First 52: week 40 – on teeth, standing tall, and blowing kisses

Our little fireball is the vibrancy of our lives. All it takes is a smile, and she’s stolen attention and control. Even strangers seem instantly smitten with her. She’s been called “a doll baby,” an “angel,” and pure perfection by folk who’ve no prompting for compliments and who know us only superficially.

Of course, the in person reactions are expected. Who doesn’t go “ga ga” over a baby? But with Ri the reaction is stronger, the attraction a lengthy exchange. It doesn’t hurt that she says “Huhaay,” with a uniquely hers drawl, as she waves her entire forearm up and down.

Her size belies her accumulated age. Her alert attention and keen ability to mock and recall social behaviors makes people assume she might be older.

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Already, I’ve been told to limit her viewing of ANTM – though unless she watched from some special in-womb set up, she’s rarely focused on an episode. She perfected the head-to-toe model posing months ago and now she’s adding the freeze-then-move with each click of my camera. She continues to dictate her photo shoot lengths and occurrences and has no problem leaving set or removing her costumes and clothes when she’s had enough for the time.
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Ri’s siblings are acutely aware of her needs and think nothing of catering to each demand. If she whines when eldest brother (dubbed “Waldo” courtesy of an unfortunate wardrobe choice at her welcoming party) leaves, he quickly returns and gathers her into his arms to accompany him. When she’s seated on furniture and moves precariously close to the edge, even youngest brother – who struggles under her increasing weight – moves below her, silently assuming a position to block her potential fall. Big sis hovers fiercely protective over Ri, who is notorious for finding a way out of her car seat or high chair confinement.
Hubs and I no longer wonder why God chose to entrust us with her so soon after joining our families. She is the reinforcement of our union that binds siblings and parents together. We’re pretty lucky she’s here. We’re absolutely in love with her sweet offerings of kisses each time someone says the word. We’re impressed by her tenacity to stand unassisted for longer and longer stretches. And we’ve decided that those two little teeth slowly breaking free of her bottom gums are simply upping the cute factor to extraordinary levels.

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