These days are deep with discovery.
Many posts lately have been about your sister, the Big Girl as we call her. And up until now, it's been because so much change has been happening to her side of the story. You sat patiently by, allowing as all room to adjust and grow into our new chapter. You clapped and drooled and cooed with the sweetest of smiles. You didn't fuss for a thing. Your head bobbled in your car seat as we raced to and from pre school. You swayed with the winds of change in such a natural way I'm afraid I took it for granted.
You've never once complained when I have to wake you up from your nap to pick sissy up from school. I cringe every time I have to do it. I sneak into your room, rub your back and whisper "time to get sissy Ava." Your muffled bed head rises and with the determination of a marine- you sit right up with your arms raised ready for me to snatch you up.
You burp in my face with your nap breath, every time. I love it. Your mom is weird.
You'll sip your bottle in the back seat with your hair standing sky high, eyes heavy from the deep sleep you were roused from. And you never cry. You never fuss. You never show a single sign of even being annoyed.
Because you love her.
And guess what? I do too:)
And she loves you just as much. Did you know when you are napping, Sophie will ask me if she can wake you up and kiss your sweet cheeks?
She adores you. And we all love each other in a way that no one else could ever understand. And even when she steals your toys and you are forced into a screaming fit...that is still love.
Love is sweet and quiet and gentle.
Love can also be loud and frantic and wild.
You'll learn these things.
You can't imagine what you bring into our world. You are nothing like we'd imagine you'd be...and more than we ever hoped for.
This is you at 15 months old:
Bold. Brave. Wild. Free. Fearless. Independent. Determined. Funny. Wild.
And that's just the start. I wasn't prepared for such sweet surprise as you. You are so different than you sister ever was. Sophie enjoyed being babied (she still does). You have no interest in being babied. In fact, you seem rather annoyed with my attempts to show you any nurturing beyond the necessary.
Oh, you still love your morning bottle and rocking with Mama. You'll waddle up to me, bottle hanging from your mouth, gripped by your tiny front teeth, and say "rock rock rock" with your head nodding up and down..
It is my absolute favorite part of my day with you.
After that- you are off and running. I get a few kisses in as I chase you around, but its only if I sneak them. You've got plans, ideas of where you need to be. You march around this house now like a warrior. You demand things, shout orders and throw epic tantrums. Please don't be offended when Sophie and I laugh at you during your fits. You are just so darn cute when you are kicking and biting!
That lame mission of growing up which I despise.
But I know it's happening. I see you discovering and soaking in everything. I see you watch Sophie and mimic her in your own clumsy way. I see you figuring it all out.
You are no drama, but you want what you want. We had a throw down yesterday over the pickle jar. Remember that? How you wanted to pull the pickle out of the jar yourself, so I attempted to let you. Only to discover that you wanted to tramp around the house while holding the pickle jar with NO LID while smelly pickle juice sloshed all over the carpet and the new clean piles of laundry I'd just folded. Remember how I took the pickle jar from you and you royally freaked out? You decided to scream and cry and bite everything in sight. You bit the highchair. The dining room table legs. The arm of your baby. The remote control. The lint brush for Daddy's suits (how was that for ya by the way?). And then you slammed your whole body down on the floor and flopped like a fish with snot pouring as you rolled back and forth across the floor wailing. Again, I'm sorry we laughed. We didn't know what else to do.
You have a voice. We get it. We'll try to provide what we can to please you, but pickle juice cologne is where I draw the line.
But that face.
That little face stops my soul. The twinkle in your eye, the wonder in your expression. I'd forgotten those little things about your age. Somehow I got swept away in it all. But I am here now. 100% fully and totally engaged in this half baby-half toddler-half cave girl stage you are in. I'm trying not to be too wrapped up in the sadness of losing your infant stage. I'm working on staying right here and basking in the glory of this special stage too.
How you run up to me, blanket dragging behind you, saying "Mama cuda, cuda, cuda (*cuddle*)"
How you feed any thing with a mouth. Somehow each and every animal, baby, and family member needs a bite of what ever slimy wet, spit soaked menu item you are devouring at the moment. You are very generous in that way.
How you bounce your booty while you and Sophie hold hands and dance the "Hot Dog" dance on Mickey Mouse. Did you know Sophie used to perform that as a solo a few years ago? I could lay down and die of happiness seeing you two together shaking it to that song.
How you hear a door slam in the hallway, and you run to our door shouting, "Dadda! Dadda!"
How you expect everyone to stop what they are doing, clap and look at you in your latest fashion accessory. It's usually my big pearl necklace you put on all by yourself and you swell with pride and puff your chest out while you parade around.
How you point at the T.V and demand to view one of your two favorite shows. "Bubble" or "Tuti".
How you let Sophie sit and kiss you on the cheek 100 times and you never care. She will seriously pin you down just to kiss you over and over and you just giggle away. Yesterday I caught you sitting her her lap, leaned all the way back, sucking your thumb while she twirled your hair. You two are killing me.
But I get it.
I get how fast this goes. I get how you will zip right by me and you'll be in middle school if I'm not careful.
Your pudgy little fingers wrapped around mine while we rock during sunrise.
Your squishy thighs that barely squeeze into a pair of jeans.
Your little thumb you suck with the dent in the pointed nail from your bottom teeth rubbing on it.
Your round puffy tummy popping out the bottom of your jammie shirt I assumed would fit.
Your devilish smirk when you run away from me while I'm trying to change your diaper.
Your sweet after bath smell of baby lotion and diaper rash cream.
I will be right here, on the floor next to you soaking all this in. I'll ignore the crushed cracker crumbs, the piles of laundry, the sticky kitchen floors and the toilet that looks like it belongs in a locker room.
I refuse to miss out on this glimmer of time in your life. And I will repeat this mantra in my head until someone shakes me:
"You are still my baby. You are still my baby. You are still my baby."
Maybe it was my miscarriage?
I'm just not sure. All I know is that I am so profoundly aware of what a precious gift your childhood is. I am so deeply honored to be chosen to provide a home and life for you. I'm so attached to the fact that being your mother is the greatest journey and blessing of my whole existence.
Did you know I weep tears of gratitude over you, sissy and daddy every day? If my eyes don't well up with tears at least once during the day...then I know I'm not doing a good job staying connected to my truth.
I love you. And want to know something else? You were pooping in this photo.
You are even cute when you take a crap.
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