eighteen months.

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Miss Eliza is eighteen months old. That's one and a half years! I wish everyone could know Eliza. She is so hard to explain now. It's absolutely amazing how complex her personality has grown to be. It's still so crazy for me to think that this is my child and she is already on her way to becoming a real person. She is a real, little person.

This age is just amazing. It is a million times easier than it was before and, at the same time, it is a million times harder than it was before. In fact, it took me a couple of weeks to actually complete this post because I was having a hard time figuring out what to say.

I love her so much. I love her conversational babble, as she fills in the blanks between the words she can say. I love that she gives the tightest squeezes, and plants firm kisses on the lips just because. I love that she always asks for my hands when we walk around, and especially when she asks for Sam's hand, too. I love her avid curiosity, even if it causes messes and tumbles. I love her little smile, when the corners of her eyes crinkle, just like Sam's. I love, love that she gets excited whenever I turn on music, and wants to dance together in the living room. I love the noise of chairs and stepstools scraping the ground, as she situates herself beneath a counter that she wishes to explore. I love that she loves to go to bed, and gets giddy about crawling under her blanket- just like I do. I love when she brings me stacks of books, and then turns around, waiting for me to pull her up into my lap to read. I love hearing her feet padding around the house, and watching her busy body move. I love bath time, I love lunch time, I love park time, I love play time. I love every time.

Ok, maybe not every time.

Wow, it's so hard to remember these things when she erupts into a full-on toddler tantrum. Yes, we have definitely entered this phase. It's hard for me to watch. She gets so worked up that she shakes and tighten her whole body in fits. She has a screaming cry where her eyes close real tight, and her whole face turns red. But, the worst is the fire engine cry with glassy eyes wide open and that accusatory stare. By the end of it all, she's so exhausted that she hiccups little whimpers and rubs her swollen eyes aggressively. Lately, it seems that we have at least one tantrum a day. Some days I have to go hide on my bed, above her eye level, and just let her cry herself to exhaustion because nothing I do is helping. When do you help, and when do you let it go? I know that I can't jump at every little whine and complaint that comes out of this child. Especially since there seems to be so many of them, these days. 

I want to help her understand that the world is not crumbling around her. I think I need to make sure that she knows that I am here for her, without feeding the flame. Right? But, how? Eliza is such a special, little soul. She is strong and spirited, and that's why I love her. This girl has a lot of emotions, and can get very frustrated when things are not just so. I think she has a lot of her parents in her. 

Trust me, I know all toddlers struggle with similar things. But, I'm pretty sure Eliza has a little more fire in the belly. My neighbors, who must hear every single noise that she makes, told me that she seemed pretty "ferocious." HA! They meant it as a compliment, and I took it. Yeah, Eliza is pretty fierce.

So, how do I help her?

I was talking to my dad about this recently, and he made me realize that this is something that I will always be navigating. Helping your child is not as simple as it seems. Even when she is older, I won't be able (nor should I) fix all of her problems. Sometimes, I can only be there for her.

So, this is what I'm working on when the tantrums erupt:

1) Help her know I love her.
2) Give her space to express her emotions, so that she might realize she can let go.
3) Show examples of realistic and healthy emotions.

The last one is a doozy for me. Until recently, I hadn't realized how dramatic I am. (Ok, maybe a little.) But, when I noticed a few instances that Eliza mimicked my reaction to things, like dropping something or not getting something I needed- it made me stop and think. A couple of weeks ago she started saying a very dramatic "Ohhhhh, noooo!" every time she dropped something, and I realized it was me. When I stub my toe, and make a little scene, she freaks out and runs to me crying. I need to be a good example, it starts now.

This post got away from me a bit, but I'm glad I had a space to work it out. I love this girl something fierce, and I want to do right by her. Doesn't every parent? 

Now back to our regular broadcast. Cute pictures of Eliza, wearing this darling dress that my mom sent her

And, maybe one more realistic one...



  1. She sounds exactly like Tucker who is the same age. It's like he went from 17 months straight to the terrible 2s. Just know you're not alone. It's hard but I love your perspective and goals.