So much can change in a month, or even a week for that matter, when you are in the business of tending to little ones. Two weeks ago Sibby was only walking about 30% of the time, taking a few toddling steps before falling to her knees to cross the remaining distance.  Now she is walking full time, though she still looks a bit inebriated in her gait.  She is very proud of herself, too, carrying around objects of affection and raising her arms at us if she would rather be carried.  I don’t think I’ve seen her crawl in a week.

She has learned to go up stairs, but not down them yet.  If I can’t immediately spot her, I will often find her tooling around the play room with the stroller or another rolling object, sometimes a baby in it or under her wing.

She still has her paci full time (which was something we ditched with the other two at 12 months), BUT it has made her less apt to put every little thing in her mouth, so I don’t mind the intrusion, for now.

One of her most endearing characteristics is a head bob and a seated leg scissor kick, both done separately, but consistently.  The head bob always came with great excitement and now has translated into a way to respond “yes” or “no” when we ask her a question.  The confusing thing is, she uses the same nod for both, but you can tell by the expression on her face which one she means.

The scissor kick is also a byproduct of excitement and most especially when she wants to be picked up.  I love that she is communicating so much to us and this has greatly improved the quality of our relationship.  She is giving kisses on command (along with a sweet sigh to go with), saying a few things (“uh-oh” is a favorite), making dog noises, and generally able to understand and respond to questions/commands.  It’s a beautiful thing after months of mutual frustration.

I guess I’ll never understand the people that love the 12 to 18 months stage.  It is probably my last favorite and one that I have enjoyed the least with all three of mine.  Maybe my friends have enjoyed it because their children begin talking a lot sooner than mine do, but until we bridge that communication gap, there is just a lot of misunderstandings and unrequited tears.

On top of that, they require constant supervision, I mean no moment of rest.  And they spend all day making messes.  I find myself so frazzled by it all.  But the sweet communication we’ve gotten lately has made it a lot more enjoyable and endeared her to me just a little bit more.  The more she is able to respond to us, the more human she becomes and the less baby she seems.

I suppose at this point I would have been celebrating that we are through another stage of babyhood–forever–but we have one more to enjoy these milestones with.  Another crawler, another messy eater, and yes, another twelve month-er to get to know.  Soon.

Bea is still a creature of habit and loves her tiny objects and bits of paper.  She often tells us that we are her “pet” as a sign of affection.  Along the line of pets, she begs me daily to get her one. She claims she would even be happy with a caterpillar or a lady bug.  I am holding strong…for now.  Let’s be real, the last thing I need in my life is another mouth to feed or a head to pat.  A innocuous hamster could be the straw that breaks this mama’s back. This theory will remain untested for now, and we will hope for another way to nurture her love of animals without, hopefully, instilling a hatred of them in myself.

She is starting to show more interest in the baby and that has given me a small pause of encouragement.  Sib and MG seem to be my diehard baby lovers while Bea is more into, well animals and tiny inanimate things, but I do so hope she can find a bond with this baby even from the early start.  With the other two resembling each other the most in both looks and personality, I hope this next little one will have some things in common with Bea.

MG is still enchanted by school and I would not be surprised in the least if she grows up to be a teacher of some sort, someday.  She comes home and parrots everything her teacher says in an effort to set up a pretend school classroom for her little sister.  It makes me happy that she enjoys it so much.  It makes our days apart feel redeemed, even if just for this.

While still not extroverted, she has become very social and wrapped up in the lives of her friends.  She looks for friends everywhere, it seems, always at school, but also at the park and at church.  She tends to gravitate towards girls slightly older, kind, but with more of a ringleader personality.  She likes to play the role of willing companion, not a pushover, but with someone else calling the shots that she can easily make.  She is not unlike me in this way.

Summer is still very present for now, with still warm enough days to swim and a lone cicada chirping its siren song outside my sewing window.  We have not packed away any short sleeves yet and will hopefully have some time yet to wear them.  The lawn mower will still have another month of work ahead of it and the nature outside our windows is still unequivocally verdant.

But we are slowly creeping into our fall routine as a family.  School has been back in session long enough to figure out our aesthetic, at least loosely.  I’m already starting to feel the first hints of sadness that accompany autumn with the quickly darkening evenings and the slight coolness after the sun goes down. I believe we are through the first, and roughest part of the transition of season, regaining our newfound comfort and content in what we have rather than fighting the system.

And still, so many things to be thankful for and fall is nothing without that reminder.

-smk