18 months is hiding behind the curtain at bedtime, always insisting on wearing the same dress, singing ‘twinkle, twinkle’ constantly, making up the words but getting the tune and timing almost perfect, making sure everyone always has shoes on their feet and ensuring doors are always shut.
18 months is tucking Wilfred (teddy) under the blanket each night and patting him to help him fall asleep.
18 months is being left alone for a moment and appearing with eyeliner drawn all over her face. It is knowing that an eyeliner pencil is for the face and not for paper.
18 months is pointing at my belly and saying ‘baby’, and me wondering if she understands the change that is about to happen in our family. It is me seeing tiny babies – floppy, cuddly, sleepy babies – and realising just how far she has come. It is seeing her as my child, instead of my baby. It is me finally thinking she might be ready to be a big sister.
18 months is knowing to be gentle with babies, looking after them so well and bringing them toys to play with. And then it is forgetting that babies can’t get their own toys and taking them away again. It is learning to share, but not doing very well at it.
18 months is wanting to put everything away. And constantly surprising me that she knows where things go. It is opening the cutlery drawer and putting spoons in, regardless of if those spoons are clean or dirty. It is always helping wipe the highchair after dinner. It is seeing me annoyed because there are clothes lying on the floor and picking them up and stuffing them in a drawer (not the right drawer, but a drawer none the less). It is me remembering the (long) days of her unpacking every cupboard and drawer in the house and being amazed at how quickly they passed.
18 months is standing still and silently behind a cabinet, waiting for someone to find her. It is exploding in laughter when they do.
18 months is bedtime with Daddy and breakfast with Nanna. It is living with grandparents and lots of attention. It is walking out the front of the house and always wanting to cross the road and go to the park. It is loving going on the slide. It is climbing up and down play equipment that just six weeks ago seems so big and too hard for her. It is climbing in the pram and sitting there insisting she is taken for a walk.
18 months is being tired but not wanting to miss any of life by sleeping. It is crying at bedtime but almost learning to sleep through the night. It is long naps and feeling great afterwards.
18 months is a time of rapid change. Of moving to her own bedroom, of wondering if she is nearly ready to toilet train, of drinking less milk and eating more food, of learning to rinse and spit after brushing her teeth.
18 months is understanding everything. Knowing more than we give her credit for. It is (finally) listening to instructions.
18 months is 12 teeth and new words every day. It is summer, sunshine, play dates, parks and friends. It is acting like every day is the best day of her life. It is living life at full speed, charging towards the future. Tomorrow, it is being closer to two years old, than it is to one.