Babble, babble, toilets and trouble

As usual, Maddi has had a busy couple of weeks. She is now in the process of cutting her canines and has also had a cold for the past week, which means that Mommy and Daddy have had a busy couple of weeks as well. The kind of busy that requires lots of Starbucks and a good couple hours of trying to wind down before one can fall asleep.

Although the toilet was initially the one place where we could expect Maddi to sit still for more than 10 seconds, it has now become a launching pad for the Amazing Naked Baby Race, in which Maddi pretends to try to make poopoo, distracts Mommy by pointing to her Play-Doh or her ball, and then, while Mommy’s back is turned to retrieve the potty toy, Maddi flees from the room naked from the waist down and proceeds to run through the house at top speed until her eventual retrieval and diapering. She has also decided she needs a diaper change each and every time she leaks the tiniest amount of peepee, which means we would have to quadruple our diaper bill if we gave in to this demand. If it weren’t for her dogged determination to immediately dispose of any poop that makes its way into her diaper, we would issue a pair of training pants, but we’re big chickens. Chickens with white carpets and furniture who already pay enough on laundry detergent for her bed linens without providing even easier access to Poo-casso’s favorite artistic medium.
Speaking of things that drive fear into the heart of easily-disgusted parents, our wee one’s stripping skills have transcended the sleeper (including the backwards sleeper) and now extend to the diaper. It’s become a near-daily occurrence to wake up, enter her room, and behold a completely naked Maddi beaming proudly in her crib. Luckily she’s been holding her bowels a bit better since the inception of potty training, although that didn’t stop her from obliterating her crib thrice in 24 hours earlier in the week. She can also dress herself somewhat too. Our little girl can get her pants halfway on, her shoes completely on (but not usually fastened) and has managed to pull her cotton shorts over her head (leg-hole and all, right around the neck, which means no more shorts in the crib!). Currently, she’s working on shirts, although getting the arms on straight has been a challenge and I’ve found her in the crib with the shirt half-twisted so that her arms are both in the sleeves, but one sleeve is inside-out.

And the streaking and stripping are only the tip of the iceberg where Maddi Mischief is concerned. The tantrums continue, although thankfully they mostly occur at home. Lately, she has also figured out how to climb into chairs and onto tables, and is thisclose to conquering our overstuffed leather sofa and attacking the cat from a new front. Have I mentioned the cat attacks? Our once-gentle daughter has decided that SHE, not the cat, will declare when petting time is over. It began with a little fur-pulling when the cat tired of being petted. The cat ran faster, so Maddi grabbed the nearest and most convenient “handle” — Deva’s tail. Now, even when the cat is sitting still, Maddi has decided the cat’s tail is the optimal way to draw her pet to her rather than having to exert the energy it takes to go to the cat. This method, while absolutely prohibited, is better than her first cat-retrieval solution, which entailed a full-body tackle of our hapless feline when the kitty least suspected it. Now, with her nascent furniture-scaling skills, I am afraid Maddi will try a flying tackle from the sofa and sail right through the window where Deva likes to sun herself.

Lucky for us (and Maddi, who daily risks being offered in a classified ad as “free to good home”), it’s not all nude footraces, poo-painting, tantrums and kitty torture. Our little toddler is also becoming quite the chatterbox, experimenting with her own twist on the English language that I like to call Maddi-ese. Much of it consists of very expressive, foreign-sounding babble. She has some words she’s made up because saying them is too much trouble; hence Play-Doh has become “Buh-paah” (although she does know what it’s actually called and occasionally insists, “Pay-Did,” when I pretend not to know what “buh-paah” is) and kitty-cat is often “tick-tick.”

As always, when she uses actual words, a significant percentage of her language is cat-related. For instance, her first four-word sentence, uttered three or four weeks ago (according to me, although Chris is skeptical) was “Wez dat key-cat?” (Where’s that kitty-cat?”). Often I will hear her babbling nonsensically in her realistic-sounding toddler language and pick up phrases like “get da ball” or “tsuh-duh buh-buh” (cheddar bunnies) from among the gibberish — and a good third of the time, the words I hear are cat-related. “Good kit-kit” or “hee, key-cat” when she’s trying to coax Deva out from behind the sofa; “No, key-cat!” when the cat races from the room in fear for her life; “Babble babble blablabla TIKTIK babble babble!” as she runs chasing after the poor kitty.

However, she does come up with the occasional non-cat-related utterance. The other day, I removed from her grasp a forbidden object (I forget what; there are so many!) and replaced it with something appropriate, and Chris heard her sob in between shrieks, “I wanted that one!”

For awhile after we moved into our new house with its fabulous backyard and attendant bouncy balls, everything was “ball,” but the novelty has worn off and she is back to calling flowers “fowvers” again, thank goodness. Occasionally I have to remind her to stop saying “ball,” but at least her vocabulary is coming back.

Other than streaking, stripping, painting, climbing, attempted kittycide and coming up with new phrases and her own bizarre jargoning, not much is new. I’m sure in a few weeks, we’ll have lots more interesting Maddi stories to share.

In the meanwhile, coming soon: Cute pics of our 16.5-month-old.

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