One year old was a real turning point for me. We were talking about kids last night, and how the first six weeks were torture, and the first six months were a gauntlet, and that around six months and/or sleeping through the night, things started steadily improving. But it wasn't until Kavi hit one year that the positives of having a kid started to sometimes outweigh the negatives. More and more she makes us laugh and smile as the months go by, although Shashi warned us last night that when we hit two, the negatives will come back with a vengeance. Potty training is in our future; also tantrums.
Kavi has actually started learning how to throw tantrums.
- Example one: Mommy does not come to get her out of her crib fast enough in the morning. First there is complaining. Then bitter complaining. Then the binky gets thrown (with force) on the floor. If that doesn't produce a response, the howling commences. In the worst case scenarios, we get stuffed animals hurled on the floor, tears pouring down her little face, gasping heaves of abandonment, and full-on screams. Kavi is capable of running through this entire sequence in the time it takes me to get from the living room up the stairs to her bedroom door and cribside. In her defense, most days she lingers at the bitter complaining stage for quite a while. Also, due to all the sore muscles, it's taking me longer to get up the stairs lately.
- Example two: Mommy or daddy or Jarmila don't give Kavi something she wants. This could be a) inside the cabinet with the glassware or the chemicals, b) some small item that she could choke on, c) a hot cup of tea, d) oh, so many other things, but most often e) outside. Kavi LOVES outside. And sometimes she will decide it is time to go outside while we are still in our pyjamas and looking longingly at our laptops, remembering fondly the days when a computer and a hot cup of tea (untouched by sticky toddler hands) could be lingered over for hours. If we don't take Kavi out when she asks, she has been known to flop down on the floor, like a puppet with her strings cut, slumping her body down so her forehead is pressed against the wood boards, weeping as if her little heart is breaking. And we know that we are meant to be made aware of our cruelty and monstrousness, but the truth is, she is just so damn funny that we end up laughing helplessly instead. Not the intended effect, I'm pretty sure. But give the kid a break -- she's just started tantrums recently; I'm sure she'll improve.
But seriously, the kid is getting insanely cute. And it's not just that she has more hair now. She's much more actively snuggly, and likes to lie on top of you and watch tv. Oh, right, tv. She actually can follow tv a little now, I think, and bad parents that we are, we let her watch some. Kavi loves the little bird that introduces the shows on Sprout (the toddler network), and when it comes on, she grins, looks at you to be sure that you know how happy she is, and then goes back to grinning at her bird. She quite likes Jay-Jay the Jet Plane too, we think, although we're still measuring 'like' mostly in terms of which show will get her to sit still the longest. Bob the Builder is a close second, followed by Fireman Sam. She has absolutely no interest in Angelina Ballerina. Hmm...I'm sensing a theme -- there are quite a few 'boy' shows in that list. Evidence of certain preferences in the future? Probably too soon to tell.
The most frustrating thing about Kavi these days is the recent mommy-fixation. I was lucky for so long. All the way to fifteen months, she would go to Kevin as easily as me, and to most strangers as easily as Kevin. If she was really upset, she wanted her parents, but she didn't care which one. (In fact, if we were standing next to each other when she banged her head, etc., she would go first to one, then hold out her arms, weeping, to the other, then go back to the first -- back and forth, hoping that if the parent holding her couldn't fix the problem, maybe the other one could make the owie stop. Poor munchkin. Usually, we are helpless in the face of banged heads.) But recently, an insidious trend has developed -- Kavi wants mommy. Mama mama mama!!! She rejects daddy in the morning especially -- she'll actually push him away if he tries to reach for her. And lately when Jarmila comes in, instead of the smile we're used to, Kavi's little face will crumple as she reaches desperately for mommy, shaking her head, no, no, no! It's quite sad, actually, and also frustrating and tiring.
We're not sure where this is coming from -- maybe it's just some weird aspect of biology or brain development kicking in, or maybe it's that mommy now goes to work three days a week, and is gone from 8-5 or thereabouts. Kavi isn't used to that. Hopefully, she'll adjust, because when she's really sad (as opposed to indignant), it makes us sad too.
For the most part, though, Kavi's a happy toddler. She likes getting into everything, banging stuff, putting things in things (a candleholder in a coffee cup? perfect!), getting dirty in her sandbox, climbing things, sliding down the slide, swinging, playing in water (LOVES playing in fountains, with the hose, etc.), sparkly bright fabrics, soft dolls (she'll sometimes pick up three or four at a time and carry them around with her, falling out of her arms, so cute), pushing toys, pulling toys, pushing buttons (LOVES elevator buttons), milk, Pirate Booty, blueberries, cherry tomatoes off the vine (sadly, Kavi doesn't want to wait until they're ripe, which is a source of much frustration to her mommy), snuggles, her mommy, her daddy, her puppy, Jarmila, most other people who come over, and most of all, OUTSIDE. Getting in her stroller or just walking outside is a sure-fire cure for any distress. Running around on the roof deck in the sunshine makes Kavi so happy.
What we'll do when winter comes, I can't imagine.