Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Ayla's Baby

A lot of my friends are having or have had babies recently (actually, I guess that's always happening).

To put that another way, a lot of Ayla’s friends are getting little brothers or little sisters.

For her, that means a lot of “babies in bellies,” are becoming “babies out of bellies,” and because her mama is addicted to babies, that also means we are doing a lot of visiting these new babies.

As I was putting her to bed a few nights ago, we were discussing the new baby she had met and the baby in belly she had kissed that day and the new baby we were going to see the next day.

She processed the information for a minute and said, “Ayla baby in belly,” rubbing her own precious chub.

I was transported for a moment to a time in the future, where, God willing, I will be holding Ayla’s baby the way I was holding her right then.

I will look at my proud daughter, love leaking out her eyes, and know she finally knows.

She’ll finally know how great this love is. She’ll know why I took way more than a thousand pictures of her during her first year. Why I grab her and kiss her all over a hundred times a day. Why sometimes I stare at the monitor to see her when she’s sleeping because I miss her even though I’ve waited for nap time all day.  Why I will read her that book again and even one more time after that.

“No,” I told her, when I could speak again, “You don’t have a baby in your belly, but someday when you grow up, you can have one. You used to be a baby in Mommy’s belly.”

“Mommy baby in belly,” she said, patting my not-so-precious chub.

“There’s not a baby there right now,” I said. “We are asking God for a baby in mommy’s belly so Ayla can have a baby brother or sister. Do you want that?”

“Uh huh.”

Though she doesn’t sound completely convinced, I am glad that by the time she does get a brother or sister, be it through birth or adoption, she will be old enough to understand and maybe even to remember helping Mommy and Daddy pray for him or her.

(Will you join us in prayer for that, too? Y’all did so well in praying Ayla in, I’d love to have you along for the sequel! Thank you!)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Twenty-five months

My dear Ayla,

You are two now. Two and a month, technically.

Two (and too) is your favorite word. You worked so hard to learn how to show two with your fingers, and though you can say your whole name, when someone asks what your name is, you proudly say, “TWO!” I gotta admit, even with all the new challenges this age brings, it’s my favorite one so far, too.

Speaking of, you’re really into the word and concept of “too.” “Mocha go nigh-night too!” “Daddy eat too!” “Mommy go pee pee too!” (We’ll get to the potty training fun we’ve been having later.) You’re good at doing things by yourself, but if you can get someone (or someanimal as it often is the case) else to do it “too,” you’re thrilled.

When people were asking me what you were into for birthday present choosing, it was hard to answer. What aren’t you into? You love everything outdoors and moving, just like your parents. You love building towers with your blocks or tea set, throwing balls around and asking “where are you?” as you chase them, and jumping on mommy and daddy’s bed. You love to color, though coloring for you is mostly handing me the crayon and telling me what to draw. I don’t mind. I like to draw for you. I’m getting pretty good at the kitties and doggies you always “request.” You love animals, your toys and real ones.

You love singing and anything having to do with music. We get a kick out of you singing along at bedtime now and the repertoire of songs you know is growing daily. Now that Daddy has his keyboard set up, you constantly try to play the “pinano” with him (or by yourself).

You love to read. I am amazed at how fast you learn your books and it’s been fun to have you participate in the reading. We’ve consented to letting you have a book in bed with you when you go to sleep, and it’s the book that usually wins over the animals for cuddling when you finally conk out.

You’re a bit of an adrenaline junky. You build obstacles for yourself and your toys to climb over, and you’ve discovered about 15 different ways to get down your slide.

 Almost every day, you successfully convince your daddy to give you plenty of “weeee,” which can mean anything from spinning you around in a laundry basket, to throwing you up high in the air, to helping you do somersaults. We’re both cherishing these days before you get too big for this.

Oh, but you are a big girl now. We still have you rear-facing in the car, since you’re only 25 pounds, and you still sleep in your crib (though you are getting close to climbing out). But we’ve said goodbye to diapers (except for sleeping) and you always remind me, “no pee pee in panties!” when you’re getting dressed.  I am SO proud of you for learning how to use the big potty and for telling us when you need to go. I figured if you could learn to play games on my iPhone in less than 30 seconds, you could be potty trained, and I was right!

Right now you’re learning what “my” and “mine” mean and what they don’t mean. Play dates can get a little tense when you insist that your friends’ toys are yours, or when you’re not ready to share toys that actually are yours. Wise friends have reminded me that we all went through this phase, and some grownups are still in it, so I have hope you’ll learn that sharing and giving is more fun than keeping something to yourself. I can’t say that I mind too much, though, when you refer to us as “MY mommy” and “MY daddy!”

I don’t know if there’s a technical term for being mentally organized, but I think you might be that. You process information very well in lists. I often hear you reciting lists, such as the activities available at the playground, the friends you played with in various settings, the elements of a good birthday party, or the rules about spitting. This translates to physical organization too, as you are my big helper with putting toys away in the correct box. You keep this up and I’m going to put you in charge of my closet!

I can’t capture everything about you in words, and even if I could I probably wouldn’t want to take the time away from being with you to record it all. Realistically, I probably won’t be blogging about you for the rest of your childhood. You’ll have to share some of the spotlight with future brothers and sisters and maybe someday you’ll even have a blog of your own.

For now, though, I still find myself watching you in awe and gratitude. You are mine. Don’t you ever doubt or forget that!

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