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The Kid has Spunk

July 19, 2012

Our summer continues on as a family of three and all too soon the big kids will return from camp.  Despite the daycare cold that is entering its fourth week which causes so much post-nasal drip that the Doodle coughs herself sick (really, last night alone I was vomited on three times and the first puking session was so bad that Otto had to strip the bed down to the mattress while I showered with the Doodle), I’m totally in love with this age.

As she’s on the verge of 16 months the Doodle is more delightful than not.  We’re amazed with how quickly her receptive language has developed over the past month.  She can understand you when you speak to her.  She knows when you ask her to hand you something, she understands when you tell her what’s going to happen next, and she knows what objects or people you’re talking about.

Her signing is vastly improving and she’s learning to put them together.  The cutest one is that she signs ‘eat’ and ‘fish’ every day around 5pm or she’ll point at the cupboard where we keep those super addictive goldfish crackers and point to the cupboard and sign ‘more.’  She’s expressing some of her needs through sign, some of her needs through pointing and some of her needs through her words.

She also uses signs and language in tandem.  She’ll sign milk and then say ‘na na’.  That means nursing for mommy’s milk and not coconut milk from a cup.

By far her favourite sign in the world is ‘more’ and she uses it to communicate on just about everything.  We’re working on clarifying ‘more’ of what with her.  She’s signs ‘more’ interchangeably with ‘eat’.

The Doodle obviously has needs and wants that far extend beyond her current capacity to communicate and she gets easily frustrated.  Actually, it doesn’t take us too long to figure her out, but the Doodle definitely has an aversion to the word ‘no.’  She hates to hear the word ‘no’ and loves to shake her head ‘no’ to us when we ask or suggest something that she’s not keen on.  Or she just shakes her head ‘no’ because it’s fun.

Toddler temper tantrums are par for the course and she’s unfortunately taken to biting.  She does it when she’s frustrated for the most part.  She’s ruled by her id and just can’t cope quite yet when she’s told no, not now or later.  We try to redirect her, but sometime we’re not fast enough.

She’s a girl who clearly knows what she wants. Case in point, tonight we were getting her ready for bed and we went to her room to put on her diaper.

In the sleepless insanity of the last four weeks, we changed her diaper a few times in the middle of the night in the hopes that a wet cloth diaper was at the root of her restlessness.  The kid would pin wheel on her stomach and climb all over us in bed while still asleep.   It wasn’t a restful sleep; it was a frantic sleep.  When we changed the diaper we put her into a disposable and she went quickly to sleep.  Maybe it was the diaper.  Maybe it was because she was fully woken up and could reset her sleep cycle.  Maybe it was because she got to nurse again.

Over the last week, we’d been putting her down for the night in a disposable diaper.  We’re still hoping for that elusive sleeping through the night moment and we didn’t want to tinker with any possible variable.

Last night, we used the last disposable diaper in our stash.  We were fresh out and hadn’t squeezed in a trip to the store to pick up another package.  So I pulled out a cloth nighttime diaper from her drawer and the Doodle immediately escalated.  She quickly dissolved into a full on puddle of tears, screaming and throwing herself on the floor. She was cranky and over tired and we were rushing through the bedtime routine.

I tried to pin the squirmy wailing toddler down to slap a diaper on her bottom, but she wouldn’t lay still.  I couldn’t figure it out.  On my fourth attempt to diaper the kid, Otto walked in the room.  She looked at me with the diaper in my hand.  She looked at the Doodle who was mid-temper tantrum.  And looked at me again.

“She doesn’t want the cloth diaper,” Otto informed me.

I was kinda floored.  What do you mean the Doodle doesn’t want the cloth diaper?  How the heck did Otto think that the Doodle didn’t want a particular type of diaper?  Did she know there were different types of diapers? When the heck did the toddler develop an informed opinion on what covers her bum at night?

While we were out of disposable diapers, I happened to still have a package of biodegradable inserts for our AI2s kicking around the house. I thought I was going to humour Otto and show her that the Doodle was just fussy and not opinionated on the matter of diapers.  So I pulled one out of the drawer and affixed it to the cloth shell.

We let the Doodle feel it, exclaimed that it was time to put on her diaper, and she happily complied.  Can you say what?  My 16 month old wants to wear disposable diapers at night.

Aside from the fact that I’m not sure how I feel about the disposable diaper becoming a part of our routine, I’m amazed that the Doodle had a preference at all that at such young age she cognitively knew their was a difference and had an informed opinion.  Without the means to communicate her needs, she totally melted down. It’s possibly the neatest toddler development thus far.

I’m totally flabbergasted and fascinated that a wee 15 and 3/4 month year old baby has that kind of intellectual capacity. To differentiate and express preference so very specifically.

Before I could even finish processing this development, we tried to put the Doodle in her PJs and she threw another fit.  So we simply let her go to sleep as she wished:  wearing only a diaper.

Never underestimate a Doodle. Boy this kid has spunk.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 20, 2012 4:03 pm

    Wow! I’m completely amazed by the diaper distinction as well. These babies are incredible!

  2. July 25, 2012 9:51 pm

    Wow, that’s impressive! Go, Doodle! And watching the language and intellecutal development happening in front of your eyes is so cool.

  3. July 26, 2012 9:50 pm

    When our son was that age, I was always amazed how he understood everything we said and could follow our directions exactly even though he could barely talk! “More” was one of his favorite signs too.

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