Tuesday, October 8, 2013

20/21/22 Months: Gracie's into EVERYTHING!!!


What a blessing you are, my love!  Papa commented just the other day that this is the age for each of our children that has been tremendously fun....somewhere between 20 and 22 months it begins. 

Oh yeah.  And you're into everything.  EVERYTHING. Wipe and Tissue boxes, baby powders and creams, lotion, shampoo, toilets, garbage cans, dog poop, litter boxes, soap (thankfully, after all of those), laundry, drawers of clean and folded clothes (you like to wear several of Sissy's shirts as pants), the refrigerator, kitchen drawers, school supplies (you draw on everything around you - especially your face and hands).....etc.....etc....etc. I have never had a child that gets into as much. Period.

You are FULL of words, repeating most everything your siblings say and coming up with a good deal of things on your own.  Today, for instance, you found a dry rosebud, picked it up, and said "Fower, Mama! Mell fower?" as you held it up to your nose.  That is typical of the words and phrases that pour out of you all day.  "Mama, I neeeeeeed you," you cry out from your bed in the morning. (You can technically climb in and out yourself, but it is still a little scary for you, so you prefer that we or brothers get your out.)  "I stinky" is a frequent phrase.  Also, "All this (as you shake your hands in your own version of the sign for all finished when you are ready to get out of your high chair.....WHICH you now push a stool over to climb into all by yourself)" :-)

"Bruhdohs (quickly changing to Brahdohs)" and "Sissy" are your sweetest friends, but you do NOT like it if they take something away from you.  Often, you will be about a mission for a clear purpose, such as gathering blankets to make a bed for your dolly so that she can nap. If at any time during this process you lay down your dolly, in order to construct her bed, Sissy might be apt to pick her up and repurpose her.  Then....you are NOT happy!

And, ah how you love your "Dollies", or "Baby?" as you call each one of them and your stuffed animals (especially the giraffes) and your favorite blanket.  Giraffes are your clear favorite animal, and I'm starting to hear you say, "J'raffy". 

You have your "knowing" looks, in which you tuck your chin down and tilt your head to the side.  Then, there are your silly looks, for which you roll your eyes, throw back your head, bend forward and sideways, and do all sorts of turning upside down and shaking your head.  Pure silliness, you are!

Today, after getting dressed and ready to head to our church service, I told you to go show Papa.  With every step down the stairs, you said, "I cah-yute?....."Papa...I cah-yute?"  It was simply adorable.

When you see Sissy get her hair done, you want yours done too!  At first, you would simply back up towards me so that I would do your hair. Now, you know to ask for poggies (piggy tails)! :-)  "Poggies?" you'll ask. 

You are still a very good eater, and will eat most of what I make.  However, I believe that hands
down, your favorite food is still chocolate.  In this picture, you were clutching the chocolate that you wouldn't let go of.  (We were planning to make smores.) "My chocwit!" you would say, over and over! You also love to play in the play kitchen we have next to mine.  Whenever I'm cooking, you'll likely be over there cooking as well. I'm so glad I overcame my desire for a tidier looking house to live for the day a bit.  I knew you would love the kitchen, and you do.

Sometimes, when I'm changing your diaper, or getting you dressed, you start naming people in our family, as if you're going through a mental roll call.  Emet, Sissy, Papa, Mama, Kay-ub.  You have this sweet, pensive look on your face, as you stare off, trying to recall them all.

During school time, you insist on being with us nearly every minute of your wakeful time.  Occasionally, you will go off to get into some trouble on your own, but most of the time you are front and center, right in the middle of us all.  (Literally, your preferred spot, which I'm consistently removing you from, is the center of the school table. :-)  If anyone has paper and pens or pencils, that's what you want too.  If they're using math manipulatives, then you want those too.  You just want to be included.

When Papa comes home from work, or when you hear Greta bark in the late afternoon, you happily change course from whatever distracts you, and say "Papa!" You, like all of the others, adore your Papa.  And you have good reason to.  He is a fine man.

Our little nap and bedtime routine (with me, at least) is to grab your special pink and brown blanket ("Baby") with the brown silky ruffled edge and your other "Baby" (typically your "J'raffy"), though others will substitute well if the favored is missing.  We then sit down in the wooden rocker in your room and read a few stories....Pajama Time is the story unique to you, to which you raise your left elbow each time I start reading so that you can do a jig to my rhythmic words...."The moon is up, it's getting late....let's get ready to celebrate...It's Pajama Time!"

As I write these words about our special bedtime routine, I recognize that while they are fresh and current to my every day life now, there will be a time in the future when we are far from this routine of ours, and these words will jog a memory that will make us smile.  It's funny how the things we see and do everyday fade into the recesses of our memory, but how they can be brought fresh and new with a simple reminder.  This is probably why God was so insistent that His people build memorials and hold annual festivities to commemorate events.  Because, no matter how much something touches our hearts or impacts our thinking during the time of it's occurrence, with time, even the strongest of memories and experiences fade away.  It is for this reason that I blog.  I do not want these years to have been in vain!  I want to remember and to cherish, but also, I want to continue our story.  I want the paths I have walked, and the lessons I have learned as a parent to be recorded for my children, so that they can remember, cherish, or simply to learn from me.  Maybe that will simply be by way of learning how to appreciate the little things, acknowledge the passage of time, and see the bigger purpose of life in all of the small trials.  Right now, these stories are my life. Over time, these will flow together to simply be a timeline of stories.  But they will be the stories of my family.