Posted in Blog, Life as a mom, Mother, Shawna

My ever-changing toddler

When I was about seven months pregnant, my childbirth instructor told our class that we would be amazed at how quickly our babies would change.

“You will literally go to pick them up for a nap sometimes and they will be a visibly different baby,” she said.

Never has that been more true these first few weeks of Quinn’s thirteenth month. I feel like every time I see her after a brief respite, her eyes sparkle with newfound knowledge. She watches me intently. I understand, her little eyes say.

We squat to watch black ants running across the sidewalk. “Ant,” I say.

“Ant,” she repeats.

Wait… Did you just? Ant? Really?

Same knowing smile. I got it, mama, she insists. Huh.


These days one of my favorite activities is pulling out toys we haven’t seen in a few weeks. The piggy bank she used to just bang, with those little plastic coins she sucked on? She looks at it for a minute, grabs one of the little coins, and works it in to the slot. The next coin goes straight in, nothing but net. On to the next.

That little rocket ship that’s been sitting in the corner for the last few months? She’s pulling it out, storing her toys in its hold, slinging a leg over the top, and even gliding herself around using her little tip toes.

She waves on command, claps on command, lifts her arms over her head when we ask “How big is Quinn?” She shakes her little torso around when she hears music. She mimes babies in books, waving at them.

There are other changes, too. Sometimes I find I can’t help pulling Quinn into bed with me in the middle of the night. I know I shouldn’t: I fought so hard to get her out of our bed and into her crib when she was three months old. I know we all sleep better when she is nearby but seperate.

But some other mama takes over around 3 a.m., when my big girl lets out a cry that isn’t so different from those infant pleas she made just a year ago. I’m glad I get to hold her so close for a little bit longer.

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  1. My baby is a crib sleeper, too, but I love any excuse to pull him into bed for the last hour or so for sweet sleep.

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