I have the sweetest little girl on earth. I know I’m biased and all, but she really is. She has these striking moments of sheer delightfulness. It came as a huge surprise to me that I got such a wonderful, squishy, and delicious kid, it’s not that I thought she’d be mean, but I guess I just thought she’d just be difficult most of the time, maybe slightly awkward and self-centered. Like me, you know.
I’m lucky. She makes this all so much easier by looking so adorable and having the charming disposition she does. Most of the time. To her credit, about 9 out of 10 times she is driving me crazy because she’s really tired, really hungry, or VERY bored. If I can keep her rested, fed, and mostly entertained, she’s usually a joy to be around.
I love the way she wakes up when she’s had enough sleep. She will have crazy rocker-hair, like her dad, but she’s so happy to see us. If the cat is around, she’ll give him a hug and pet him. She has this playtime ritual of going around the house gathering things up and putting lots of little bags on her arms. Then, she puts on a hat and goes to stand at the front door as if to say “I’m ready now.” She usually isn’t wearing pants or shoes.
When she really wants something, she points to it and nods very seriously, sometimes adding a “mmmh-mmmh.” If you are able to offer whatever it is she wants, she has a cute smile of relief.
When we travel, she almost always behaves like a Olympic gold medalist in toddler travel, back to defend her medal. I frequently get compliments on it, but they should really go to her. She’s even forgiving when I screw up, take something out on her, have to drag her along on some bit of unpleasant business. Blows my mind.
Outside, she will walk along with me, holding my hand, and sometimes she’ll carry her little purse or a book. She will usually smile back at people who say hello to her. She likes helping to take the trash out or take the laundry down to the washers and will be sad if she’s not included. She points out pigeons, squirrels, balloons, and dogs when we are outside. She is genuinely intrigued by musicians, wanting to stop and listen to all kinds of public performances. She will often dance if the song seems appropriate.
If you sing “Ba-ba Black Sheep” she will “baaaa” along like a little sheep. When you stop, she’ll hold up her index finger to say “one more!”
When she eats raspberries, she likes to put them on her fingers like little hats. She will blow on food if you tell her it’s hot, but her blowing on it sounds more like she’s telling it to be quiet, “fshhhhhh.” She wants to put her hands in food, but doesn’t like them being sticky or dirty so, will then offer them up to be cleaned.
She likes to video chat with her grandparents and her aunt and she likes to kiss the screen where their faces are. At bedtime, she always hugs her dad good-night and gives him high-fives over and over until he gets up and leaves. Then, she waves bye.
There are a million little things, some almost too difficult to accurately capture with words. The way she tries to put her books away when she’s done reading them, the face she makes when I find her in the middle of some really intense solo-play. The way she clings and pats my back when I take her out of her crib around 5am to take her to bed with me. The knowing look she gets when she hears certain songs playing.
Sometimes, she’ll spontaneously reach for my face and kiss me.
I don’t know what prompts it, but I know she means it. It is amazing to me that she isn’t completely sick of me yet, hasn’t hatched a plan with the cat to escape and run away to live in the supermarket unsupervised, like some kind of crazy “Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” but with more eating things and no art.
Yes, I know I’m gushing. But I’m allowed, once in awhile. I hope she can stay so darling forever, even if her habits change. As it is, I’m pretty lucky. I hope she knows that I appreciate it so much. Okay, mommy-faucet off.