I'm so sorry I haven't updated this in so long. When you're awake, I spend most of my time chasing after you, and when you're asleep, I try to get to the gym or tidy the house or grade papers or one of a thousand other things.
I have been recording a lot of what you do and say on my other blog, but I had a goal with this one, and that was to dedicate it to you and your progress so that someday you could read all about yourself if you choose to. Anyway, I'm sorry. Writing once a month isn't too hard to do, and I should make an effort to keep it up.
Well, the big news today is that we just got back from our annual trip to Eugene, Oregon. Everyone in our family commented on how tall you are, how beautiful you are, and especially how smart and verbal you are. I think your speech has changed and improved even in the last week. You use complex and compound (and compound-complex) sentences to express your ideas, you can tell little stories, you have funny new intonations... You suddenly sound incredibly... conversational. Today at the post office, you asked some stranger "How's it going?" She answered, "I'm pretty good, how are you?" You said "very well." While we were in Oregon, you asked why we couldn't see the crescent moon. We explained that sometimes we could see more of the moon than others. You said "Oh, well, I think it's broken. I think a monster took a bite of it." You've also gone from the typical two-year-old demands of "I want gum!" to "Can I have something? Well, I was thinking about gum." (Not that you don't sometimes still fuss and demand.)
You are also exceptionally interested in hearing other people talk and tell stories. You insist on us telling you stories all the time, and have on several occasions, right after I've kissed you goodnight, grabbed me and insisted, "talk to me!" You also demand to know what everyone is saying in the songs on the radio, and why they are saying it. Today we had a long conversation about why someone might hang their head, what they might have done to make them feel sad or ashamed, and how they might need their mommy to help them feel better. I sang you a snippet of "Hello, Goodbye" the other day, and you had a whole theory as to why the girl might tell the boy goodbye and no, and that maybe she didn't want to go on a date with him. You have strong feelings about "Tell Me Why," and you really want to know why the girl cried. I find this attention to lyrics especially interesting, because I am so interested in lyrics myself. People are always saying "Ooh, I love the way they use the zither in that song!" and I'll be like "the what?" But I know all the lyrics by heart.
We met your newest cousin (or first cousin once removed), Aidan, on this trip. He is 7 weeks old, and he waves his little hands around, occasionally getting them in just the right spot to keep his pacifier in, just as you did. But the contrast of how you move now is startling! Everything you do is so intentional. You insist on climbing up into your carseat by yourself. You put your shoes on and try hard to get the strap into the buckle. You can put Barbie shoes on -- not consistently, but often, and you do NOT want help. I even watched you in half-sleep one night as you tucked a doll into the crook of your arm, pulled the blanket up to your chin, and adjusted the pillow under your head. It kind of blew my mind -- just one year ago, we put you to sleep in a fleece bag because you couldn't pull up your blanket if you kicked it off by accident. Now you're practically making the bed.
One day a few weeks ago, I came home after you had spent some time with your dad, and you were both singing a little song. It was simple -- three descending "mmms," then a name like "Little Bear" or "Mama Bear" or "Papa Bear." I thought your dad had made it up and you had picked it up to copy him. Then you were singing the "helping hand" song, a song that neither your Grandma nor I can explain where it comes from. It always has the same melody and the same, slightly indecipherable, lyrics. I finally became convinced you had simply made it up, and I was telling your auntie that, when your dad piped in and said you had made up the Little Bear song, too. I'm sure many kids make up their own little songs, but this sort of makes my head explode, too. You've made up your own songs? I mean... wow.
You are the reigning queen of loopholes, by the way. We told you you couldn't say "go away" anymore, and that you'd have a time-out if you did. So you started just saying "go," then looking at us slyly. Sometimes you got to "go ahhh...." but then stopped. Then you started saying go away again, but you insisted each time that you hadn't been telling US to go away -- you had aimed your ire at Max, the imaginary elephant. You couldn't get in trouble if you weren't saying it to us, right? When we caught on and outlawed saying it even to our imaginary compatriots, you made up a third song. "I'm singing go away, go away, go away." Yeah, we banned that song. For a while, you tried other variations on the theme, like "Mo amay" and "fo afay." Then you started saying the "rain, rain, go away" rhyme, but really punching the "go away" part. Sometimes we have to work hard to keep a straight face at just how clever you are.
Well, you're awake from a nap now, and you are "doing some work" on a Barbie shoe. I'd better return to my normally scheduled life.
I love you more than you could ever imagine.