Whenever I see my daughter taking her afternoon nap, I tell myself, I did that; I stimulated her senses silly until she couldn’t keep her eyes open. I recall the things we had to do to get to this moment (of peace): drove her to the playground, molded clay, painted something for Daddy, made a snack, made lunch, convinced her to take a bath, to use the potty, to pack away – all these seemingly trivial things to exhaust a toddler.
It was just two years ago when a feed was all she could manage before a nap. And I remember those all-day, nipple-ripping days where all she did was suck the life out of me due to a growth spurt. (Images of wilted flowers come to mind.) And sure enough the following days, she would grow longer, weigh heavier, see clearer and, before I knew it, she was walking and life was never the same.
We’ve been going through a major growth spurt for the past month if that’s possible. At two years three months, Little Libra is always hungry – hungry like a pregnant person – hungry. She can be hungry-pissy if she’s a little sleepy but still needs nourishment or hungry-irritated if she doesn’t like the food but still requires food. Bottom line, she eats every hour and half and eats like she has never been fed.
But here are the fruits of all this eating:
She’s speaking sentences. Translating herself seamlessly from English to Filipino, paraphrasing herself if I don’t understand her pronunciation.
Me: Where’s your monkey?
Litle Libra: There! Istbgvling.
M: Oh! He’s sitting. Got it. (Wowza, she’s a little Eng-Fil dictionary!)
M: See the playground? Nice right?
L: Wow! Ishoog
L: It’s big.
M: Oh! It’s huge! Right. (Holy crap! She knows that big and huge are synonyms!?)
Her preferences are molding. She’s approving outfits, accessorizing (she’s into bags at the moment), asking if she can have this, eat this, watch this. She’s singing to pop songs, nursery rhymes, reciting parts of books, associating fictional characters with people, and recalling real memories.
Her body is officially functional. She has her own signature dance moves, runs from point A to point B as if on an urgent mission, uses her chair as a ladder, and (my favorite) hugs me from behind while I’m stooping in front of the refrigerator. And when she has nothing better to do, she’s “copying Mommy / Daddy/ Yaya / Tita / Mama D / Mama S.”
With walking, talking and emoting in the picture, life as we know it will never be the same again… Here’s to the next growth spurt and keeping up with them. We have all come a loooong way!