I can’t believe how big Aria is, how quickly she’s grown into this little person with thoughts and imagination and opinions. She looks through books on her own now, making the appropriate animals sounds and studying the pictures with intensity and fascination/amusement (depending on the book). She plays with us and teases us. She feeds herself and poses for the camera. She has favorite books, toys, music, games, animals and people. She loves hats and sunglasses and she speaks to us as if communicating fully and though her words are not often discernible, the emotion behind them is. I had an entire conversation on the phone with her today; she babbled conversationally and I imagine she told me all about her morning with daddy. She giggled and laughed and explained just why my request to put daddy on the phone was not a good idea (daddy had no idea she was talking to me or that the phone was even on and giving the phone to him would have blown her cover; besides, she had more phone calls to make). When I said her name she would echo me in her singsong voice…”Aria”…”Ayia”…”Can I talk to Dada?”…”Mama!”
Our girl has gotten about 5 teeth in the past month (including a molar or two – ouch!), with more on the way, and is transitioning from two significant naps a day to one very necessary but often fitful nap, all in the middle of what seems to be a couple of growth spurts. Understandably, she does not always quite make it through the day a happy camper. It seems that the stroller nap, an old standby and favorite for mom, dad and baby alike, is no longer working. To get that one nap in good measure we need to be home where she can quietly nurse, rest and sleep to her heart’s content. Going out in the mornings and afternoons is to be our new pattern, I believe, and that is OK, as it is quickly becoming even better than our old ways. We’ve recently gone for walks in the cooler morning air or taken a swim before the local daycare centers bombard the pool, then gone home to lunch and a siesta before trekking back out for an afternoon romp around the local playground or a nearby museum. Aria does much walking herself these days, so other times we just amble around, not going anywhere in particular or very quickly. This works out well and while I miss the once-reliable afternoon stroller nap, our afternoon playtime is much-treasured time together.
This afternoon the three of us ran around the playground, Aria ambling up the stairs, squealing down the slide and rocking on the teeter-totter. She’s a tough one, rarely crying even when she tumbles head-over-heels on the twisty slide or falls on a brick walkway. Her cheeks flame red and her nose prickles with tiny beads of sweat, exhibiting the trademark puppy-dog nose her parents each sported as little ones. The steroids, which give us significant pause and cause for concern, seem to be doing their job…no trace of cough or wheezing in our hot, active girl.
(Aria often throws her arms back like that
and squeals with delight when she runs)
This week we have our appointment with a much-recommended allergist, to hopefully make some headway in determining the cause of the coughing and wheezing and recurrent colds and ear infections and get her off the meds once and for all. This is where our girl’s toughness crumbles to a point and the numerous doctors’ appointments and hospital visits exhibit their toll…She is terrified of doctors and fights any sort of procedure – be it IV, shot, temperature taking or just a bandaid on the toe to measure her oxygen levels – with a passion and ferocity that takes several adults to control and eventually exhausts her and reduces mom to (somewhat hidden) tears as she tries in vain to comfort her little one. We do not look forward to this, but persevere in the hope that we will get whatever is needed over with quickly and that no more tests or doctors’ visits will be needed anytime soon.
Our daughter is an amazing little girl and the love I feel for her fills and overflows my heart a million times over. I’ve thought a lot about her birth recently and can’t believe how fast she’s grown, how our tiny, passionate little baby has grown into this active, passionate toddler. She has changed so much, yet somehow stays the same.