The fourth of March marked twenty-three months for the toddler who is currently standing by the door–she is gazing outside and singing quietly to herself: I’m bringing home a baby bumblebee…won’t my mommy be so proud of me? Of course she sings is in her peculiar toddler way of speaking, but the melody is unmistakable. Her favorite part is Ouch! He stung me! which she sings with a marked increase in volume before moving on to another song. Baa, baa, black sheep, have you any wool?
Singing is a favorite pastime for Beatrice. Every day on the changing table she asks me to sing a song, sometimes more than one at once (I haven’t figured out how to accommodate that request yet) and sometimes interrupting one to ask for another. She lights up with glee when we sing together at breakfast and during school. I often hear her singing along with her music while she’s in independent play time.
Now she’s gone over to the other door where she knows Jeremy is working outside. Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, I see Daddy, Daddy, I see Daddy… I don’t know if she repeats the word for my benefit or her own pleasure. What’s Daddy doing, I ask, just in case. Daddy’s funny, she says, pointing. She now has her own version of everyone’s name, from Grandfather all the way to Baby Aurick, and though I haven’t asked her, I would venture to guess she thinks everyone is pretty funny. Perhaps not as funny as she finds herself, though. She is still quick to laughter, and even fairly easy to pull out of a crying jag into a fit of giggles. Her giggles sound like the sounds chipmunks make in cartoons.
She loves when I get the accordion out in the evenings and play so the children can march around. They’re usually organizing a game where one is the monster and chases everyone else, but she joyfully and obliviously dances around everyone’s legs, stomping her feet in time to the music.
Now she is asking to go outside: Outside, outside, outside? I decline; she is momentarily brokenhearted. We settle for a little snack instead, and I place a little pile on the table for her to pick at while I go back to writing.
She has made peace with being outside now that she is big enough to not be so afraid of the dogs (and they are big enough to know not to bowl her over in their enthusiasm.) Her favorite places are the sandbox and the brick patio where there is a pile of exposed gravel, good for digging. I suppose she may consider it a luxury to have such a large pile of tiny objects to pick up between tiny thumb and forefinger; indoors she has to do quite a bit of hunting for such things before she can pick them up and present them triumphantly to me.
Now she is methodically feeding me the snack I put on the table for her, piece by piece, one at a time. Nummy, she tells me. She’s right. I consider turning my head in refusal like she does to me at times at the dinner table, but reason that she probably would miss the irony.
She is very interested in numbers and loves to count. She is getting rather good at recognizing numbers, too. When we practice skip counting during school she is almost as happy as she is when we sing. Though she obviously can’t keep up, she still holds up her fingers and shouts any number that she thinks might go along. One! Two! Eight! Ten! Yaaaaaay!!
She has become the unofficial informant for the house. She is especially concerned that I know when anyone is crying. Then, when I go to see, she is right along with me. Don’t cry, don’t cry! Of course Aurick is most often the subject of her attention, but anybody who may have gotten hurt or is even throwing a little fit may receive the same treatment.
Now she has thrown herself on the floor and is singing again. Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes…two eyes, two ears, one mouth, one nose…
This is the last of her monthly updates. It’s been a joy, Beadie Bird, to watch you grow.