My Kaia, “Mama’s Baby”:
Eighteen months already! Ya know, 18 months is a pretty big deal. I mean, this month when people ask me your age I can actually say “A year and a half”. That’s pretty cool. And, it must be a big milestone because all kinds of toys are labeled for 18+ months, and clothes for 18- 24 months old seem so grown up to me. A whole year…and a half. And you, my baby, are a girl and a half!
This month has been incredibly fun and exhausting, full of newness and adventure. It’s been a linguistic sort of month, which is fun for your linguistic sort of Mama. Your words now come at such an expeditious speed that I can barely keep up. When your Daddy gets up with you in the mornings, I now hear you chatter in “real words” instead of just baby babble. It stills me, fills me, and thrills me…and I snuggle into the bed on my soft sheets and smile while your tiny voice lulls me back to sleep (by the way, did I mention how much I love that your Daddy does this for me sometimes?). Some of my favorite of your new contributions: “Oh boy”, “Biiite?” (when asking for a bite of food), “Bite” (for vitamin), “Bunny”, “Shoes”, “Boots”, “Cheese”, “Bean”, “Agua”, “Ne’Allllp” (Need Help), “A’pane!” (airplane), “Ba’oon” (balloon), “Poo-poo”, “Pee-pee”, “Koi-a” (your name) or “Kai-Kai”, “Wa’emup” (Roll ‘Em Up), “Bayee Bu’in” (Belly Button), “Bubble” “Bear” (what you said when you saw the honey bear container on our counter), “Toot”, “Mmmmooooo!” (noise for any 4+ legged animal), “Apple” (for applesauce too), “Honnnnneeyy” and “Jayyyyy!” (repeating what I say when I call out to your Daddy). You pretty much repeat anything we request, as long as you are in the mood. Hey, speaking of “Toot”, did I ever mention that you have a funny book called “Winchell Cuts the Cheese”? And whenever we get to the pages where it says “And he…CUT THE CHEESE”, you grin, look up at me, and make a big ol’, rippin’ toot noise?! It amuses me every single time.
You also say lotsa names like Craig, Robin, Kate, Jeff, Papa, Emma, Liam, Mia, Nina, Ty-Ty, and Maya. There is still a handful I’m trying to teach you, we’ve got an awful big family to learn. Also, we’ve taught you how to say “Peace” while flashing the Peace sign. Well, kind of. You can’t quite figure out how to solely isolate your index and middle finger to complete the sign, but you try all kinds of funny variations.
While at my Mama’s house this Christmas, all of the family and some cousins and Aunts and Uncles were sitting in the living room with us. Someone asked if you’d ever said a sentence, and with you on my lap, I answered “No, not really. Only things like Bye, Bye Baby”. Well, you had been sharing bites of your Uncle Craig’s ice cream sandwich and you, of course, knew how to say “Bite”. But right after that conversation, I turned to you and said “Ask Uncle Craig if you can have a bite”, totally expecting you to respond with “Biiite?” Instead, clear as a bell and in the midst of the silence of the crowd, you asked “Can I’ve a bite?” We all sat astounded, and most everyone said aloud “Did she just say what I think she said???” It was lovely and magical. And it was only once. You silly, smart, goofy little baby.
My girl, you go on record for an entire bodacious month of sleeping through the night! I’m not even kidding. Many times, you awake at some dark hour and peep out in the night, but less than 30 seconds later you are back down for the count. I cannot believe what a difference this has made in my energy level, my outlook, my philosophy on life and love and…okay, that’s stretching it a bit, but seriously it’s been wonderful. However, I was a bit devastated when, on our Christmas vacation, the night wakings began to slowly creep back into our lives like some kind of icky mold. And, you had to schedule twice a night wakings – on the dot – during my last four vacation days here at home. I can say, with sincere gratitude though, that at least it only takes a few spoonfuls of yogurt, a breakfast bar, or even just a few pats on the back to get you back to snooze land. Let’s please hope that this new hobby of yours is just a result of you trying to adjust to being back home after experiencing three different time zones in one week. Because you don’t know how I’ve laid in bed, daydreaming about how I’ll actually be able to pack in some sleep during the last five months of this pregnancy. Five months of decent sleep –what will I do with myself?! Then, it’s back to the grind of mega-night wakings for another…ohhhhh, two years? Muuuhhhh-ha-ha (evil laugh of the night-waking sprites).
You covet naked time, in which you almost always march around on your tippy toes and then sort of crouch and dip down, walking crooked like an old woman. What a riot! Your nightly bath is your welcome ritual, helping you to relax and play and prepare for Night-Night. You could stay in the bubbly, warm water for hours. Now, if only I could manage a nightly bubble bath for myself…
The thought of you becoming a big sister soon is almost harder to wrap my head around than the concept of meeting you for the first time. You seem to be all I have ever known, with me for many lifetimes. You and I. I and You. Daddy and us. To add another sweet soul to our tribe seems traitorous, disloyal, and disruptive of this groovy thing we got goin’ on. And yet, I know in my deepest of hearts and with the same cells that created you, that this new baby will be another bright-hot flicker in our flame of love. And we’ll smolder and warm the world together.
It seems that I am actually observing you blossom, like the sweetest and most fragrant of flowers, every single moment. I see your mind and heart curl and twist and bend towards the sun, eager to learn and create and love. I watch you close gently and slowly at times, when you need a respite or when you are stumbling upon the secrets of the moon. You are turning into a little girl, with a wicked sense of humor, an insatiable curiosity, and a desire for independence. You have also learned that hitting mama or the doggy, or brazenly ripping off my eyeglasses in a moment of fury, gets a reaction of sorts. I am focused on trying not to always say “No” immediately and sternly, although I admit that’s my instant gut reaction. Instead, I try to respond by kneeling to your level, holding your hands and asking you to “please be gentle, not to hurt Mama or the doggy, and that it’s Owie and that we don’t hit each other, that our hands are for loving.” You mostly just stare back at me blankly, sometimes with one eyebrow raised as if to say “Oh really?” I can only imagine what fun lies ahead. My patience will be tested, no doubt. But we’ll continue to grow together, learn each other, push each other’s buttons, and fall into each others arms for the closest of cuddly hugs. Knowing my arms will always be big enough to encase you (and never too tired) is such an infinite blessing and a glorious gift.
The concept and reality of abundance has been on my mind recently. My Kaia, you are my abunDANCE…the music to which I sway and rock out to, whose mystical rhythm I get lost and found in again and again. You have a way of leaving me breathless and then reminding me to breathe again. You are my great dichotomy, part mystery and part pure knowledge. In all of it, in all of you, I revel.
I love you.