These days, I’m finding that the simplest gestures or activities, fill me with such awe and pride, when done by Baby. Simple things that other people do all the time and I dutifully ignore without so much as a passing glance, I can’t help but smile at when I see them done by such a little person. Eventually, I’m sure the fascination will fade with her too. But, until then, these are some of my favorite things about this baby phase.
1. Playing like a big girl
On Sunday, M and I were in the kitchen, beginning our Sunday tradition of cooking for the week. Baby is usually at our heals during this process but when I looked down, she was nowhere in sight. Curious, I began a search that took me to the living room. There she was, sitting in front of her dollhouse, playing, quietly. And this was a whole new kind of playing. She wasn’t just pushing all the buttons in the house repeatedly to hear the fun noises they make. She was actually taking the little dolls and moving them about the house, narrating as she went. ‘Baby sleeping’ she said as she put the baby figurine into the little bassinet. ‘Eat! Eating!’ as she put the little table up to the mommy and daddy figurine’s faces. She has had this little dollhouse since Christmas, and though I figured she may have been too young then, I had sort of given up hope that she would play with it. But there she was, sitting with her legs curled to one side, her skirt spread around her, her pigtails sticking straight out of the sides of her head in the most adorable way, talking about her dolls as they made their way through the little house. M ended up doing quite a bit more of the cooking; I couldn’t stop watching.
2. Après vous
Baby and I have a habit of falling into routines. Sometimes the last for just a few months, like our Friday afternoon Llama Llama readings. Sometimes they continue but morph, like our morning breakfast-sharing routines. Currently, we’re enjoying an afternoon breakfast bar routine. I’ve recently been suckered by NutriGrain’s latest ad campaign. It’s the one where they split the screen. On the left, a woman is making all the wrong decisions – doughnut for breakfast, taking the elevator instead of the stairs, fries at lunch, etc. On the right, the same woman starts her day with a NutriGrain bar and, of course, the rest of her day is on the healthy track. I’ve studied marketing. I know what they are doing there. And yet, still I think to myself, ‘I want to be on the healthy track. And I can do that by eating NutriGrain bars.’ Riiiight….
Anyway, I digress. So Baby and I have these cereal bar dates in the afternoons. New to the taste of cereal bars, she loves them and can barely contain her excitement when I suggest we have one. Today I looked into the box and saw just two left. With the risk of her trying to empty the box eliminated, I let her reach in to grab one for herself. She reached her hand in, pulled one of the bars out, and then said ‘Mommy’ handed it to me! Then she reached in and took the second for herself! What child under two does that? I know grown people who don’t get the concept of serving another before yourself! And here is my darling child, so sweet and polite. So much pride.
Since she started walking, and therefore starting falling, I’ve tried to do two things for each fall. The first, I try to not make a big deal of any fall, no matter how bad it looks from my view. Sometimes a fall that I consider quite a doozy, she shakes off with barely a shrug. No reason to make a big deal if she is moving on. The second, if she is hurt or does feel like making a big deal of the fall, I ask her if she wants me to kiss it. Of course, she says yes, and points to where the kiss should land. The cries stop shortly thereafter, as she has gotten the attention she wanted and is ready to go back to whatever activity caused the fall in the first place.
Last week, I noticed that this tradition had taken a whole new spin. We were in the car and Elmo fell from his perch atop of the back of my seat. ‘Fell!’ Baby shouted immediately as she reached out her hands. I placed Elmo in them and she raised the little guy to her lips and planted a Baby kiss right on his face. She already knows that kisses make it all better.
Though I do feel pangs of sadness as I realize she is growing up, I love watching her grow.