Monday, July 21, 2008

Toddler Legume (~13.5 months)

I am still often startled to see her standing and walking. I’ll leave a room while she is sitting on the center of the floor, out of reach of any hand-holds. I’ll come back mere seconds later to find her gone—where is she?? In a brief space of moments she’s walked into a corner, or into another room. My tiny girl. Not a baby anymore—a toddler.

She’s always walking now, and just in the last day, it seems, has improved measurably in grace. Around and around she toddles about the house—living room to entrance foyer and back through the length of the kitchen. Her days are spent walking and pulling things off shelves. Books go flying. Mommy’s bedroom closet? All clothing on low shelves are pulled down. Today she got into our spice cabinet, and promptly began pulling out the plastic bags of bulk spices my husband buys from Penzey’s. I let her amuse herself with them as I made dinner. Later, the Bean-girl picked up all the spice bags, put them back, and closed the cabinet door. (Note: Bean-girl isn’t always so helpful. But she does have these moments).

Baby Legume makes one unholy mess when eating. I had completely forgotten the vortex of destruction and chaos that is a one-year old child.

Baby Legume now has five teeth. With those five teeth she can take on the world. She eats vastly more than her sister. Three chicken nuggets and a bunch of apple slices. And milk. And more! More! An entire banana!

“Who will win the growing race?” Bean-girl asks. “Me or Baby Legume?”

“Baby Legume, if you don’t eat enough,” I say. “You, if you eat more than she does.”
“But Baby Legume eats a LOT!” Bean-girl wails in complaint (she’s got a competitive streak, hates to lose anything).

She’s still round and pudgy, my walking doll. And just this past week, she started engaging in imitative play. When I grabbed a baby wipe to clean up a mess, she also grabbed a wipe and bent beside me to scrub at the same stain. She imitated her sister playing a musical instrument. And yesterday, after countless days spent chewing at the tip of Bean-girl’s Dora doodle-pad pen, the Legume learned how to use the pen and doodle-pad herself. And oh, did she doodle. Squiggle squiggle squiggle.

So proud of herself, as she masters these skills. I clap my hands at her, and she laughs and walks toward me, clapping in glee, her front teeth showing in the broadest baby smile. She’s not quite talking, but she clearly understands much of what we say. One of her favorite things is climbing into boxes. And storage baskets. And anything small and enclosed. She laughs at me from a cardboard box, and finds herself trapped. I take her out, and she promptly climbs in again. And oh, can she climb! She’ll scale anything, my fearless one. She’ll stand on Bean-girl’s toddler bed and attempt to scale the Bean’s bookshelf (and succeed).

My determined little baby. They say that it is with the second child that you learn how different babies can be. You think your first child’s baby behavior is typical of all babies; then you find out that it was typical of only that baby. From the beginning, the Legume was her own distinct person.
Why is the baby smiling? Why is she laughing? Is she laughing because she loves me, her big sister?

Yes, Bean-girl, she does.


CAE said...

This post made me smile for minutes at a time! Your girls sound adorable.

ScientistMother said...

you girls sound very adorable. As I read, I kept being reminded of all the things monkey did when he started walking. The scaling all things scares me though.

ScienceMama said...

I love this post! Bean is an eater, too. Sometimes I can't believe that her stomach is big enough to hold all that food!

And Bean is also a fan of climbing into things. She likes the laundry basket best. Climb in, holler till someone takes you out, then climb back in...

Mad Hatter said...

Tag! :-)

ScienceGirl said...

How adorable :)