- Me: Do you want some water? (I do the sign for water as I say it.)
- Petals: (Stuffs back of hand in mouth) Wa-wa.
- Me: What?! Water? Water? Water? (I continue to do the sign for “water”). Good job!
- Petals: (Stuffs back of hand in mouth) Wa-wa. Goo jah…
- Me: Let’s show daddy! Jeremy! Watch Petals say “Water!”
Last night Petals stood in front of the full-length mirror that she’s stood in front of many times before. She batted at her reflection – much like she has before. She pushed the mirror forwards and backwards, walked around to the back of it, and tried to sneak up to it – much as she has before. She even played peekaboo with her reflection.
Predictable baby stuff, y’know?
But then she did something new.
Petals peered at her reflection, saw something interesting, and then grabbed her own shirt. She was wearing a Carolina shirt with bright blue and white symbols and lettering. The print was hard – the kind that eventually cracks and peels in the wash. Still looking into the mirror, Petals reached down and explored the UNC logo with her hands. Okay – she clearly knows what she looks like. She caught my eye in the reflection of the mirror and, while looking into the mirror, waved backwards over her should at me. She clearly knows that the mirror is reflecting the room.
She looked from the baby in the mirror, down to her own shirt, and then back at the baby. Does she recognize that the lettering is backwards? Does she realize that the mirror reflects things backwards? Whoa.
I stand in awe of my daughter every day. She comes up with new “tricks”, like this mirror trick, on a daily basis. And these aren’t simple tricks like clapping or blinking – these are complex, silly tricks, that seem serve no immediate purpose other than simply being “cool” or “entertaining”.
A couple of weeks ago she was playing on the living room floor and crawled toward a toy. She got it, moved it up under the TV, then kind of shimmied across the floor in reverse, pushing herself away from the object she appeared to be crawling towards. When my mother saw it, she said that Petals looked like she was “Moon-Crawling”.
My baby might be a B-Girl in her toddler years.
Last Saturday, Petals and I went to a line dancing party. That night, she came home doing a step…bounce-bounce-bounce, step…bounce-bounce-bounce across the floor that looked a lot like “The Wobble”. “Go Petals! It’s your birthday! Not for real though! Just for play-play!” I sang to her while mimicking her dance.
It’s her now our new go to dance whenever music is playing.
At dinner that night, with friends and a tiny month old baby, Petals entertained everybody by jabbering nonstop, shaking her head back and forth and dancing in her highchair, and attempting to feed me some of the pancake I’d ordered for her.
On Monday, I picked her up from my mother’s house and she was sitting on the hardwood floor and, chasing her left foot after her right, was spinning in circles on the floor. She would fall over giggling to herself, sit back up, and begin spinning again.
She doesn’t do it at our house. I wonder if that’s because we have carpet.
Is she developing or showing evidence of an already present sense of humor? Does she want to make use laugh?Where did the time go? Where are the nights that I never got any sleep? Where are the days when I could leave a room and count on her to NOT try to touch the electrical outlets? Where is my warm, sleepy, milk-balloon?
And I’m emotionally torn. I miss the baby that she was, but I’m really enjoying the toddler that she is. I can hardly wait to see the young lady that she’ll become, but I don’t want the next few years to fly by as fast as the first one did. (I know they will, but I don’t want them too!)
In two short days we will mark this trip around the sun by celebrating the birth of my daughter on calendar ago. There will be lanterns, cake, perhaps ice cream, pizza, friends, and family. But this celebration cannot capture what one year in a new life means. This past year has been amazing.
At eleven months, Petals has begun jabbering more and more: I’m officially declaring “water”, “thank you”, and “quack-quack” amongst her first words. Though they’re not clearly pronounced, she spontaneously and consistently uses these words for the appropriate objects.
She’s also outsmarted her supposedly “unspilla-bowl”. I put the cereal in, and she tried flipping it over. When that didn’t work, she began to shake the bowl up and down, spilling Morning-O’s all over the floor. Smart baby.
About a week ago I officially became the mother of a toddler. Petals has switched over from preferring to crawl around the floor to teetering back and forth looking all the world like an unsteady T-Rex. She pulls her already short arms in, begins wiggling her graspers and heads toward her object, reeling to and fro like a punch drunk goose. It’s adorable, really, but difficult to put into words.
Now that she is walking, she has taken to carting objects around with her. Like many kids, she’s much happier with plastic bottles and paper cups than expensive computer-based toys…unless those toys belong to “Mamama” or “Bababa/Dadada”. I’ve been warned that toddlers are formidable opponents. Certainly her height makes hiding things more difficult, but it’s really her memory that’s becoming a problem. Gone are the days of “out of sight, out of mind.”. She knows what she wants and can usually suss it out.
Whoo-hoo! Let the toddling begin!