Wednesday, September 24, 2008

. . . the return of the faux

You may recall many, many months ago when the sweetest baby was sporting a feminine version of daddy's hairstyle. It was her first foray into things faux and we-the-parents have not seen the likes of such ee-mee-tah-see-on, if you will, since. From the moment the rest of her hair grew in, our forthright girl has been nothing but the 'what-you-see-is-what-you-get' kind of baby - making it fairly easy for us to gauge her behavior and our responses to it.

The first hint of a reemergence of the faux came during a recent dinner at one of the girl's early haunts. The independent, self-feeding baby-grown-up started choking on her (V-8 Fusion cleverly disguised by mama as) juice. Mama reacted with the expected lightning-speed pats on the back, which seemed to help the tiniest girl recover.

After breathing a sigh of relief, mama was beginning to return to her own dinner plate when her efforts were arrested by the 'ack, ack, ack' sounds coming from baby-adorable. Quickly dropping her fork, mama moved in close to her tiny baby and started patting her on the back again. After a mere moment, the 'ack, ack' sound was replaced by a low 'aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh', interrupted with the staccato thuds from mama's pats. Mama stopped her patting, and looked at the girl, who was nothing but serious as she began to 'cough' again.

"Ack, ack, ack", said the baby, and looked expectantly at mama with her big, brown eyes. "Ack, ack" she said again insistently, waiting for the next pat. Of course, you can imagine how we-the-parents responded to what must now be the cutest-thing-ever. We could barely keep our laughter at a socially acceptable level as our girl studied us with her oh-so-serious eyes and fake coughs.

In the end, honesty won out, and baby-truthful dissolved into laughter with mama and daddy, we-the-family happy and completely amused with one another and the first, innocent deception of our growing girl.

And, to brighten your day with an example of the kind of sincerity we're talking about, here's a picture of those eyes. Go ahead. "Uh-door-uh-bul".

Monday, September 22, 2008

. . . a Fair Warning

Yes, we-the-parents keep thinking we've totally baby-proofed the house - at least the main areas where baby-adorable plays. And just about the time we think we've really got everything fastened, locked and placed out of the reach of little hands, our tiny girl shows us just how wrong we are.

Take, for example, the photograph below. That white, rectangular thing in baby-sweetest's hand used to be a fairly functional cassette tape of circa 1981 vintage. The talented baby girl has released it from the confines of it's plastic case with a little help from Remy the cat. It's further proof that a toddler's reach is equivalent to twice the length a parent believes it to be.

*Yes, we still have tapes hanging around. Yes, we're mostly digital, and we both love our iPods, but we do feel a responsibility to preserve a small part of history for a girl who will most likely never own a cassette of her own.

Monday, September 8, 2008

. . . new levels of cute and a little independence

The sweetest is seemingly cuter every day. We-the-parents don't know how this happens, as to us, she's always been the cutest thing we've ever seen, and yet, daily we sit and watch as this adorable factor multiplies. Sometimes, the cuteness gets you right in the chest.

Yesterday, for example, baby-sweetheart noticed a doll that was sitting high on a shelf in the back room. The doll was mama's own doll when she was tiny. It's wearing a purple dress with matching purple bloomers - both trimmed in little white lace. The doll was a gift from babymama's grandmother, and the dress was made by babymama's mother. It's a special doll that mama has saved from her own childhood, and one that the baby girl immediately desired.

'Uh! Dat!' she pointed at the doll. Her little face was so excited and hopeful. So mama decided to give it to her . . . and the rest of the day, the little 'mama' carried her 'baby' with her everywhere. She fed the baby a bottle (imagined by the girl from a container of eye-make-up remover she took from mama's bag), covered her up and patted her back. And then in the what was one of the cutest moments of our family life, she found a comfy spot on the ottoman, pulled her baby into her lap and a box of baby-wipes to her side and proceeded to carefully wash the baby's face - one wipe after another.

This morning, first thing after getting up, baby-cutest grabbed her 'baby' and held her to her chest as she watched the Wiggles. She sat on mama's lap and held her baby for a few more minutes, and then carried her baby into the bedroom to show daddy while he was getting ready for work. When it was time to leave for school, both of the 'babies' were waiting by the door.

Needless to say, mama's little girl took her 'baby' on the car ride to school, and mama is still smiling thinking of how cute she looked strapped into her car seat with that baby-doll hugged close to her cheek. So grown-up already.

And in the realm of grown up, the ever learning toddler that is our Averie has started putting on her own pants. Mostly she likes to put them on, stand up and then take them off. She hasn't mastered the art of pulling them up all the way over her diaper, but we feel that's coming soon. It appears that we're nearing the stage of potty chairs, and mama can't wait to try this one.

Friday, September 5, 2008

. . . her first enigma

We-the-parents have been feeling pretty lame over the past month after realizing that our baby-brilliant has outgrown most of her toys. Our ephiphany came after watching her play with an adorable little boy who's a little shy of 2 years older than our girl. She loved him, and she loved his toys - little cars, a table and chair set, some great art stuff, etc. Our return home was a sad one for all of us: she, tiny and disappointed to be home again, missing her new pal and stuck with a bunch of baby toys, and us, older and disappointed in ourselves for not seeing the obvious.

But hark! Thanks to John Spilsbury, a remedy (albeit one in-progress) has begun, and our recent toy shopping selections included three wooden puzzles. Even though the puzzles are designed for older kids, they've turned out to be the perfect fit* in the tiny one's daily entertainment schedule.

Baby-smartest figured out the shapes puzzle right away, even managing to get the confusing diamond, rectangle and square shapes into their respective homes. The other two puzzles are farm animals and jungle animals, and the sweet girl loves to work on both of them at the same time.

Speaking of animals, the girl loves them, and can demonstrate even more animals sounds than before. She does the most amazing owl imitation. She's so good at it, in fact, that when we-the-parents awakened in the dark a few nights ago, it took us both several minutes to figure out that the sound we thought was coming through her baby monitor was actually a real-live owl outside our window. Whoo-hoo-hoo-hoooooo!

*That one is just to make daddy smile. It's a joke, see? A perfect fit? You're laughing, right?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

. . . a dance in five steps

The less-baby, more toddler sweetheart that lives in our house has a new chant these days. This enthusiastic mantra, like many of the girl's expressions, includes full body movement, and we-the-family have started to participate in it together, as one, whenever we have the opportunity.

It starts suddenly, so if you'd like to join in, you need to know the steps. Here's how to share the fun:

1. Suddenly and unexpectedly stop everything you're doing. Drop things if necessary, but you must come to a complete standstill.

2. Stand up and bend forward a little, at the hips, so that your back is at roughly a 25-degree angle to your hips.

3. Be sure your eyes are serious and your will resolute before continuing.

4. Bend your knees and push your body upwards, extending both arms (shoulder width apart) toward the heavens while shouting, "The sky! The sky! The sky!"

5. Finally, smile and laugh and give a tiny jump on one foot while leaving the other one on the ground. Laugh some more and repeat.

Of course we love it, and swear it's the, well, you know . . .

Mama must admit, however, that there are times it feels a bit cult-like.

* Also new in the world of adorable, our girl recently (a la the 23rd) discovered wind during a morning walk. She loves it, and we think she finds it funny. Whenever it blows around her, she stretches out her little arms and waves them back and forth, up and down while scrunching up her face and laughing. Mama is glad the tiny one likes it, and feels that this will be a good thing as the family (sans Daddy, sniff) makes plans for another upcoming dance - this one with three not so great acquaintances. .