Tuesday, August 28, 2012

about Anna (21 months)

She says her best friend is 'dada' or sometimes 'grandpa'. She runs the other way laughing and jumps headfirst into the pillows when you try to get her shoes off, change her diaper or get her to eat. She answers "Anna, do you love (fill in the blank)?" with a kiss, sometimes wrapping her arms around my head and pulling me down for extra emphasis. She is distressed by the smallest crumb or mess and is always ready with a kitchen towel to wipe up a mess. Every mess. Any mess.

She has big blue, blue eyes and perfect lips. The world's smallest hands and feet and lots of straggly fine hair.

She slept till 1 today and sometimes wakes up at 7.

She eats a lot when she feels like it and nothing at all most of the time.

Frozen peas are her favorite snack. "mElmo" was one of her first words despite never watching Sesame Street. She favours her cars, her tractor, her Dora ball and her farm. She hasn't passed a rock without needing to pick it up. She runs wherever she goes and her hands are always full, always carrying something, anything.

Her nos are often accompanied with a sudden and dramatic full body collapse onto the ground, other times simply with a flailing arm and shaking head. They are always repeated but have many levels of urgency and intonation.

She says 'yah' all the time too. Really excited she yells 'ya ya ya ya ya YAAAA!' and if she wants your attention she gets it not with 'mama' or 'dada' but 'YAYA!'

She wants to be outside all the time but doesn't like going in the car. Where we live, you can't have one without the other. Strapped in her car seat with her legs bowed out because she's too long to sit backwards and too light to turn forwards she immediately demands her milk and her papi, both in the most pathetic voice possible. Speaking of soy milk, nearly everything we own is covered in it because every sippy cup seems to spill and she often asks for milk not because she is thirsty but just because she can.

Even her skinny jeans often end up around her ankles.

She loves taking baths and you better not even mention the word unless you are prepared to drop everything that very minute. She has walked straight into the freezing sound and into lakes, not looking back, not waiting for us and not even noticing that she was fully clothed, and soaking wet.

The other day she climbed to the top of the big kid playground and to the top of the twisty slide before I could reach her. Other times, she won't take a single step unless I'm holding her hand.

Even we can't figure her out.

She can smile and point at the pictures of her cousins and family on our fridge for hours. She absolutely loves 'babies'.

She manages to be extremely affectionate while not even remotely cuddly.

She knows all her body parts and about a zillion animal sounds including a falcon, rhino and what she thinks hippos say. She will come up with an answer for any animal sound you ask her to make. But she thinks all letters are "OOOh", every colour "boo" or "wellwo" and every number "too". We have some work to do.

Anna narrates her life in an incessant and incomprehensible language. She speaks in sentences and paragraphs, tells stories and asks questions that only she can understand. She takes her books off the shelves, flips through and reads them out loud before tossing them across the room.

She loves cleaning up messes, throwing out garbage and even carrying the garbage can. She 'helps' with the laundry, unloading the dishwasher and getting the mail. Feeding Jack and giving him treats is her new favorite thing. She absolutely loves 'Yack' and greets him with a 'hey bubbo!' every time she sees him.

She has the girliest, sweetest, highest little baby voice you will ever hear. 'Uh -oh' is her favorite word and when she wants ice cream (iced coconut milk) she yells NNNNNUUUUMMMMMMYYYY!

She has learned to vault her tiny little body up on the couch and the bed on her own and begs for us to spin her, throw her, turn her upside down. Adam is teaching her to do somersaults at her cue.

She loves attention. Eats it up. Demands it. Expects a captive audience - from strangers and friends alike. Puts on a show whether she knows it or not. But only on her terms.

She waves at strangers in the car, crossing the street and any other time often yelling out 'BYE!'. She will give out hugs and kisses too. If anyone is laughing anywhere she takes full credit for the joke and laughs back. She stands on the sidelines until she decides that she wants to be in the center.

If we take so much as one bite of food she will remind us to pray, folding her hands together, whispering under her breath and ending with a loud, mmmmen. And my heart melts.

She was born with a stubborn streak that soon turned into defiance. Always maintaining eye contact while nonchalantly disobeying. A perpetual battle of wills, her and I.

If you cry she probably will too. If you get scared or alarmed she will too. She takes empathy to a new level. The sweet girl has more than a little of her Mor Mor in her. She simply bursts into tears if she thinks she's disappointed you and has only one level of sad - extremely devastatingly sad beyond all belief.

The tears come easily and so do laughs. Her mood swings faster than our cat's. I often stare at her in wonder. She blows my mind. In the best way possible.

She looks just like her dada yet reminds me so much of me sometimes. A better version of me.

It doesn't take long to get to know her, and she makes friends wherever she goes. She's a piece of work, she's hard to put into words, and she is our whole wide world.


erikka said...

LOVE this Sheri. So glad we got to spend time with Anna and witness some of these special characteristics first hand. She's such a sweet girl!

Ann-Marie said...

What a sweet, sweet post about (and for) your sweet, sweet girl. I hope I remember to do this every now and again for Johanna.

Unknown said...

This is such a sweet, thoughtful, well-written post. I feel like I know her through reading your description. This was beautiful!

AJ said...

Love my baby girl. Thanks for such an awesome gift to our lovehead.

AJ said...

Love my baby girl. Thanks for such an awesome gift to our lovehead.