So for the last two years in the lovely month of October I posted 21 things I love about the Quail. I’ve updated it with this year’s information in blue!
2. The way her eyes crinkle up when she grins ear to ear Now there is audio that goes along with the grin- I love her little heh-heh-heh. And I love how it matches and twines in with her sister’s giggles.The sisters share the same laugh. And when she sees one of us coming, her hands go up to her mouth in mock surprise and she hollars at the top of lungs. AAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! And then giggles.
3. The way her eyes stay trained to Lovey waiting for him to notice her. She’s still a big fan of Lovey, but these days Dora gives him a run for his money. And as much as she craves his attention, she also craves a speedy get-a-way in the middle of diaper and outfit changes. She remains a Daddy’s girl. But mention Dora the Explorer, Barney the Dinasaur or Rachel of Signing Times in our house and she stops what she is doing, furiously signs TV and goes running for her little chair in the living room. The mad escape mid-diaper change remains one of her high giggles of the day. Daddy is slowly working on schooling her in the need to stay put till she is re-robed.
4. The way she gets our attention by saying, “Uh!” when she has waited far too long. It’s more of a pterodactyl impression these days.I swear she is the loudest non-verbal kid I’ve met. She’s more likely to go attempt to get what she has been waiting for rather than wait for one of us to get it. She’ll sign what she needs as well.
5. The way she grabs our face with two hands and pulls it to her to taste our noses. Awwwww, that makes me sad, the face grabbing is no more. Now she dives in for an open-mouthed, full-on, wet, gloopy kiss. Those are the good ones. When she burrows in to a limb beware though, those little teeth are sharp and prone to clamping on. The open mouthers are fading as she perfects her smooch along with the kissing sound that accompanies it. She’s more of a hugger these days. If anyone cries, it’s her duty to sign “sad”, then urgently go hug them so they feel better. She leans down to peer into their face, reaches out to touch their cheek and then dives in for a big ole hug. Which really translates to Zuzu getting hugged alot in time-out. She also doesn’t bite anymore. Of course if you make her mad, she’s not above slapping you, pinching or pulling your hair.
6. The way we leave her in one spot, go to get something, come back 30 seconds later and she is somewhere else. Now she follows you. Unless you are with her, then she scurries away with whatever she can grab on the quick to claim as her own with it tucked into her little arm crease and a giggle and grin as she leaves you in the dust. She’s a busy girl. Leave her alone for a few seconds and you’ll find her helping herself to cereal, crackers, wipes, kleenex…pretty much anything she can unfurl. This year we have often found her up on her sister’s bed giggling away.
7. The way she nuzzles her bunny lovey to her face. She still nuzzles her warm fuzzy friends and blankets. She also feeds, hugs and coos to her baby dolls. Now she sits the babies on her lap, picks up a book and “reads” to them. Her other favorite is to grap a bag or purse, throw it over her shoulder, stuff a baby into a toy stroller, wave and take off to another room.
8. The way her eyes light up when you bring out the cereal bowl. Again with the pteradactyl impression here. Patience may be a virtue, it ain’t hers. She does continue to love food though. Her first real table food (read: not baby puree) was curried potato salad. She is more than willing to try almost anything you give her….except water and broccoli. She will attempt to rip her own tongue out of her mouth to get the broccoli back out when she realizes she has been duped. And I can’t blame her with the water- if you had Thick-it added to your water you’d be grossed out too. It’s also not lost on me the irony that the kid who will eat everything won’t eat broccoli, but her sister- who will hardly eat anything not already designated personally into her toddler 4 food group pyramid scheme of cheese food, nugget, sugar or whole-milk yogurt loves her little trees “all day” as she so sweetly puts it. Food- she’s consistent- she has a prune/apple/kefir smoothie and cheerios at breakfast, whatever they offer at school lunch and a green baby veggie/kefir smoothie at dinner. Most other foods, well Zuzu has schooled her in what toddler’s eat and she isn’t creating any new openings. The big hurray this year though was that she now can eat toddler solid foods- bring on the pizza and nuggets- last year at this time she didn’t have the oral motor strength to chomp them!
9. The way her eyes stay trained to yours when you look at her. Both in her glee to see you and in her measured estimation of your level of anger. If she thinks she’s in trouble she locks eyes waiting to hear the reprimand. And before you feel too sorry for this little rascal, I can assure you the reprimands are few and far between for her. She’s clear on the no-nos which at this stage include no biting and no full-on clean swipes of your dinner from your tray to the floor. The naughties have started. She doesn’t glare, she quickly goes into her patented head-tilt-down, bottom lip pushed out to bird perch sad face. A quick firm no typically still does the job. Next year at this time I’m sure it won’t as we’ve had a handful of out-and-out refusals where she stomps her foot and either kicks over what you are asking her to pick up or just a firm plop down and arm crossing.
10. The way she lets you know by screaming when she’s had enough “affection” from her big sister. Um, no change here. Now she swats her away.
11. The way she nuzzles into your neck when you hold her up on your shoulder. Now she lays her little head down on your shoulder and offers up a little pat on your back.Happily this remains! When you pick her up to carry her to bed, she lays her little head down on your shoulder in a contented way. If you’re lucky she’ll pat your back along the way. She loves going to bed.
12. The way she lifts her legs when you pull out a diaper to change her. Now she says diaper and all done when you are finished. Now she signs potty with a waving B sign or by grabbing her diaper and runs off to her little potty. She pees and poops in the potty, flushes the big potty when you empty hers in, puts her old diaper in the trash and knows she gets a sticker for her chart! She’s started officially potty-training at school and is one of the top 3 kids in her class in terms of progress. We laughed out loud when a couple weeks into joining the pre-school 2 year old room she started offering up her own “downward dog” for getting her bummie wiped after going potty. The last time we had seen that move was from her sister 2 years ago in Ms. Chrystal’s class. Girlfriend has got a couple dozen stickers a couple of weeks into the training!
13. The way she laughs (heh-heh-heh) when you press your face into her belly and give her a raspberry. The big change is you don’t have to physically touch her to elicit a giggle anymore. A sound, a look, a joke, your laughter any silly attention from Zuzu and she’s cracking up! She loves to laugh and now she’s fairly certain she’s the funniest joker around.
14. The way she lifts her little arms up overhead when she wants you to pick her up. That was really the first sign. The most frequent these days are drink, up, book and please. I’m fairly certain those cover her world at present. Her signing vocabulary is pretty good, her expressive speech-not so much. Right now she’s working hard on individual letter sounds though and can read the important parts of “Moo, Baa, La,La,La” just like her sister did. Don’t be fooled though, her receptive language and cognitive functioning is spot on. At 31 months, she has the tests the same as a 30 month old cognitively and a 32 month old socially and emotionally. In the last week we’ve discovered Kaufman cards though and how to teach her speech approximations rather than asking her to say the entire word. It’s like we’re finally speaking her language as she claps and cheers as she tries to pronouce the approximation. I’m not entirely sure if she’s cheering for herself or for us for finally speaking sense to her!
15. The way she concentrates so fully on the television when Baby Einstein comes on. She likes some Baby Einstein- mostly the Baby Wordsworth, some Signing Times and any Dora. Otherwise she’s a book girl these days. The TV can be on and she’ll crawl across the room to pull a pile of books down from any shelf, chair, bench, or coffee table in eyesight. You may think you only want to read Blankie a couple of times but this girl would prefer you keep up the recitation. Still a big fan of anything Dora and now Barney. She still prefers books though, she’ll listen to anything, but loves, “Moo, Baa, La, La, La, Blankie, Binky and Barnyard Dance”.
16. The way you can feel her heart beat as you kiss the soft fontenalle on her head. Still open and still sweet. The more mobile she gets though the more anxious I am to have that close! Still open and still anxiety provoking as she takes to trying to stand on her head. The good news is her little ticker will keep on ticking without intervention for now. What a blessing.
17. The sweet baby, milky, yeasty way she smells. Um, the poopy, curdled milk, dirt from the playground smell is a little less appealing. But you know- when it’s your kid it’s still all good. I do love the way she smells like sunscreen and sand when she comes home from school, it’s just so dang normal.
18. The way she splish-splashes in the tubby. Hmmmm….not so cute now that it goes everywhere and the usual activity involves repeatedly throwing wet toys out of the tubby. I’m proud of her skill and persistance but still….The stisters still enjoy a tubby together and still raise quite a ruckus.
19. The way she hollars a reminder to come get her if everyone has congegrated in a room that she isn’t in. Unless she’s over tired or over hungry she’ll come find you. Now she’ll hollar and come find you. She will hollar Daddy for him and Ada for her sister. I take what I can get. Ask her to sign or say Momma and she shows off her understanding of the word NO!
20. The community that she has brought us along into with her. We are so blessed to be a part of this “family”. I still consider the community she binds us to one of the biggest blessings of her gift.
21. Her, just her.I heart her. Still her- magical her!