Several times in the past few weeks, I have heard myself say with sadness, “What? Lillian doesn’t say it like this anymore?” or “When did Lillian learn to do that?” Her words and mannerisms are changing almost daily, and it’s both heartbreaking and thrilling to watch her grow from babyhood to childhood.
A few things about this stage I don’t want to forget:
— Her toddler run. How she prances along with a bounce in her step and her little hips swiveling back and forth.
— She loves to sing. By herself or with help, it doesn’t matter. Every night I sing a few songs to her before I put her in her crib, and she loves it when I stop before the end of a line and let her finish. I sing “Twinkle, twinkle, little…” and she completes it with the most innocent, merry, singsong “star.”
— She’s a book lover. I sometimes realize, “Hmm, Lillian is being awfully quiet. I wonder where she is.” My search through the house often finds her in her bedroom, sitting on the floor with her legs straight out in front of her and a book open on her lap. She’s borderline obsessed with the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. (“Papa bear mama bear!”)
— Her love for birthdays. We’ve had a whole string of birthdays in our families since the start of the year, and Lillian has added “Happy Birthday” to her list of favorite songs. She sings it so sweetly, inserting the name of whomever she happens to be thinking of at the moment (Aunt Kristi! Grampy! Daddy! Josh!). She knows that birthdays are associated with “treats,” so we frequently have this conversation:
“Uh . . . uh . . . uh . . . me birtday! Teat!”
— Her signature toddler expressions:
“Hohl hohl me!” (Hold me! For the five hundredth time today!)
“Me do dat part” (Leave me alone. I’ll do it myself.)
“Chachee be?” (Where’s Charlie? He’s been out of my sight for the past three seconds!) [Just this weekend I noticed her actually saying, “Where Charlie?”]
“Hee me inwuh?” (See me anywhere? I’m hiding behind my adorable little hands!)
“How bout dat?” (How about that book? Can we read it? You can’t possibly say no, because I’m so charming.)
“Moh? Moh peeze?” (More please. I know I’ve already had two cookies and a heaping bowl of ice cream [only a slight exaggeration], but I can stuff more into my cheeks. Really.)
“Doh way!” (Go away! You’re not the person I was expecting, and I don’t want you touching me right now. Go on . . . get out of here!)
— And, of course, those blonde curls. She receives so many compliments on those blonde curls. I adore them, and we’ll hold off on her first haircut as long as possible, just in case . . . sniff . . . they should go away.
I love you, sweet Lilybean!