But as aggravating as our little curly-headed monster can be, I find myself filled with pride even at her most infuriating moments.
|Probably chucked the spoons seconds later to go|
both hands in on the custard and blueberries
She happily eats moderately spicy things (hot Italian sausage, salsa), loves rabbit and lamb, and eats sauteed spinach (though that's currently one of the few greens that is easy to get in her-it's a texture thing). "MmmUmm" she says as she awkwardly spoons food into her mouth. Then, when that's not quick enough or accurate enough, she abandons the spoon and uses her hands.
|Making silly faces during dinner|
Daddy taught her how to throw snowballs at mommy's butt, so now that's the first thing she does in snow, giggling uncontrollably when she squishes it on my rear. She loves to make us laugh, repeating anything that gets a laugh out of us over and over. She makes funny faces and dances and sings. Her laugh is possibly the best sound on earth. She's recently started giggling to herself over things, which is so entertaining even if I can't tell what in the world she thinks is so funny.
Hugs and kisses, pats and squeezes, this girl loves to snuggle. Her enjoyment of snuggle time is nearly always at war with her urge to run wild, but she is almost always willing, even in the middle of the most raucous game, to throw a quick kiss your way if you beg. Then you are treated to an adorable damp pucker that delivers a squishy kiss.
|Feeding her Lambie a bottle|
Whether she's concerned each and every time she hears a baby crying, or she's worried to tears every time Elmo loses his blanket in Elmo in Grouchland, my daughter wants to make it better. Her cousin, Owen, gave her a small polar bear for her first Christmas. It's not her favorite toy, like it is his, but she definitely recognizes it as one of her toys. When we were all together for Thanksgiving, she found Owen's PB in his bed and took it thinking it was hers. When we explained why he was looking so concerned, that it was his version of her Lambie, she immediately made sure to give it back and brought it to him throughout the visit.
|All the kids listening quietly to Santa |
read a story? Nope, I'm definitely out.
She says no even when I'm pretty sure she actually means yes. She does what she wants and pays me no attention at all. It's clear she hears me, but you can see those wheels turning as she decides if my wishes align with hers. The answer is usually no. More than any other characteristic, I think this one delights my own mom the most. It seems I may be raising a mini-me. And most days I would say she's coming out ahead. As much as I might admire their control, I'm not one of those calm, talk-it-out-with-the-child-until-they-make-the-right-decision types; I'm a yeller. My tone is decidedly loud. I've made my nephew cry just by saying, "Oh no, don't eat that!" in what I considered to be a normal level of exclamation (seriously, it wasn't loud!) Eleanor remains unfazed through all my varying tones and decibels. Obviously there are problems with this. How am I going to get her attention and make her stop immediately when she's doing something dangerous? I'm not sure a deadly whisper is going to cut it.
|This railing is only about 10 ft off the ground|
|Watching the ants march up the tree trunk|
She walks up to anyone and says hi to perfect strangers, loving the attention they give. While visiting a friend on the heart ward at the hospital, she would dart into the other rooms (we managed to catch her most of the time), trying to visit the other patients (missed her once, and we ended up visiting an elderly gentleman while he was eating his dinner. I said something awkward about hoping he would recover quickly and apologized, me somewhat mortified after we ran into a nurse on our way out-you always feel like people see uncontrollable children as a parental failing. Found out later from the friend we visited that the elderly man had loved it. Thank goodness.)
|Sharing a book with Longfellow Bear|
She loves books.
It is so amazing to have her interact with her books now. Not only is she (finally) relatively gentle with her lift the flap books, but she participates in the stories I read to her. She repeats lines from Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes (a family favorite), and she has a whole routine throughout Where the Wild Things Are. The Kissing Hand is in our rotation this week. Eleanor has me kiss her hand and she kisses mine, just like the mommy and baby raccoons do in the book. Makes my heart melt every time.
|Giggling riotously in her toy basket|
She sings at the top of her lungs.
It's true that this occurs most often when she should be napping peacefully in her crib, but sometimes I'm treated to her lyrics in the car on the way to or home from daycare. So far the tunes and words are pretty unidentifiable, but I love to hear her belting them out. Her current favorite is the Itsy Bitsy Spider, which she would happily listen to on repeat for our entire 20 minute car ride to daycare. The best I could do in negotiation was that we would listen to it every other song. She also meets her daddy at the door when he arrives home from work, demanding that he share his "nunes" with her. He always happily crouches down and hands her one of his earbuds so she can hear his tunes.