dear ashelyn (16 months)

Posted on: 31 July 2013

The simplest things amaze you: cottonwood fluff, a new toy, water boiling on the stove. We hear your exuberant “WOW!” often. It’s the best defense against becoming old and jaded.

Another nugget of wisdom you’ve shown me? Cheer for yourself, even when you don’t succeed. You clap heartily upon completion of the tower you’re building and just as heartily if the blocks topple.IMG_3900

New understood words: cute, dance, sing, hot, airplane, twist. New spoken words: honey, squeeze (gee), love you (ohw voo) and 爱你, 阿公 (grandpa), 抱, banana, shoes, bath, 妹妹 (little sister), again, cheese, butterball. You employ simple sentences like “妈妈 抱!” (Mama, up!)

Butterball is the name of your rotund stuffed sheep. I think it’s your cutest word. You pronounce it “buh-duh-BOWH!”

Still dancing up a storm, and singing, too! The aforementioned twist is one of your dance moves, which you break out on command. You’ve picked up simple melodic refrains from a few songs – the “oh oh oh” part in Lincoln Brewster’s “Today is the Day,” the coda of Vienna Teng’s “In the 99.” (What children’s music?)

Somehow you’ve decided that burps and toots are funny, giggle-worthy, all on your own. And sneezes, you gleefully imitate sneezes: “Ah-chee!”

IMG_20130724_231838Daddy is your hero. You shriek, “Ba BA? Ba BA?!” whenever you hear a noise outside that could conceivably be him, whether it’s a car driving by or the mail carrier. You have half an eye out for him all day. Except at night it’s all mama, all the time. You don’t go to sleep for anyone else, at least not without a fight. An epic one.

Sometimes you run around with both arms outstretched behind you, kind of like an airplane, or the soccer goal victory run. You’ve also discovered spinning in circles.

I’m impressed by your fine motor control. You can pick up stray hairs (mine, of course) from the hardwood and kitchen tile. At dinner, I’ve observed you peeling the skin off a (cooked) peanut and picking individual roe off sushi rice.

And you often pop grapes into your mouth whole, only to spit out the skin afterwards. Once I gave you a plum, then promptly forgot that I had given you a plum … until you came up to me several minutes later and spit the pit, sucked perfectly clean, into my palm. (I know, I’m terrible.)IMG_20130727_151025

You can find a tiny bell in the odds-and-ends bowl and know it comes from one of my flip flops. I know this because I caught you in the coat closet trying to reattach it.


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