Running ahead

It’s become more and more difficult to keep up with this blog, in large part because Laurel is developing and growing and changing so quickly that, as soon as we write down what she’s doing, she’s doing something else entirely. That was true when I wrote this essay less than two months ago, when she was still speaking just a few dozen words. Now, it’s well over 100 and we’ve stopped counting because there are sometimes three new words a day, sometimes more. When we came back from Europe in June she was just taking a few steps, and now she’s running everywhere.

We go to a college class every week where she and other toddlers are able to practice their motor skills on different pieces of play equipment; there’s one with a metal ladder on each side with a walkway like a sideways ladder strung between them. She can climb up the rungs and then walk across, holding on to the railings, like it’s no big deal. Then she asks me to help her back down, where she takes off running across the floor and trips on a floor mat because she doesn’t look where she’s going. For such occasions, she knows both “whoa!” and “boom!”

Eighteen and a half months ago she was born, and couldn’t do anything but blink, sleep, poop, and cry. Now she can request her favorite video (and identify the song if I sing a random line from it), eat with a spoon, take off her shirt, put on her shoes (with help), identify a handful of letters of the alphabet, and name the majority of important items that pass through her life on a given day, from beans to airplanes. She knows where her belly button is and loves pointing it out to people. She can also throw a pretty epic tantrum, but we’re learning how to nip those in the bud. In all, it’s pretty mind-blowing; most days I’m still wondering where, exactly, she came from.

Other than the aforementioned video, she’s also currently obsessed with the moon. It was full last week, giving us the opportunity to take her outside and show her the rising moon in the sky before bedtime. Since then, she’s asked to see it every night, and we had to explain that it’s not always in the same place in the sky at the same time. Our story was bolstered this morning when she spotted it in the sky on the other side of the house. She was very relieved to see it again, let me tell you.

Going out is a big, exciting deal, and must be mentioned only before the act of doing so because Laurel suddenly becomes a drill sergeant, calling out all the things we need to do and take with us. Socks! Shoes! Coat! Sunglasses! Backpack! Ergo! She will repeat these items with increasing volume and desperation until we’ve put them on and/or assembled them and are on our way out the door. Sometimes, when she asks where Devin is and I say he’s at work, she wants to make sure he took his backpack, coat, and shoes with him. I assure her that yes, he did. Sometimes she has to doublecheck.

Another activity we can’t mention unless it’s imminent is the bath. She loves taking baths. I think she would spend all day in the tub if we let her. She never sits down in the tub. For half an hour at a time, she sloshes from end to end, scooping up cupfuls of water and pouring them on herself, on me, into other cups, and drinking copiously. (We have alternate nighttime diapering strategies for bath nights.) If we have somehow mentioned the bath but failed to give her one, then she will cry and moan and say, “baaath!” very sadly.

She still loves nursing, and freaking out the cat. Her happiest moments include the ones when Devin comes home at the end of the day, or when I come home from being out for a while. She comes running, shouting “Papa!” or “Mommy!” and showers us with enthusiastic hugs at knee height. She loves food, and talking, and singing (especially “Wheels on the Bus” — I have had to make up new verses to keep up with her demands for “more.”), and doggies, and reading books.

She’s still a lot of fun. :)

— Beth