At the half year milestones of Susanna’s life, I have an odd way of focusing on the negative parts. I distinctly remember having a really hard time when Susanna was 6 months old. She desperately needed but would not stick to a schedule, she regressed in night sleep, and she didn’t offer very many smiles. That might not sound like a big deal, but a baby’s smile can change Mama’s mood, and Susanna continued to stare like a newborn, even at 6 months. I felt out of control, and died my hair a dark brown as a way of gaining control. That was fun, and fine, but when it grew out, I realized that my hair is darker post-Susanna. I have some of the same feelings today, but I have more peace; more awareness that “this too shall pass.” I’ll focus on the positive instead.
At 18 months, Susanna is better than ever. I love her personality so much, and I am desperate to know her better.
She dances. I say, “Susanna, do you want to listen to some music?” and she says “Yeah!” and points at the stereo in our living room. She isn’t partial to any type of music, as long as she can wiggle. We listen to Breakfast with the Beatles every Sunday on the way to church, and the other morning Chris turned it on in the house. Susanna went crazy! She spins, bounces, shakes her hips, and bops her head.
She loves. Susanna recognizes people and she wants to greet them and hug them and love them. She is unabashed about her love for her Daddy, her Grandma Duryee, her Aunty Siri and her cousin Ryan, especially. But she is open to cuddles with Papa and GG in Oregon, stories with Gramma Great (Winnie) and friendly faces in the nursery. I am so grateful for this.
She is healthy and strong. In 18 months, Susanna has had a few colds, one ear infection and one respiratory infection. Considering I rinse her pacifiers maybe once a week, this is an accomplishment.
She studies, evaluates, and works hard. Here’s a video of Susanna playing with her new Mega Blocks. I have similar videos of Susanna with other new toys, and it is so neat to see that although she is definitely a little busybody, she can sit down and focus on one thing.
She learns. Susanna knows where her nose, belly and eyes are. She raises her arms when we say “touchdown” and she knows how to “stop” “be careful” and “be gentle.” She can fold her hands to pray, point to her bed when she’s tired, and get a clean diaper from the basket.
She waves. By far her favorite thing to do is wave. She waves hello, bye bye and to no one in particular. Sometimes I think she sees angels the way she walks around the house waving and saying “haiii.”
This one thing is… she doesn’t have any words. On command, she can sign “more,” “all done” and “please,” but not on her own. She says “yeah” “hi/bye” (they sound the same) and shakes her head no, but none of the other sounds that come out of her mouth are real words. Her hearing is excellent, her social/emotional skills are off the charts, her fine motor skills are above average and her communication is just right, except for speech, which is about 29% delayed. Some of this is perhaps because we pretty much meet her needs before she even makes them known. Chris and I don’t really “do” frustration so we prevent it at every turn. The result? No need for words. Ha! We are working on not asking questions that she can reply with “yeah.” We’ve felt she was on the edge of speaking for so many months, so we are anxious to reach this milestone, but we are not worried. We are learning too.
What a blessing our baby girl is. The other day, I put her hair in pigtails and Chris went crazy over how cute she looked.
She is a regular Cindy Lou Who. I pray that her heart would be as sweet and kind as that fictional character’s as well, and that God would use Susanna’s life to bless others greatly. She has already flipped our world upside down.