In fact, I'm positive she understands me a lot more than I understand her. She can do the cutest little nod for yes---which I am sure she realizes and capitalizes on---when Comprehension Addled Mom finally catches her drift.
So, I'm pretty sure she's saying what she means to most of the time, and understands me most of the time too.
Actually, she's been adding many words from a huge developmental spurt recently---at least that better freaking be what's going on since she gave up sleeping at night.
I started a list a while back. I have a few words jotted down, clearly some while idling at a red light since they are sort of scribbled as I peered one eye on the light, one eye on the paper.
It's not complete and now, it is already out of date.
I started it back at the beginning of August.
1. Mommy guilt. Patience has detailed journals, a Web site, countless photo albums and baby books of her first couple years of life. Persistence has a folder of "photos-1st year" sitting in the "to be printed" folder on my computer desktop. Yes, not only have I not meticulously tracked her entire life via camera, video recorder, and journals, but I don't even have a photo album for her, oh my GOSH! WORSE! I don't even have photos sitting in a pile waiting to be put into an album for her! I have photos...STILL ON THE CAMERA DISK! I'm that commercial for a photo printer.
The second reason is even more mortifying.
2. Because my pediatrician called me and said, ummm hey...we haven't seen you in a while. Your kids need their checkups, Persistence is overdue for her 18 month.
I said, "Oh...wow...really? She's already 18 months old?"
And my doctor and husband in unison said, "LOL...yeah, she was...a while back."
Holy cow, time flies when you're having fun. Hello, she's practically two. Yeah, overdue I'd say. Not that I realized this.
I also sorta forgot kids get an 18-month checkup.
How did I slide from the Queen of Mommyhood and All It Entails with the first one to, "Oh, wow, is that how old my baby is?"
I could tell you days, weeks and months with #1 aka Patience. As I said, I kept daily journals. I have albums, one is even a bound and published one. All for Patience. Up until Persistence arrived, that is. Then it all came to a screeching halt.
Persistence gets lots of love and attention. I hope that's enough later, like say, at her wedding when her bridesmaids want childhood photos for a collage. Or she's doing some report for school and needs to know what her first word was and when it happened.
So I dedicate this entry to Persistence.
Dear my precious girl, my little Monkey May:
Sweetie, I'll tell you your first word...and also explain to you why your entire memory of mommy is her grabbing her hair and ripping it from her scalp.
You're a monkey. If there is something to climb, you will. Better yet, over and over and over. No wonder I have no time to make albums. You're climbing everything. You'll even bring a stool to the counter, pull a stepping stool next to it, and build stairs. To get up.
Sometimes up is your goal.
But usually your goal is to "get into (insert whatever verboten thing she is after)" while Mommy has turned for a split second. You takes some spills but you're a tough little kid, and usually, with no drama, simply pick yourself up and dust your hands, then you carry on. Oh yes, your inquisitive mind knows no bounds, and if any are erected? You'll push through them with your screaming wail, which shatters ears, glass and any boundaries...for miles.
I thought Patience was a busy child but oh my, Persistence, you are even more so. Of course, you have your sister---no wilting violet averse to exotic adventure and adventuresome risk---to learn from and keep up with.
But Persistence? You just can't stop. Which might explain your super lean form and constant, incessant, neverending desire to eat. You need fuel, constantly, because you just won't stop.
Every so often---not now of course---you sleep. You used to sleep through the night.
For that I call glory hallelujah and thank my sister, the baby sleep trainer. Once upon a time recently, you slept for twelve hours at night. Lovely. Oh how we loved you so dearly then. Every morning we would wake and say thank you. We were so very pitifully grateful you slept. Because, of course, your sister? Not so much.
You graciously transitioned from two naps to one in order to accomodate nursery school a few mornings. You are a pretty good napper. You know when you are tired, and you'll pretty much lay down with little fanfare. It was easier before you climbed out of your pack-n-play. You go back and forth from wanting your bed to wanting your pack-n-play. It's funny.
But the night sleeping? And the being weaned? You rejected that in the last month. Nope, you want to go back to nursing and waking every two hours. I say no, you protest, and we spend all day with you saying, "Nursie?" and me saying, "No nursie. Cuddle? Huggies?" and you bawling, "No! Nursies! No huggies! Nursies!" You were all set. I was all set. We had a routine and we were happy. I don't know what renewed your desire. I don't know. It's hurting us both.
The rest of the time, though, you are doing something with water, baby dolls, singing, or puzzles, or all of the above at the same time. One day I walked in to find you using your tooth brush to clean the pieces of your favorite puzzle, with your favorite shape sorter sitting to the side, waiting. You had already cleaned your favorite (at that moment) baby doll. You were, of course, singing your version of the ABC song, like we always do when we brush teeth and wash hands. You have been known to take two showers and three baths in a day. You are happiest in the water.
Happiest in the water and/or with a baby doll.
Nobody mommies as well as you do. You cuddle your dollies, feed them bottles, wipe their bums and freshen their pants frequently. You ensure they get rest in their dollie pack-n-play, and take them for strolls.
And you talk to them. And about them.
Which brings me to...your first word.
For the record? Your first word was...
Yes, that's true. It was MINE!
In fact, it remains your most often used word to this day, close to a year later.
You have other words now of course.
Your other first words, in order I think, were: Dada, Dissy (sister), Ice (water), Tat (cat), no, and Mama.
You've added far more: dog, the pet's names, up, down, milk, juice, dinkie (water), chair, teeze (cheese), get that, want that, now, cookie, (that's sort of a freudian order of words there, eh LOL), yes, no, tome (come), get up, and so forth, in addition to a few that are specific to your---our---life, such as "shhhhh" whenever I sing and "dogdogdgdogdogdog," whenever I say, "SHEEE SHAWW" to keep from saying anything else.
[More thanks to the Aunt for that one.]
But you still rely on that first word...your standard...:
You use this word powerfully and liberally.
In fact, recently, I came to realize that you use this one word for many meanings. Much like Dude.
(Do you all recall that funny e-mail that went around a while back about all the meanings of Dude? Here's our version using the word MINE!)
MINE!---obvious meaning. She's claiming ownership to an item. This could be staking a claim, like calling shotgun, as she and Patience race to a single toy. It could also be asserting the right to a toy she currently is holding.
MIIIINNNNE!!!!---said to emphatically assert claim when Patience, or other child, is attempting to garnish said toy.
MMIINNNNNNE!---said to ensure her claim to a toy she has is known to all. She will repeat this with each new child or pass of a child near her.
Mine!---said to assert claim to a toy of hers that another child currently has. The first time said it is stated calmly, but firmly. The toy "thief" gets three mines and then it is full out physical and verbal warfare, using the MIIIIIIINNNNNNE!!!!from above.
Mine?---two possible meaning depending upon tone. If it is miNE? then it is a question, such as,"Okay if I get that, Mom?" If it is MIne? then it is a request, usually to share. Either way, it is an indicator of interest in a toy, and all better stand clear shortly.
Ah miiinnnne!---said with a smile as she receives a lovey, usually in preparation for sleep.
Miiinnnnne---this is a pacifier
Minemineminemineminemine---imagine the seagulls from Nemo. You get the gist. This is typically for something of high value, such as food. Most commonly seen in front of the refrigerator, and includes hopping and pointing. This might also be used if she loses the footrace with Patience and her sister gets the toy.
Minnnnne!!---with a foot stamp, this is a demand that something out of her reach be given to her.
You're something else, our girl.
Coming up to two. And finally slightly over 20 lbs. I don't worry about your ability to make it in life. You have spirit. I do have some conern for myself, and your dad, and our ability to remain sane. But you? No, you'll do just fine.
By Julie Pippert© 2006. All images and text exclusive property of Julie Pippert. Not to be used or reproduced.