So Clay and I were talking the other night. We had taken Evelyne outside to run around on the tennis courts just behind our apartment, and were watching her wander around doing her “I’m trying to run but my legs are too short and I’m not quite coordinated enough yet so I’ll just walk fast” thing. I told him that I’ve really noticed in the past few months that she’s totally turned into such a sweetheart. Not that she wasn’t a sweetheart before…. but it seems like her temperament has changed. Or at least the way she expresses it.
Evelyne wasn’t really an easy baby. She was colicky, and not necessarily the kind that screams all the time (thank GOD), but the kind where you have to be constantly doing something to prevent her from crying or fussing. So you’re always jiggling and bouncing and nursing because she didn’t know how to sit in one place that wasn’t in my arms and be content for more than five seconds. And often she didn’t know how to be content in my arms while I was sitting still… I had to be standing-up and rocking or bouncing. There wasn’t much relaxed lounging on her part. And she never slept.
But even when she wasn’t such a newborn anymore, she was still draining. She got major separation anxiety at about six months and cried if I left the room. Even if she could see me in the other room, it was distressing that I wasn’t next to her. So I schlepped her from room to room, even when I had to pee. I remember spending afternoons with her sitting in between my legs playing because she couldn’t be next to me…she had to be touching me. And when she learned to stand-up when I was holding her and bang-on her little piano… I would spend HOURS holding her in an upright position because that’s the only thing that kept her happy. She wasn’t an unhappy baby…. just always on the verge of it if we made one wrong move.
So we were watching Ev run around on the tennis court, amusing herself with nothing but her freedom, and it struck me that she is probably a pretty easy toddler so far. At 17 months, her colic is a thing of the past. She knows how to stand by herself, and while she still sometimes gets uncomfortable if I leave her in a weird situation, she just follows me from room to room instead of me having to drag her everywhere I go. She’ll play for hours by herself (always with me sitting near) and be amused by the most boring inantimate object. (blocks and links are still her favorite!) She hasn’t really gotten into the tantrum stage yet… she’s just recently started screaming when she doesn’t get something she wants, but it never lasts more than about 10 seconds and then she’s easily distracted and over it. She has a great sense of humor! It’s strange to me that she’s not even one and a half yet and she already is so fun to be around. She makes me laugh all the time, and she’s very quick to laugh when I do something silly to her. I mean, I really have fun hanging out with her, we’re kinda starting to be buddies, the girl is hilarious! She’ll still have off days, and she still doesn’t sleep as long as I wish she did (although most of the time she does great), but overall, there’s nothing that is really hard about her personality right now.
Maybe we’re in a golden period and she’ll snap out of it in a couple of months. I have heard that 18 months is a pivotal age for that. Maybe we’re finally just getting a break after being so stressed throughout her infancy. Clay and I agreed that part of us still thinks of her now in the same way we thought of her then: that she’s difficult, demanding, touchy, hard to please…. And then we sat back and realized that those words don’t characterize her at all anymore! She’s fun, she’s hilarious, she’s sweet, and she’s generally pretty easygoing. So for now we’re really enjoying this stage of her life. I loved baby Evelyne, but I’m really loving toddler Evelyne even more!