I can't get over how big you are. I don't just mean physically either. Sure you've grown a bit. You are in a new size of shoes and the 9 month dresses you've been wearing for months suddenly don't reach past your bum anymore. But the bigness is mostly in your personality.
When we were in Canada you reacted as I thought you would the first few days. You were shy with strangers, you withdrew into my arms when people you didn't know tried to hold you, and you would bring my shoes when you were done with being in each place. You would put them on my feet and drag me toward the door. You kept trying to go home and couldn't figure out why I wasn't cooperating. And then, something happened.
You opened up, blossomed, accepted everything and became the life of the party. You smiled at people. You charmed them. You started to pose for the camera and smile on cue. You wrapped everyone around your little finger. And, remarkable to me, you accepted the ever changing scenery and places to sleep, the family that you barely knew, and you were a babbling ball of joy.
You slept like a rock on the planes. You slept right through the Calgary airport. You didn't wake up in customs, you didn't wake up when I took you out of the stroller to go through security. You didn't wake up when I put you back in the stroller on the other side of security. You slept right up until the very last minute when we got on the plane. Then you were awake. Which was a lot of work. And you refused to let me hold you when you slept yelling your version of, "I'm a big girl now mom, leave me alone." You were so excited to sit on your own seat on the bus from the airport. And then you fell asleep. You spent the entire train ride home looking out the window and yelling in excitement and then, in my first indication that you were hearing a lot more than I thought, every time I pointed out the window and said "ocean" you would put your finger to your lips and say, "Shh." You recognized the sound and associated it with another one.
It was a lot of fun to go on that trip with you.
And now that we've been home you continue to get bigger every day. There are whole sentences in you babble now.
"There it is!"
"Shoe shoes shoes go outside."
"Food pease pease pease."
"Oh poo. Diapah dere."
Now you sit down in your chair when I start to make dinner and sign and say "Pease pease pease?"
You understand almost everything I say now.
I ask you if you are tired and want to go to bed and you nod your head vigorously and say, "Yesh."
You love how words are helping you communicate. It's so exciting to you to stand at the door and say "Bed?" and have mommy open the door and take you in. So exciting that you do it over and over again, even when you are not tired."
You love to be outside. You take off for strange and foreign places on your little push car. You stand at the next door neighbors open door, thus the foreign as they are East Indian, and wave at them smiling until they offer you cookies. You stop to wave to everyone. And your wave is really a rotation of your wrist, rather than a movement of your hand and it looks like you are practicing to ride in a parade.
There are new tricks of course. You can reach the railing on the stairs nearby and you like to stand inside the frame of it and hang, dangling your feet over the side. You are so strong. And you laugh repeatedly when you do this.
You also like to climb up on things and stand up, like the little rocking chair. You will stand on the seat and hold your hands out to the side, so proud of your ability to balance. What I find remarkable is the way, when you are thrown off balance for a second, you will regain it quickly and then catch my eye and grin as though we share some huge hysterical joke. You aren't scared for a second. I truly think you are calculating the comic effect of the whole thing. Your uncle AJ should be proud. You are already an entertainer.
And you can swim like the bigger kids, sort of. Those water wings that Megan found you that can strap on tight are really paying off. You now float around the pool with just those on. You blow bubbles to keep water out of your nose and your favorite game is to jump off of the steps into the water. I never thought I'd see an 18 month old swimming around like you, but there you are. You love the water. Except when it gets too cold.
You like to run around with the other little girls who live nearby. I really like to watch the 3 of you chasing each other over the grass and laughing. It's fun to watch you be a big kid.
You spend hours trying to get Daddy's attention when he is home. You fix him with a big eyed stare from across the room and shift your weight back and forth, back and forth, until he sees you, and then you run to him and laugh some more.
Oh, and I mustn't forget the dancing. Oh my, dancing. You look like a bull fighter when you dance. Your shoulders are thrown back, your elbows bent, your posture proud and perfect, and you turn your shoulders and your arms back and forth over and over while pivoting your hips in the opposite direction. Really fast. It's hilarious. I Love the way you dance. and then you run in place in time to the music.
Your brother did a good job suggesting that we name you something that means rejoicing. Because that's how you go about your day. We are all much more joyful because you are with us.
I love you,