And she's really smart.
It's been over a year now that I've thrown myself completely into this whole mom thing and I'll have you know, it has been no easy feat. In the beginning, I thought it would be this sort of equal give-and-take, or that I would just want to hold her forever and all would be right with the world. Boy, did I completely misjudge that role. It feels almost foolish to admit that, but I actually laugh about it now. A friend who became a parent before I did once told me, "Your kids end up ruling the house and you become the jester in their court to keep them happy." That could not be closer from the truth!
Now that A and I are making it on our own, we've met a handful of people here who have been itching to spend time with her. I welcome this because, let's face it, mama needs days off, too. The thing is, because A is such a good kid, she is misjudged as an easy baby. Simply put: there are no "easy" babies. They are all different, complex, tiny creatures with brains that are developing at an incredibly rapid pace, sponges absorbing every single thing, processing it all, and giving it right back to us.
Looking at her now, it's amazing to see how much she's grown. It's incredible to see how far she's come. I have somehow managed to interpret her gestures, emotions, and "words" and have transcribed them in her voice. At least, it's what I imagine her voice to be: intelligent, witty, and cheeky with a dash of moxie sprinkled in.
- My name is Anaïs, yes. But you can call me An-chan, "pumpkin", or "buddy". Anything else will produce a slight scowl because it will be offensive and I will be disappointed in any other name you give me that has not been given to me before.
- My best friend is my bunny who wears a top hat. He has a mustache and coattails. His name is Bradford. My old best friend was my panda named Albert. But I got bigger and he stayed small. I needed a friend that was my size. So now, Bradford is my favorite.
- I like to sleep in. And by that, I mean, I wake up between 7:30 and 8:30 depending on what time you put me to bed. If you wake up before me, don't (I repeat do not) even try to get me up, unless you are prepared to deal with a huge pout. Early rising, in my book, is a perversion. That is, until you feed me.
- I need at least one nap a day, but I really and truly prefer two. I mean, who doesn't? I like to take my first one about 2 hours after I wake up, after breakfast and after I play with you. I'm happy with a bowl of oatmeal, a glass of milk, and a banana. I love bananas. In fact, I'm obsessed with them. So much so that my mom actually hides them from me during other mealtimes otherwise you're out of luck.
- I know things. I know a lot of things. So, put me to the test. If I look bored and vacant, I will stare at you for entertainment and will expect you to ask me where my nose, tummy, eyes, mouth, hands, feet, and hair are. Ask me where I am! Ask me to make animal sounds. I know what a cat, doggie, horse, elephant, birdie, monkey, and lion say! Ask me to sing you a song. Ask me to clap my hands. Just because I'm tiny and can't really talk doesn't mean that I don't actually know things. I do, I'll have you know. Do this repeatedly and we'll be ok.
- You'll very quickly discover that I am quite curious. About everything. E V E R Y T H I N G. I don't have an enormous vocabulary, but I love love love learning. I will ask, "What's that?" a million times. More than a million times. I will point to the same thing over and over again and ask you what it is. Just answer, ok? Just tell me. Sure, I might have heard it seventeen times, but how else am I supposed to know what it is? Repetition is key, right?
- I like crawling around. I like learning how to walk, the operative word being "learning". If you hold my hand and walk with me, I feel like I am a big girl and can do anything! If you leave me to try to figure it out by myself with little to no encouragement, I'll be sad and you'll be annoyed. Let's not do that.
- When I get tired, I rub my eyes. I yawn. So when you see that after dinner, ask me if I want to take a bath. I'll respond in a half-whisper, "Baaaaaahhhh...." That is my way of saying, yes! I love baths! When I'm in the bath, I like to just sit and play with my toys. I like to splash. And if you say, "splash splash splash", I'll do it! I will! Because I love it so so so much. And when I get tired in the tub, I might say "Alllll done." And that's when you come in and say, "Time to go night night?" Don't be surprised to hear me answer immediately, "Night night," upon hearing that question.
- Once I'm all fresh and clean from my bath and towel-dried, I am ready for bed. You should know, though, that before I hit the sack, I need my lotion. Need. It makes me feel even better and smells oh, so good! So just put a little on my chest, my arms, and my legs. Don't forget my feet!
- I like books, too. I really do. I love the pictures and I especially love it when you make sound effects or get into character. Will you do that when we read together? It's the best when we read just before I go to bed. And when I'm done for the day, when I just can't keep my eyes open any more, I will say, "Night night," without hesitation.