Sunday, February 17, 2013


Genevieve has made some HUGE cognitive leaps in the last few weeks. She's picking up her feet and pointing her toes when it's time to put on socks and shoes, using verbal (and physical) cues to indicate what she wants, giving kisses when we ask for them, and so much more.

One of my favorite things she has learned to do is clap. We think that GrandpaDahling taught her this one; he sings and claps for her every day, whether he's near or far. The songs vary, but he always claps.

(His changing table song for Genevieve could be a top 40 boyband pop song, because the words are "Bay-beh, bay-beh, bay-beh!" while he claps in time. Genevieve loves this.)

About two weeks ago, out of nowhere, Genevieve started to clap. So, we clapped and cheered with her. The whole night, something would happen, Genevieve would clap, then we would clap.

Later that evening, we were at the "boob" portion of the bath-books-boob-bed routine, when after nursing for a good, long time, Genevieve sat straight up, looked me in the eye, and gave me the most enthusiastic applause.

I felt like giving a speech. Her applause was so sincere, and so funny, so very "my compliments to the chef". It just killed me.


Since then, Genevieve gave Mom a standing ovation as she entered the room. If my mother and I are anything alike, I'm sure she felt moved to thank all the little people.

Or maybe just one.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Navel gazing

We love belly buttons around here. We read Belly Button Book at least once every day, and Genevieve recently discovered that *other people* have belly buttons, too. You can imagine how delighted she was by this discovery. 


Sometimes I get caught up in the busy work of caring for Genevieve. We have a lot of fun, but she is very demanding. There are hard days, and there are "dime days"- you know, days that are TEN TIMES as good as "lucky penny" days. But she's still my baby, every single day, and I know that one day I'll turn around and - BAM! She'll be all grown up.

With that in mind, we have a long-observed diaper-changing ritual. Once she has been cleaned up and is in a fresh diaper, I kiss her bellybutton. I flurburt her belly. I kiss her little knees. And if we're being totally honest here, sometimes I nibble on her nose. I love sharing these moments with her; being present and mindful.

She loves it. She laughs and laughs on the changing table, and those are the moments where I think to myself, "I am ROCKING this parenting business!"

She's turned the tables on me, too. When Genevieve sees exposed flesh, she flurburts it, and exposed belly buttons? Those get kisses, of course.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Walkers and biters

Over the summer, a friend of mine tipped me off to a fantastic storytime/playgroup near our house. They have different times and days for the different age groups, with developmentally appropriate stories and activities. Once your beloved bouncing babe turns a year old, you join the "Wonderful Ones" group.

In the stained-glass window seat.

They also casually refer to this group as the "walkers", which makes me 99% sure that they haven't read or watched any of The Walking Dead- the show OR the graphic novels. Since I have a sick and twisted unique brand of humor, Mom and I refer to the Wonderful Ones group as the "Walkers and Biters" group.

It's even more fitting since Genevieve is not the only one who is going through a mouthy phase. And by "mouthy", I mean "bitey". We're mostly past it. I hope.

(I should mention that I have never witnessed any toddler-on-toddler biting happening at playtime, involving Genevieve or any of the other kids.)

As soon as Genevieve starting topping out the growth charts, Mom told me that I needed to carefully manage what I expected out of Genevieve. Meaning, because she's big for her age, people (myself included) will treat her as if she should be further along developmentally. Acting her size, rather than her age, if you will.

Seriously at play.
This hadn't been an issue for me because she's the only baby I've ever had. We had spent time with other children, but they had usually been drastically older or younger, so development, size, and age had all been moot. She was Genevieve-sized, Genevieve-aged.

The first week we took her to the "Walker [and biter]" group, Genevieve approached a little girl who was two years old, as tall as Genevieve, but slender and willowy. Genevieve was completely taken with this little girl (we'll call her Sedona), and Sedona was very interested in Genevieve.

Sedona would try to talk to Genevieve, two-year-old to two-year-old-sized kid, and Genevieve would respond by reaching her arms straight out, toddling towards Sedona, and making a horrible, closed-mouthed zombie noise. To be fair, it was a very interested, enthusiastic, zombie noise.

Nonetheless, it scared Sedona, who would (appropriately) hide behind her mother's legs.

"Sedona, Genevieve is still a baby. She looks like a big girl, but she's really a baby," I explained loudly (and repeatedly) so that everyone could hear me clearly.

Sedona *really, really* wanted to play with Genevieve. It's probably the pigtails, or Genevieve's jaunty smile. But every time Sedona would come near Genevieve (who was a toddling juggernaut, unstoppable in her enthusiasm) I had to swoop in and keep Genevieve from unintentionally flattening poor Sedona.

Afterwards, when I got home, I relayed the whole story to Mom, including the part where I felt crazy for loudly broadcasting Genevieve's age to avoid any unpleasant misunderstandings.

All Mom could focus on was the zom-baby-ness of it all, and how aptly nicknamed the "walker" group was.