Yesterday I ran into someone I hadn't seen in a couple of months. I admired her six-week-old baby, asleep in her stroller, and then my friend turned and saw Adriana coming towards us and exclaimed that Adriana wasn't a baby anymore, that she'd turned into a kid. I looked at Adriana running towards me with a green ball in her hand, grinning, her bangs falling into her face, and I realized that, yes, she is a kid now, not a baby. And instead of feeling melancholy over that, I was happy. Then last night she fell asleep in my arms after dinner, and I sat there for a long time, chatting with my dad and sister, just glad to have this change to hold her and admire her long lashes and flushed cheeks and her little, tired body that fits so perfectly in my arms, no matter how big she is getting.
She has begun babbling constantly it seems. She says "woof woof," "moo," and "baa," when asked what dogs, cows, and sheep say. She says "muh" and shakes her head when she means "no." (She says "muh" an awful lot.) She learns new signs quickly, and has started signing "please" and "thank you" on occasion, which I find sweet. Yesterday she fed me one of her Cheerios while I was getting us ready to leave the house, and then started freaking out. When I turned my attention to her, I realized that she was frantically signing "thank you." So I thanked her, which I usually do when she feeds me but hadn't this time because I was distracted, and she was happy. In general, when she makes a sign--whether it's "ball" when she sees kids playing soccer at the park or "bird" when she hears one chirping outside--she keeps making the sign until we say the word to her.
A couple of weeks ago we got Adriana her own "big girl bed." It's a twin bed pushed up against our bed, and we are slowly making the transition. I played with her in the bed the day it was delivered and she lovede being tucked in and kissed goodnight. Then she would kick off the covers and do it again. When we lie down to nurse she prefers to lie in her bed rather than ours. I think she is glad to have a little more space to sleep in at night, as she seems to be sleeping much better (most nights, anyhow) now that she's in her own bed. I move into her bed to nurse her when she wakes up around 2 or 3, and if I am still awake when she is finished, I move back over into my bed. Sometimes I pull her in with me, and she has even crawled back into her bed a couple of times when I've done that.
Not too long ago, Adriana fell off a slide at the park. Brian had gone up the play structure with her and she was going down the slide by herself. I was sitting on a bench nearby, not near enough to catch her, as she went down the slide as she has done on her own plenty of times before, and shot off the bottom, landing on her back. (I think it was because she was wearing Robeez instead of sandals, and they didn't drag and slow her down.) She was more scared than hurt, and soon was climbing up to go down again. That time she again went too fast, but I was there to catch her. After that, she would climb up but refused to go down the slide, even on a lap or with someone there to catch her. In a way I was relieved. It's kind of nice to know that the child can actually learn from what has happened, and nice that she has a bit of fear. I've been wondering where this kid who climbs everything and goes down the biggest slides at the playground came from, given the fact that I am just about the world's biggest scaredy-cat. But I was also a little sad, because being a scaredy-cat is boring and frustrating. So even though I have been attempting to coax her down toddler-appropriate slides for the past ten days or so, I had mixed feeling yesterday when Adriana finally got over some caution and climbed to the highest point on the play structure at the park (easily 10 or 12 feet up, maybe more--I am a bad at guessing that kind of thing), and started to go down the slide by herself. In the end, I decided not to stop her from climbing, but I made her go down the slide in my lap.
Some days I'm better at this than others. Some days when Adriana shrieks for the 94th time that hour because I didn't respond to her quickly enough, instead of looking at the clock to see how much longer until Brian comes home, I kneel down in front of her and tell her that it's hard being little and hug her, and then offer her a snack or a toy or just tickle her. Some days, instead of just being glad that I managed to get both Adriana and myself dressed and that I had a chance to bake (and eat most of) a pan of brownies while she napped, I manage to plan and shop for meal for the week, wash and put away three loads of laundry, vacuum the house, fix dinner, and put together puzzles, read stories, and play at the park with Adriana. Most days fall somewhere in between. But every single day I know I am lucky.