Monday, July 21, 2014

One ...


She hums a constant commentary as she crawls. She crawls like a frisky puppy. She eats cheese by the pinch load, opening her mouth wide and burying it knuckle deep. She insists on listening to the radio -- Classical MPR, though you're not sure it matters -- during every meal.

She prefers the Norwegian "Itsy Bitsy Spider" -- a version that includes a hat? -- but she's the only one in your house who speaks Norwegian so she's on her own. She does a slow motion "down came the rain" even with her eyes closed, a last bit of movement before she falls asleep.

She likes kittens, red balloons, monkeys and Max from "Where the Wild Things Are." She always smiles when she hears Sophie squeak. Her love for Orin could be measured in fur-filled fistfuls. Hal is tougher; She chases him from room to room.

She's got round cheeks that push her eyes to slits when she grins. She's got six teeth. She's growing a mullet, with curly blonde locks. She's taller than they say, because she's always on tiptoes. Her toes are weird. It's like someone grabbed 10 and put them on two feet in no particular order. Her hands, it seems, have tripled in size. Her skin is so soft and sometimes sticky with sweat. You will have to struggle  to not burst with a single operatic note when she throws a puffy arm around your neck.

She likes to sleep with her butt in the air.

"Dat?" She asks. 
"That's a light."
"Dat?" She asks. 
"That's a light."
"Dat?" She asks. 
"That's a light."
"Da--" She starts. 
"We talked about this."

She roars like a lion and pounds her chest like a gorilla. She oo-oos like a monkey and always barks back at dogs. You had no idea she could baa. She can. You can tickle her if you want, but she can tickle herself.

When you burst out laughing, she does too. 

She'll slap your face to point at your ear. She doesn't kiss and only hugs when she's tired, but she'll bite your nose. She'll suffocate you in curtain and play Peek-A-Boo until infinity. 

"Life lesson," Chuck said. "Before you freak out about something being horribly wrong with your baby's belly button, make sure there isn't a Cheerio stuck in it."

She's got a guttural roar that's a perfect soundtrack for when a soccer ball is mid-flight. She bucks her body with excitement.

She's a hit at the grocery store, on the Lakewalk, at Target. She points at people  like she's calling her home run, then she gives a throaty chuckle to get their attention. 

"Is she always so happy?" They ask. 
"Yes," I say. "Well. Not at 3 a.m."

When she falls or is otherwise bested by inanimate object, first she cries. Then she 
stops just as suddenly and tries again. She's a cross between Popeye's Sweet Pea and the Rubbles' Bam Bam. Sometimes you call her Boom-Boom.

She thinks wind is hilarious. 

She says a few word-words and one is "shit." Another seems to be Russell, the name of a favorite neighbor. She stretches her face as long as it will go in order to make her mouth say "Elmo." She says "water" like her breath is the wind: "Wah." 

She will only eat what you're eating and prefers to do it with her fingers. She'll rip a toothbrush out of your hand and chew on the bristles. She hates being strapped into strollers, high chairs, car seats, loving embraces.

She will wander into a corner and spend a half hour reading to herself. Sometimes you have to repeatedly throw her into the air, until your chest muscles burn like a heart attack. Other days you will have to chase her up the stairs, ten, eleven, thirty-two times. 

She'll stop everything to listen to the theme song from "Adventure Time." She smiles at the theme from "Rocky" when it plays on a commercial. It's the Norwegian Wonder's ringtone.

Sometimes she wakes seven times in one night. She throws her body like she's mid-exorcism. She tugs the skin beneath your chin and makes tiny pinch bruises on your arms and demolishes your nipple. "I'm not sure I've met someone more annoying," you'll  think, irritated, so so sleep deprived.  Then she passes out again. 

She chirps herself awake in the morning. Stands in her crib making high-pitched squeaks.

"I'm not sure I've met someone who makes me happier to wake up in the morning," you'll think, still so, so sleep deprived.