I was all ready to write this post today, with the above title, about how I have truly loved every stage of Nora's life more than the one before it...except for this one. Except for this complicated state of affairs we are currently navigating that is 13 months. Perhaps I should begin with the obvious, that Nora is an amazingly well-behaved child with a naturally easygoing nature, and I really can't complain. I should also begin with the things that I love about this age. The new words, like how Nora all of a sudden knows that a cow says "moo" (except, for her, more like "mmmmmm") and how she will point to a picture of a cat and say "caaa!" How she repeatedly asks "wassa? wassa? wassa?" when she wants us to define any object and how she is obsessed with pumpkins. In the past couple months she has really grasped the idea of a hug and, more recently, the idea of a kiss. She is adorably affectionate, laying her head on our chests when she is sleepy or needs reassurance.
Now, the other things.
There are the molars poking their way through her gums. There is the new willfulness, resulting in occasional tantrums when she is stopped from doing something she very much wants to do - climbing up the stairs for the 400th time that day, for instance. And there are the naps.
Oh my God is she really going to talk about naps again?
I really am.
Since having Nora, my grandmother has mentioned to me - many, many times - that "there is a point where babies stop taking a morning nap and start just taking an afternoon nap, and it can be confusing for both of you," and I was always like, "I'm sure," but didn't really get why she mentioned it all the time. But you guessed it! I get it NOW!
Nora, always a good two-naps-a-day napper with the exception of a few rough patches, doesn't know what to do at this point. Neither do I. I know it's a phase that will pass, and that I'll barely remember, but some days it's all I think about. She's tired in the morning but doesn't want to nap, or she's tired in the morning and does nap, but then doesn't want to nap in the afternoon and is a wreck by dinner. Or she wants to nap and even points to her crib but ten minutes later I hear her throwing a party up there. Or she only wants to nap in the car. Or a combination of them all.
Put it all together and Nora can be a bit cranky at times. Like this morning, when she was tired, but I didn't want to put her down yet for fear that she wouldn't sleep the rest of the day, and she wanted me to give her some of my oatmeal - because she can't stand it if we're eating something and she isn't - and she was attached to my leg making these high-pitched dolphin noises and acting like the world was going to end, for real. And I was like, "13 months!!!"
So I was all set to write this post about how I didn't love this age, but then I was sitting on the couch with Nora this afternoon, and she saw her animal book and pointed to the cow on the cover about ten times, asking "wassa?" and I told her it was a cow, and she went "mmmmmm" and then she rubbed her eyes and threw her arms around me and nestled her head into my neck, and I realized that I did, in fact, love it. So much that my heart almost exploded.