ToddlerA doesn’t know yet that she’s going to lose the spotlight in 9 months, but she can tell something’s up. I know that because yesterday after I played with her outside for a few minutes, I came inside just to check ONE TINY THING on the infected desktop computer of death, and as soon as she saw my focus shift, she barreled inside, used all her tiny might to yank my swiveling office chair around to face her, and shoved her pink spade into my hand while gesturing wildly toward the yard. When I said “just one sec, sweetie” and swiveled back around JUST TO CHECK ONE TINY THING, she whipped me back around and climbed into my lap.
And so I got a glimpse of what the first few years of Sprout’s life will be like.
Either she is very finely tuned to me, or my MIL and FIL spoiled her when they visited last weekend by sitting on the floor for entirely too long, letting her pile blocks on their heads and knock them down again.
We had a fantastic visit with M’s mom and step dad, which included a trip to the zoo where I forgot the sunscreen and thus followed my child around holding a hat over her head (because ToddlerA is not all about the hats), food that I didn’t have to cook, and a LOST episode marathon. The last time they were here, mike started this little ritual where every time ToddlerA would wake up or walk into a room or look in his direction, he’d put his arms straight up over his head and yell, “TOUCHDOWN!”. A few months ago, ToddlerA wasn’t quite sure what to make of this whole thing, as she is not much of a football fan. But this time, as soon as he walked in and his arms went up, so did hers. And so began the weekend. Over the course of three days, ToddlerA trained everyone in the house to raise their arms up over their head and yell “Touchdown!” every time she raised HER arms. Sometimes she’d toy with us- raise them up all the way, get her “touchdown!” and then lower them- oh! But not all the way down! Back up! Half way! All the way! We looked like we were doing the wave around the dinner table.
While we were at the zoo on Saturday, I was able to capture a rare photograph of an elusive and beautiful animal- we call her TeenHer. We don’t’ get TeenHer on film very often, partally because she does that “oh no! A camera! Let me either hide my head or make a ridiculous face!” thing when she sees the lens coming at her, and partially because I don’t want people to think I have a kid who hates shampoo (I don’t. really, I swear).
Because she’s my handiwork I tend to think this kid is beautiful all the time, but it really jumps out at me when I see it through the camera. She’s also startlingly handy behind the camera, as well.
ToddlerA, TeenHer and I rode the carousel at the zoo, so that we could show Mike and Sherry how incredibly CUTE ToddlerA is in just one more perfect setting. She didn’t scream and laugh this time quite as much, although she was waving and calling out “Heeey!” to the lion that TeenHer was riding.
The best part though, was when the thing slowed down at the end. “noooooo”, ToddlerA called gently. “nope!” She murmured, shaking her head. When I started to take the little seat belt off, the grabbed it and put it back around her waist, while emitting a sound I can only compare to the bomb warning sirens I’ve heard in movies. She went rigid in my arms, all the while keeping up a steady volume and pitch of her unique brand of screeching hell. Then she went limp, her head lolling back dramatically. I envisioned the zoo paramedics rushing the carousel, prepared for a seizure or an amputated arm or something.
Then I thought to myself, “what could make this better? What in the whole big world could make this experience MORE REWARDING? More satisfying?”
Oh that’s IT! ANOTHER ONE! I knew I had one arm free for a reason.