That right there.. that is a picture of a 21 Month Old Clare .. and if I do say so myself, looking perhaps more like her Mumma than I've ever noticed before.
Clare has been on a crazy growth spurt this month - both physically and mentally. That dress, for example, was bought for her in late August and was a little too big. As you can see, she won't get too many more wears out of it, I don't think. Clare's added height is enabling her to get into all sorts of trouble that she couldn't get into before. There are fewer and fewer 'hiding spots' for things.
The growth spurt that is even more glaring than the short skirt in this photo is the change in her maturity level and understanding. Clare is responding to systems better than ever now. Which of course means that we're establishing as many systems as we can. For example, shoes and coat off when you come in the house, shoes and coat get put away, feed the cats (as she's doing in the photo) before daycare and after daycare, put toys away after you play with them, carry your dishes to the dinner table, wipe hands and mouth on napkins at the table, got potty before your bath, wait for the light to come on before you come out of bed in the morning, etc..
The morning routine is one I've been working on particularly hard lately. Clare's a light sleeper and she wakes easily in the morning. I've connected a bedside lamp to a timer so that the light turns on at 6:30 am. We've been asking Clare not to leave her room to get Mummy and Daddy until the light comes on. I think she's understanding us but it's hard to say. A few mornings last week (5 am or so) we heard her in the hallway outside of her room with all of her 'guys' waiting for someone to wake up and tell her it was morning. I'd like to get her out of the routine of drinking milk from a bottle first thing in the morning but it's going to be a tough one I think. Suggestions?
And that reminds me of a few other new things: "Mummy" and "Daddy". She says that all the time now and has completely given up Mama and Dada. Also, her 'guys'. They'd be the animals that she brings to bed with her and pretty much everywhere else she can drag them. Mr. Bun, of course, but she's also added Teddy and Pugsley. I've noticed that his month, her guys have had their hair brushed, teeth brushed, and been fed snacks. This style of play is developing a lot for her.
This month, Clare's favorite things to say are "mine" and "please" and "welcome!". She says "welcome" (pronounced as 'yelcome' by Clare) to mean "thank you" or "your welcome". What's hilarious is if you give her something or help her in some way. "Yelcome, Mummy!" "Yelcome!" "Yelcome, Mummy!". It doesn't stop until you acknowledge that you heard her. "Thank you Clare" or "Yes Clare, you're welcome!". It's really pretty cute!
It's kind of tough to think of all the changes she's made this month. There have been so many and yet a lot of them are so subtle. Needless to say, she's a joy, and we're looking forward to what next month brings too!
"Yelcome, Clare! for being such a fantastic daughter!
Talk to you soon,