The Quail has morphed into a monkey of late. She only has eyes for Zuzu and whatever Zuzu does, the Quail tries. I can see where this may lead us into trouble come the teenage years . For a kiddo blessed with an extra chromosome though, this skill is something to make the most of. Zuzu has wanted a partner in crime for some time now. So, as parents we can focus our attention on Zuzu’s rhythms and patterns and the Quail’s will follow. Whether it is potty time, signing time, dinner time or play time Zuzu’s desire to do something gets the Quail hopping, hollering, crawling, cart-wheeling and swinging.
The changes in the Quail are subtle. One minute she’s our baby and the next that baby is gone. A week after Sugarplum came home from the hospital and our tired eyes reopened enough to get a good look at the other girls, both Lovey and I experienced the sudden sibling growth that you hear about. The birth of a baby whisks away the babyhood of your others. Suddenly we have to heft her up, her shoes are too tight, her shirts bare her beebo, while her shorts have turned her in to a plumber. She barely fits in the crook of our neck when we carry her to bed. I don’t remember this being so vivid when the Quail came home. Zuzu remained our lil sweet-ums it seems to me. Maybe because she stayed tucked in and nursing for the months that followed. When Lovey suggested we take her in to get weighed though I had to remind him that considering she had just been in to the pediatrician 2 weeks before, I didn’t think insurance would cover, “I have a new baby, so my old one became a giant” syndrome.
It isn’t just her size. It’s her play, which is all about pretending she’s on her way out with a purse, a baby and a stroller. Coloring specific parts of pictures. Reading her babydolls to sleep. Settling herself into her kitchen chair without a boost from one of us and on to the couch cushions without the aid of her step-stool. Finding her suddenly with a half-crushed cereal bar in one hand and an open tub of raisins in the other. Walking in to the kitchen and noticing the little kid dishes drawer yanked open and tiny plastic pink and green bowls set out on each corner of the table.
It’s her dress. You walk into a room following a trail of unders, socks and a random shoe. You find her with one sock half on, her sister’s shorts draped part way below her knees and above her pull-up, a naked chest and a handful of wipes. She is forever swiping wipes.
And then you talk to her. She’s full of opinions. Mine. No. Momma. Da. Sister. Baby. Kiss. Cat. Yes. Barney. Shoe. Kefir. Juice. Cracker. NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! It’s subtle. It’s quiet. Well, all but No, and Barney (Ney). I can see the speech coming now. I’ve been worried if it would. I feared it might not. Now, finally there are quiet whispers of words to come.