I apologize again for not keeping an up to date baby book for you. The (intermittent) perfectionist in me wants your and your sisters’ baby books to be a beautiful experience, however, the reality of it is I’m lazy and busy and get distracted by things like blogs and The Sims and my shows, oh, and raising a family. Still, there are so many things you do that I don’t want to forget so it’s best that I just write them down.
You’ve had a real language explosion lately, with your sentences becoming longer and much more complex. Of course, being mere mortals your father and I and anyone else listening only understand about 1/2 of what it is you’re telling us. It’s not our fault. We don’t speak Zulu, which, clearly is your native language. A typical longer sentence from you consists of Zulu peppered with a few english words and a bit of spanish thrown in just to show off. “*click* *clack* zibby wibby peeka peeka *click* pork sausage *click* go potty.” “Donde esta peeka peeka *clack* Dora Explorah? Dora esta y!” That aside, it’s so neat to see you picking up the language and playing with it. You’re also at that fun age where we can get you to say almost anything (except your name). Currently we’re teaching you to say, “Get my drink on!” You came up with “psychopath” on your own.
I love that you can’t be bothered to learn more than one name for near identical but separate things. For example, you have two sisters and you call them both Amy. We have 2 female, long-haired cats and to you they are both Stinky .
We’ve sort of pulled back on our sign language these past few months, but I’m amazed that you still remember how to sign. The words we started out with back when you were a nursing baby (milk, more, please, thank you, you’re welcome, eat, drink, sleep, shoes and socks, pig, frog, dog, horse, cow, cat, fish, slide, and car) have been joined by the signs for water, plate, spaghetti, snow, rain, clouds, good morning/night, bored, sad, scared, silly, bear, I love you, love, sister, cousin, comb, toothbrush, grow, tree, flower…. Really, you’ve picked it up so easily and use it so readily that I’m disappointed we didn’t sign with your sisters when they were babies. I don’t know where it will lead, if anywhere, but it’s a cool party trick.
Physically you’re non-stop motion, running, jumping, dancing, running, running, RUNNING, sliding, swimming. Seriously, you don’t stop. Ever. Kinda like your talking. Actually, you will sit still for stories. You love books, especially your Dora book about her Perrito (Puppy takes a bath). I set up the pack’n’play for you and loaded it up with a pillow and blanket and your hatbox o’ books and you’ll spend up to 20 minutes in there lost in your own little literary world “reading.”
One of my favorite things about you is how you wrap your arm around my neck when I pick you up. Aside from it being entirely, wonderfully baby, it just feels good and comforting and right. I also love how soft and cool your little hands feel in mine. It’s strange, but size difference aside, I can tell which one of you three girls’ hands I’m holding. They just feel different. I think your daddy would have to say that you melt his heart when you lift both your little legs off the ground when we pick you up from behind or stand on either side of you and hold your hands. It’s automatic, you use those amazing stomach muscles and hold those chubby legs straight out at a 90 degree angle. Another thing you do to him is sit on his foot, wrap your legs and arms around his shins and grin up at him until he relents and starts walking with you.
This past month or so has found you addicted to Nick, Jr. Which saddens me because clearly, I’m not doing my job right. You are such an active kid, so constantly on the go that Mommy needed a little break and introduced Go, Diego, Go. It was our gateway television show. Until that point, I’d done pretty well keeping your television consumption to road trips and Baby Einstein videos, and the occasional Thomas the Steam Engine. Television is the first thing you want in the morning now and the last thing you want before bed. You also want to eat all meals in front of it (my fault entirely. I thought it would be a fun treat once and you knowing a good thing (Diego? And fry-fries? Together? On your bed? SCORE!) have insisted or have tried to insist on eating all meals in front of the tube. I don’t give in all the time, but I do enough for you to know that you’ve totally won this battle.
Which leads us to food. You have become the pickiest eater of our family. Amy was a goat and would eat and eat a lot of whatever we put in front of her. Helen was pickier, but still was a good, healthy eater. She stopped when she was full, and still does. YOU however, Miss Thang, have a menu of about 15 things that are allowed to cross your lips. Fry-fries, chicken, kiwi, steamed broccoli, frozen berries, sometimes grapes and bananas and apples, peanut butter on a spoon, pretzels, sugar coated anything, your grandma’s grilled cheese, pizza, Taco Bell bean burritos, frozen yogurt, ice cream, and Popsicle (a word that requires careful pronunciation – Pop. Sick. ELs!) You will not eat meat unless it is breaded and fried chicken. Not bologna, not hot dogs, not fish sticks. Just chicken. From McDonalds or Pop-eyes. I used to worry because you eat all day long, but now I realize that basically, on a typical day, you stretch 1 meal into an all day event, a bite of cereal for breakfast, three nibbles of nuggets for lunch, 1/2 a frozen yogurt for snack, the other half on the carpet…. You only truly claim to be hungry the second I announce that it is time for bed.
Now, bed time. You, princess, will sleep, but only on your terms, as it has been since day 1 with you. I put you in your bed and you kick and scream and beg for food since I’ve starved you all day. I say a cheery goodnight and race to the door, closing it just as you throw yourself at it, screaming like the spawn I sometimes suspect you are. You’ll cry and turn over you shelf and desk, you’ll pull off your diaper and… eventually, you will wear yourself out, climb back into your bed, tuck in your twin panda bear cubs, pull the blankets up to your chin and fall asleep looking as sweet and innocent as a virgin napping with a unicorn. As with everything else in your life, bedtime is usually dramatic.
You have a short fuse when it comes to disappointment and react very loudly and very physically. I don’t like either of those overly much, but it’s the physical part that worries me most. One of the things I regret most about the early years with your sisters is that I was a spanker. For various reasons I didn’t want that for you and I’ve tried very hard to get my point across in other, less demeaning and hurtful ways. Still, you’re a hitter. It’s like you go on auto-slap when I say something you don’t want to hear. You are an automatic whiner when you even sense that you might not get your way and it will continue until you are distracted by candy or some other reward. You are persistent and will get louder and louder and LOUDER until either I have to put you in your room or give you what you want just so YOU’LL SHUT UP.
You also have selective hearing. Words like Popsicle, candy, television, and shower get your attention and co-operation. Words like no, STOP! THERE’S A CAR! STOP! WILD BOAR! and Don’t you [insert warning here], and ‘we do not paint mommy’s arm with peanut butter,” are promptly ignored and chaos ensues. I have a feeling our disciplining methods are working out better for you than they are for us.
When you were merely 24 months old your favorite shoes were these red cowboy boots. You wore them everywhere.
You can see they were much loved. Check out the scuffs on the toes and the comfortable give of the pleather.
Now you’re totally into your Crocs. You have 3 pair (purple, yellow, and navy) and will rotate them almost hourly. I don’t even bother trying to talk you into anything else because honestly, you can run and jump and climb and jump in puddles in those things and I totally don’t stress because they’re 100% washable/dryable. You let me dress you in frill and nonsense, and by the 3rd girl I am so over “picture perfect.” Your sisters weren’t as fortunate and many battles were fought for the want of shiney Mary Janes.
Uh, this has turned into a tome, so I’ll just list a few more of the things I don’t want to forget.
*that you say, “help/hold/hug/give you” when you mean “help/hold/hug/give ME.”
*that you search for the moon each night.
*that you don’t refer to yourself by name and that I have to trick you to even saying your name (Eye-EEE-ya), but you’ll “spell” it (o-i-v-i-a).
*your Lex Luthor is your cousin Sam and you call him Sammy. You get so very excited to see him, but the two of you frustrate each other. Actually, you frustrate him way more than he frustrates you because he is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay freakin’ more sensitive to life in general and you in particular.
*that your favorite song is Personal Penguin by Sandra Boynton.
*that your other favorite song is White and Nerdy by Weird Al (Fight and Ferdy)
*that you say good morning to me each morning like it’s been DAYS since we’ve seen each other.
There is so much that you do, and you change daily there’s no way I’ll ever remember it all but I’m trying. The one thing that remains constant about you though is your bubbly personality and how grateful I am that you’re here.