -- she'll be so disappointed when it wears off.

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