AKA Happy SECOND birthday, RiAnne.
It has been an exciting year for us.
“Mo—om! RiAnne’s being a bully!” I hear. Already there’ve been countless bellows of “RiAnne, stop it!” preceded – or followed by – “Ouch!”
Eventually, when the complaints go ignored, you’re carried into our room. Usually, you’re upside down, arms poised to strike, legs flailing, and a sly grin on your face. You know – are absolutely certain – you are unstoppable. And as soon as you’re released to the floor, you bolt back into an unwelcoming sibling’s room.
You’re still toying with language, preferring to speak with indistinguishable gibberish most often. Occasionally the intonations and hand gestures make clear what your made-up words do not. If you’re hungry, for example, you’re apt to say “eat eat” and repeat it incessantly until someone acknowledges you. You think nothing of digging through the cabinet for your bowl or a cup to emphasize demands. And, you’ve led Dad and I to the kitchen on more than one occasion, pointing to the fridge or pawing through the cupboard for noodle soup packages to thrust at us. In the last month, we’ve convinced you to distinguish between eating and drinking, though I was slow to realize that your “eww” was actually juice. You’re just as likely to say “eww” after passing gas or soiling a diaper, too (though ‘xcuse’ usually follows).
And, by the way, you’re days from potty training boot camp since you now remove your own diaper when it has been used. I guess it could be worse, you throw it away in the trash, but sometimes… yuck!
It’s funny how polite you are. You’ve had an endlessly runny nose for weeks now, and though every wipe hurts, you still say “thank you” after someone forces a tissue upon you to clean up your face. And you try (to little avail) to clean your face yourself in between. “Thank you,” you say as we hand you something, or, if you relinquish something, “thank you?” typically follows. You wait for us to repeat.
No closed door discourages you. Handles twist back and forth before the identifying thumps of your hand sound. You call out “Laura” [sounds like Law-ah] or “Mommy” or “Daddy” with ever-increasing intensity. And the insistence continues until someone lets you in – – a Cheshire cat grin of satisfaction forming on your face.
You bounce down the hall in some sort of skip. You stop in the doorway – dangerously close to the staircase – and twirl. Laughter, shrill and loud, draws us out. You smile, wave, skip a bit more, and raise your hands. Hips rock you side to side, as now it is a music-free dance. Then, you spin on your heels, and bounce back toward Rico, Chi and Ya.
In the library, you flit around between activities, settling focus on nothing for more than a few minutes. The touch screen computer, a vibrantly animated book, a puzzle.