asphodellium

one point five

Posted on: 12 October 2013

Dear Ashelyn,

Almost two weeks ago you turned eighteen months, but I suspect you believe you’re at least three. If you had your way, you’d sit at table with us on a regular chair, sans bib because bibs are for babies, and drink from a mug the size of your head because the bigger, the better.

Old enough to handle grocery shopping.

Old enough to handle grocery shopping.

If you had your way, music – either live or recorded – would be playing all the time. Every moment. Sometimes it’s the first word you blearily utter upon waking from a nap: “Woo-sik?” When we sneakily turn the sound off, thinking you’re distracted with another activity, you notice.

If you had your way, it wouldn’t be my iPod touch, it’d be yours. And locked doesn’t satisfy anymore; you want it, as you say, “on,” so you can thumb through the apps and control which songs play. This has been the case ever since you accidentally found Angry Birds, which now trumps “butterball” as your cutest phrase. (“ANGRYBUHD!”) You also managed to clear the first level of Cut the Rope with a perfect three stars …

And then she's like, Mama! My fingers are dirty, wipe them!

And then she’s like, Mama! My fingers are dirty, wipe them!

You’re particular about details and compulsively disassemble things into their smallest units. Perhaps the best illustration of this is the way you eat blackberries: drupelet by drupelet, picking each one off individually.

In the last month or so you’ve doubled your vocabulary. After we crossed the hundred-word mark I gave up keeping track, so it’s back to boring, mundane things like grocery lists and to-dos for the whiteboard in our kitchen.

So why, if you can say thank you and quinoa, does most frequent usage go to – wait for it – no?

I suppose it’s understandable, considering the versatility of the word. You began with “no-no,” as in that is not allowed, but there’s also “no?!” for no more and “nooo” for oh no! Now, enter the inevitable clash-of-wills “niuu!” You’re lucky you’re cute.

IMAG0728

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my!

Clearly those synapses are forming and firing, and the wonder of it takes my breath away. Like the time you pointed to the fire hydrant on the corner and declared, “Water!” And I was mystified, because how on earth do you know water comes out of a fire hydrant? Until I remembered: two weeks before, we’d taken you to a water park in Richmond, and aha! Spraying hydrants!

You’re a marvellous balance of bold curiosity and common-sense caution, eager but never reckless. You climb and jump and run, but readily sidestep obstacles and reach for a helping hand. You sidle up to dogs but are slow to touch them, preferring instead to crouch in front and peer into their faces. We’ve never babyproofed anything, yet rarely do you acquire more than the most minor of injuries.

It was what I wondered about most while you were baking – your personality. What a joy to witness it unfold.

Love,
Mama

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