Life is busy. It’s busy for everyone. But it is especially busy with a Stinkerbelle in residence.
That Baby keeps me hopping, make no mistake. She’s always on the move, exploring the world around her — except where grass is involved, and then she sits stock still lest THE GRASS TOUCH HER — and learning and growing every day. Usually, that means crawling around the playroom, with a string bib (also known around here as “a flag”, since tie-up bibs are impractical and not used as bibs, but rather they are waved around by That Baby as a means of conquering and claiming as her own whatever people or place she comes upon) hanging out of her mouth, pushing toys ahead of her as she goes.
When she is not exploring, she is doing one of the following:
- crawling full bore at one of the cats
- viewing the world from the comfort of her stroller
- shouting about something
- making smunchy faces, fish faces, or doing a Stevie Wonder impersonation
- knocking toys down
- signing “more”
- putting things on her head.
So, it makes for a full day.
When we first got home, Stinkerbelle was not mobile, and it was easier to manage the house, keep on top of chores, work, and blog on a regular basis. But now that she is mobile, she needs constant watching. And the fact that she is not a napper does not free up much time for these things. So I find I have to steal moments when I can. As soon as she hits the mattress of her crib for one of her short naps, I am off and running, trying to get a few loads of laundry washed or dried (forget about folding) or load the dishwasher before she is up again.
But even at her mobile, shouty best, when she is up on her knees with a bib hanging out of her mouth by a string, or making a blinky smunchy face at me and shouting “BAAAAAA!”, That Baby is awesome. She’s breathtakingly beautiful, and when she smiles, her eyes twinkle and her nose smunches up and I swear there is nothing more gorgeous or happy in the entire world. And I want to steal those moments and put them away to treasure that smile and that exuberant personality forever.
I can’t, though. Time is passing, and she is growing and changing before my eyes. I was sad, a little bit anyway, when she hit some milestones. My little, tiny, helpless infant was growing into a busy, funny, active little person with a mind of her own. But it didn’t last long. I regretted not being able to freeze time, and have that tiny baby with me forever, but it passed as I watched her grow and learn.
And she really is. One of the really cool things about this age is that she is understanding more and learning so much. She is spontaneously signing, which is really cool – although manual dexterity being what it is, sometimes it takes awhile to figure out exactly what the sign is and what she is trying to tell you. But it is neat that she is putting signs and language together with meaning. She’s communicating with us, which is just awesome and cool and oft times hilarious. When she learns something new like that, I want to just capture the moment forever.
She’s also becoming more social. When we’re not shouting our way through a department store (I say “we”, when actually it’s “she” who is bellowing commentary about doG knows what at a rapid-fire and loud staccato of “DA DA duh duh duh DADADADA BA buh buh BA BA BA mummummummum MUM! MUM!”), we’re being stopped and fussed and oohed and aaahed over by every woman over a certain age that we come upon in our travels (again, I say “we”, but it’s You Know Who). And she LOVES it. She grins and smiles and puts things on her head, because she knows if she turns on the charm, eventually ONE of them will fall under her spell and bust her out of that damn stroller and take off her damn hat.
My daughter is becoming so many things. She’s becoming her own person. She’s sticking out that stubborn chin of hers and asserting herself. She’s dancing all the time. She’s making hilarious faces. She’s learning to stand on her own and, soon, walk. She’s communicating with the world around her. She’s discovering the world. She’s discovering herself.
She’s becoming her own person, and less and less an extension of me.
And all these things, I want to freeze in time — not just because I don’t want time to pass anymore, although I have to admit it’s a strong pull. But moreso because I want these moments to be with me forever. I want her to be with me, in all her gorgeous, crazy glory, all the time.
But I can’t. I can’t steal time to do housework, or jot down a few lines in my blog. And I certainly can’t steal time in her busy, growing, funny life. The most I can do, the most anyone can do, is slow it down for a moment, and appreciate those times when they happen.