Pob. What can I say about Pob. It's been a while, and here I was, sure that I'd be able to use blog entries as a way of recording her development. Let's think about Pob at 17 months then, and see if I can at least capture this moment.
Pob at 17 months is a combination of holy terror and delightful, grown-up, thoughtful little person. Her most obvious characteristic is that she's very very social. She loves people, and greets almost everyone she meets with a "Hiya! Hiya!" She will repeat this loudly until the person concerned notices her - this works even with very sullen-looking people on the street, most of the time. She sees no reason why people shouldn't smile back at her, so she keeps going until they do.
She has quite a lot of language, and uses it well to get what she wants. About 3 weeks ago she switched from 'Mamama' to mean me, to a very clear 'Mummy'. Now she will happily repeat for several minutes 'Mummy', 'Daddy', '[short version of her name]', pointing at the right person as she does so. She calls my mother 'Nanny' (instead of Granny), and has attempted to call her other grandparents 'Grandma' and 'Grandpa' although neither word is clear. She is very interested in body parts and when I hold her in my arms at the end of the day she happily rotates through 'nose', 'ear', 'eyes', 'elbow', 'arm', 'hair', 'knee', 'toes' etc., with the appropriate actions. She says 'pease' for please and now uses it to try to get what she wants even when she's been told she can't have it. Very crafty. She's also at the stage of repeating absolutely everything we say, so every sentence we say to her, she attempts the last word - resulting in reditions of 'passenger,' 'password,' and 'friendly,' just this morning.
Language, however, is still inadequate to convey her needs so she uses two other methods very effectively. One is to come and grab the finger of the person she wants, and to drag them over to what she wants them to do. The other is to shriek loudly until she gets the attention/help she wants. The last is rather wearing. I've been trying to get her to climb up the stairs instead of being carried, and to slide down instead of being carried, and she's not keen. Depending on her mood she will either hold up both her hands to hold fingers and attempt to walk up with us supporting her upper body, or just scream really really loudly for a while. Or simply sit down on a step part way up, kick her legs gently and look me in the eye to say "haha Mummy, whatcha going to do about that then?" I'm not mad on the walking up option as I'm balancing most of her weight, our stairs are narrow and my balance at this point isn't great. But it's easier than trying to carry her up our multiple flights of stairs and I don't want to have to still be carrying her when I'm 30 weeks pregnant instead of 20 (please heavens willing), so I'm sticking to being mean about this.
Physically, she seems to be on track. Not ahead and not behind. She crawled at around 9 months, Walked at about 13.5, although not confidently til more like 14.5 months. Now she runs everywhere, and mostly when she falls over she gets up immediately and keeps going. She climbs happily up anything which isn't the stairs, although the poor thing inherited her Daddy's body shape and so has a long body and short legs and arms (and short wide feet), which makes some climbs difficult for her. This doesn't stop her wanting to climb, however, and she'll attempt to go up anything, particularly the smooth slippery part of the slide.
In terms of toys she rather likes her shape sorter but only partially understands it. She knows she needs to get blocks through the holes, but doesn't seem to understand that different blocks will go through different holes - she bangs wildly on it for a while, trying to slot the block through any hole, then will eventually, with a bit of prompting, try more gently to get the block to fit through its hole. When she does get one in she cheers and claps. She particularly likes her Noah's Ark, and spends a long time getting all the animals out (kissing them as she goes), then putting them back in and taking them for a walk. She loves her Mozart cube, still, and her Piano - she'd prefer to bang on our big Piano but it's on another floor from the playroom so she makes do with her own little electronic one. My brother last week got her really building with blocks, so there is a new level of enjoyment there.
She loves the two little dolls she has, particularly dressing and undressing them (or rather, demanding we undress and dress them, while Pob tries to put on their clothes and gets frustrated that they don't fit). But most of all, she loves stuffed toys. Any stuffed toy. Doesn't need to belong to her. If we see a child carrying a teddy in a shop she'll hold our her hands and demand loudly that it is given to her. Same with toy displays in shops. All soft toys are made to be loved by Pob. She kisses them, then tucks them into the crook of her neck and walks round with one hand on the toy, the other hand looking for the next activity. Actually she is generally incredibly affectionate with toys and with other people, and also with books. She will regularly kiss all the animals in "Dear Zoo," for example.
Her favourite plaything is still her library. She'll read books for hours - both to herself now, but more often demanding to be read to. She's got a lot of books but usually only about 10 are in rotation at any one time. A favourite at the moment is "You choose" which she can look at for hours. Funnily enough she always chooses the rather spivvy-looking man with a trilby and a moustache as her friend, without much rhyme or reason as far as I can make out.
She eats like a trouper. Very rarely rejects anything, and relishes her food. As a consequence she is still pretty chubby. Don't know where she is on the scale as she hasn't been weighed for months, but she hasn't elongated as much as others led us to believe she would when she started walking. I'm trying not to worry, but not doing a great job. At least I don't have to worry about her getting enough nutrition, and what she eats is very healthy - lots of fruit and veg, porridge for breakfast. The sweetest thing she gets regularly is fruit. She's had bits of a biscuit a couple of times but since she's off eggs until she's 18 months that rules out most cake and sweets*, and so far she hasn't yet realised that chocolate is the most delicious thing ever, so we are spared her demanding it from us. She does want to eat whatever we are eating, which means she's now had olives, curry, lemon risotto and rosemary foccacia, among other things. And thought they were all yummy.
She is a creature of routine. She usually has her morning bottle with one of us holding her in the armchair downstairs. One morning last week, H brought her to me in bed with the bottle, and we had a nice time hanging out in bed, exploring the stuff on my bedside table, and having the bottle. We went downstairs about 20 minutes later, and she kept tugging at us while we made breakfast, although we didn't understand why. Eventually I let her take my hand. She led me over to the armchair, carrying the empty bottle, climbed into my lap, sucked a bit at the empty bottle, and then happily got up and went to play. Clearly we had done things in the wrong way, and she needed to fix it.
She still feels like my baby, although she clearly is becoming quite independent. I miss her horribly all day while I'm at work, and get quite grumpy if anyone gets in my way on the way home. I knew having her would be fantastic, I knew that I wanted more than anything to be a mother. It's all that I wanted and hoped for, and more than I could have imagined. I am very aware, every day, of just how lucky I got.
* Because she showed a mild allergy at around a year, so we were told to keep her off them for six months, then try again