But you, my darling love, are 16 months old today and today is all about you. I don't want to forget (in that horrible, cruel way time has) one single thing about how you are now.
You are so curious, imperious, affectionate. You have a strong sense of your rights and what makes you happy. Things that make you happy: being upside down, dogs, strange and tacky toys with lights and bells and cymbels playing, dress-ups, strawberries - and let me not forget any and all mechanical devices, most particularly mobile phones. Being upside down while someone blows raspberries on your feet is your idea of heaven and you giggle and squeal ferociously.
You have the sweetest little hand dance for 'pick me up' you stretch out both arms and then twirl your hands in intricate designs as if you're doing some lovely Pacific Island dance. (I am tempted to say you picked it up when you were still an egg inside mummy, in those 3 years in Tonga, Solomons, Vanuatu, but I suspect it's just you!) You say 'Uh' for up.
You have many words - mumma, dadda, dodo (dog), nana, na-na (banana) hi-ya, ta and 'bubba' (for you) are the most common. Oh - and daw - for draw, said most desperately when I am trying to write something and you need the pen and paper. 'Daw, daw, daw!'
You think your big brother is amazing and you love being around him, although you often have a slightly wary expression (he's wonderful! - is he going to bowl me over? he's wonderful! is he going to take my toy?) Every morning when you have finished feeding you crawl over to your brother and try to wake him up. Which is where you get the name Miss Mischief. While doing so you give us a cheeky grin. Basically you don't like him asleep anytime you are awake and any time you see him asleep you do your utmost to wake him up.
You are going to be a climber my precious. Ha. Who am I kidding. You are a climber. You climbed up a five foot slide all by yourself recently, you climb up onto the kitchen chair and from thence onto the kitchen table and once you even climbed from there onto the tray of your high chair.
This kind of thing is not good for a mother's heart. But I'm kinda proud as well.
We are practicing 'gentle hands', and when you give my face hard little pats I show you how to stroke instead. It is so sweet to see you practicing on your own cheeks. When I am holding you, you will often give my back soft little pats. The feel of your soft, skinny arms around my neck is almost enough to make me cry. Every. Single. Time.
You are a hugger. Our little snuggle-up-agus.
You have recently decided that your daddy is a very good thing and when he goes away you climb up onto the couch at the front window and stand and point and say 'da-da, da-da, da-da' most plaintively.
You love your stories (with a soft spot for the ones that have bits that you can feel) although you also love the one about the trains and the Green Sheep and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. Ones that squeak are pretty cool.
You already have an admirer. There is a four year old boy at playgroup that comes up and gives you big hugs and you are delighted to return his big hugs.
You love to play in mud and water. And I am delighted to let you.Your face is often muddy. As much as I love to play dress-ups with you (I have been collecting clothes for you for a LONG time) there is nothing you have that is going to put me in conniptions if it gets wet or paint covered or otherwise suffers irredeemable harm. Life's for living my love, not for keeping clean.
You love to feed me, stuffing violets, dandelions and other delicacies into my mouth when we are in the garden. You also love the clothes peg game. When we are hanging up the washing you desire to see how many clothes pegs you can hold at once. Two in this hand. Two in that hand. One in the mouth. Hmmm. I know! One in mummy's mouth!
You are leaving your baby-hood behind my love, and much as I try to cling to it, you are such a dainty looking little elf that already you look more like a little girl than a chubby baby. Wise, mischievous, adventure loving. You have a very expressive face with some classic expressions, the determined thrust out jaw, the petted lip, the mischievous grin, the sweet smile, the all out glowing delight.So many things I've left out, but, let me just say that you are my delight, my joy and my solace and that when our days turn into the kind of juggling acts wherein all the eggs are dropped with a loud splat, a hug or a smile from you makes it all good again.
You are the singing bird in my heart.