18 months old – my new favorite age

18 months old Harley

Today, Harley is 18 months old. It’s strange to believe 18 months have already passed, that a year and a half ago was when she made her dramatic entry into this world. 18 month later, and I feel like things are settling into a groove I can enjoy. I know I’ve enjoyed other ages. It’s also increasingly clear that parenting just keeps getting better, and somehow my kid just keeps on getting more adorable. 6 months old was SO much better than newborn, and 18 months seems to be the best so far.

That doesn’t mean things are easy. Oh, by no means are they easy – that would be the totally wrong word to use. But they are more fun, and interesting, and different. Harley has a lot of personality now, and she cracks me up. She also drives me a little bit crazy. Here is the video of my Facebook Live last night that was meant to be about #AcerForGaming, and ended up being about Harley being, well, Harley.

So, here is the milestone update. Harley is walking. She also throws herself to the ground in a tantrum to avoid walking so that I will carry her. She can talk, too, saying something akin to yes, a definite no, as well as mamma, daddy, shoes, nose, cheese and “come!” It’s adorable, and also much more difficult. She can now express when she wants something, and while that makes life easier than when we were confused about what on Earth she wanted, she now also gets upset if she doesn’t get what she wants. Ah, the joys of temper tantrums.

Wow, two mentions of tantrums in one paragraph, that doesn’t paint her in a good light. The reality is that she doesn’t get upset that often, and she doesn’t stay upset for that long. But it does happen because this is reality and she’s still a tiny person who is only just starting to figure out the world and herself. It’s incredible to see how much she has learned already, though. Thanks to school, she knows about tidying up – she loves to put her toys away herself and actually gets upset if you put them away for her. She also is becoming increasingly determined to feed herself, which is lovely in theory but mostly just really REALLY messy.

Harley can also give hugs and kisses now, and they are my favorite. We kiss every time I strap her in the car, and again when I drop her off at school. And sometimes she spontaneously kisses me when we’re hanging out in the evening and my heart just absolutely melts.

She has also discovered Dean in a big way. I think she always liked him as the fun one (as compared to me as the nurturing one), but now she can walk and chase him down. She loves to follow him around the house, join him when he goes out for a smoke, or generally just get underfoot. Of course, she then makes him nuts by demanding his full attention, no matter what he was trying to do. But it’s honestly a nice break for me to watch her wander off to find him instead of always clinging to me.

Her hair is slowly coming in, and it’s looking a bit strawberry blonde at this point. Mostly fair and blonde, but you can definitely see a touch of red in the light. Her eyes have stayed blue, though, and are so gorgeous. So many people comment to me about her eyelashes and beautiful eyes. Honestly, I think she is stunning. I know every mother thinks their kid is beautiful but as unbiased as I can be – she is pretty damn breathtaking.

She is so smart, too. She likes to sit and “read” her books, and she is obsessed with opening and closing boxes or anything else that has an opening and closing mechanism. She wants to figure out devices and is intrigued by any technology that makes a noise. She knows to say hello and goodbye (oh yes, forgot to mention those ones), knows her spot when we eat dinner and has figured out that interacting with our gaming devices will always get a reaction.

Mostly, she is just becoming so much of a person, so much more herself instead of a blob. And it’s adorable and makes me love her more and more each day. Today Harley is 18 months old, so happy half birthday my little girl!

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