It’s 11:30 PM on Sunday night and the house is sleeping, quietly. I’ve just finished some homework, and I’ll crawl in bed soon too, but for now, a short post:
It’s the first day of February, and it wasn’t until someone asked me at church tonight how old Lu is that I realized that I had missed her monthly birthday for the first time. I’ve been so good about remembering the 30th and documenting with a photo, but I suppose this is a bit of a milestone, too: she’s old enough that I might casually live through the 30th day of a month and forget that that means she’s a month older.
Lu is a gem. She is very content, smiles often, plays well, and remarkably resilient. She’ll sit for 30 to 45 minutes at a time, playing with her toys. When one is just out of her reach she’ll fold in half, reaching with all her might to capture it. Sometimes she succeeds, but it amazes me how, even when something doesn’t come to her right away, she doesn’t grow upset. She keeps trying. As a result, she’s scooting on her butt, getting up on her hands and knees, and ending up on her tummy pretty often these days.
Lu has started saying, “mamamama.” It’s very intentional, but I’d hesitate to say she knows what it means. She knows we smile and mimic her when she says it, and she loves that. She has a beautiful little voice, and sometimes she’ll use it the whole time she’s in the car, just cooing and ahhing all the way to wherever we’re going. She’s been sucking on her upper lip a lot lately, which results in a funny smacking noise, and she also likes to fake cough. Lily is still the one to make her laugh most often, but mommy’s also a pretty good tickler.
This month, Lu hiked to the top of Mt. Sanitas in Boulder, swam in the Wheat Ridge Rec Pool a couple of times, and even let Joshua and I go on a date for a few hours without crying (thanks Grandma!). She’s getting so much bigger, and I feel so lucky to be able to spend every day with her and watch it happen.
Lily is has been doing very well for the majority of the month. She’s been really helpful, cleaning up, getting things ready to go, getting dressed, and keeping Lu ‘safe’/keeping her company. She’s doing so much better as an older sister, testing the boundaries much less often and even showing interest in sitting next to Lu and playing with her. (Next up, please don’t take away Lu’s toys…. A struggle, as ever.)
Her language is getting stronger and stronger, too. Her sentences are more varied, and she’s including words that you would never expect out of an almost three year old like, ‘assistance,’ ‘ridiculous,’ ‘nervous,’ and ‘especially.’ My personal favorite is ‘also.’ She’s very funny, and she tries to make jokes often. Her face is so expressive, and her ‘I’m sorry, but that’s just how it’s gotta be’ -face is hysterical.
I love this girl to pieces. Before she Lu was born I remember wondering if it would be possible to love another baby as much as I loved Lily. Well, I do. The love I feel for Lu is simple and full and satisfying. She is such an easy going baby, and it’s so comfortable to snuggle her and love her all day long. I know what she’s feeling from each cry, and I feel confident in my abilities to address her needs and soothe her. And I love Lily too, and the love is the same, but it’s also different. They’re both my daughters, both flesh of my flesh, borne of me, grown from me and with me, but they’re also so different. With Lily, I’m a little less confident, less sure. When she throws a fit for…. Three days, let’s say, I’m completely broken. I’m frustrated, yes, but I’m also distraught. What am I doing wrong? What could I be doing better? How can I teach her to regulate her emotions and treat others with gentleness and love? I’m absolutely in love with this mostly sunny, sometimes volatile little girl, and it shakes me when I can’t get it quite right. But that’s love too. In fact, that’s a love I’m pretty familiar with: the kind you have to work at, the kind that has a sharp little underbelly but an absolutely gooey and lovely center.
Sometimes when I write these things, I worry that Lily or Lu will come back when they’re older and read this and think, ‘see? This is how I’ve always been, how you’ve always seen me.’ I don’t mean to do that at all. If I’ve been learning anything this year, it’s that people can and do change and what is true now won’t always be true next week. But for now, this is how it is. This week/end has been tough for me, tough for Lily. I’m hoping for a better week.