i love so much about my little girl. allow me to boast for a few moments.
i love that EVERYTHING she does makes her happy. i love that she can play with an empty plastic bottle for an hour as if it's the most fascinating, joyous toy in all the universe. i love that she likes to shred magazines because she's SO excited about reading something that she rips the pages out and eats them. i love that her mouth is constantly open in a big drooly smile and that her eyes are perpetually lit up. i love that i can FEEL her whole body smile, even when i can't see that she's doing it. i can't explain it. but when i'm holding her, i can feel it when she smiles, even without looking at her face.
i love that she knows how to clap her hands. i love that she has to move her entire body to clap her hands. and i love that when we clap our hands along with her, it makes her smile and laugh. i love that she learned how to clap her hands about 2 weeks ago and hasn't stopped clapping since then.
i love her laugh! i love that sometimes her laugh sounds like she's coughing, or screaming, and that her laugh often comes from deep in her belly and makes her throat rattle. no matter how she's doing it, i think it's the most wonderful, magnificent sound in the world. i love that after dinner, she gets all goofy, and i love that adam makes silly faces at her until she's laughing so hard she's almost crying. i love how much she loves her daddy, and i love how much her daddy loves her.
i love that she LISTENS! i love that i can tell her no, and she will stop what she's doing. i love that when she's playing in the laundry room, i can say to her, "gracie, you know you are not supposed to be in that room without an adult. come here now, please." and that she LISTENS to that and turns around and comes out. i love that she knows how to listen to me, even though she's only nine months old.
i love that she likes to help me in the kitchen. i love that she likes to stand in front of the pantry and take everything off the bottom shelf. i love that she likes to work with the dishwasher, taking out all of the dirty silverware and putting it on the floor. i love that she likes to take all the tupperware out of the drawer and crawl over her big messy pile. and i love that i'm a cool enough mom to encourage my daughter to make a mess in the kitchen -- because i know she's not doing it to make a mess, but that she's doing it because she wants to spend time with me, and she is helping and working. so what that she doesn't know how to LOAD the dishes? she only knows how to unload them right now -- but we'll get there. i'm so proud of her for wanting to help with the chores! what a good girl!
i love that even though she's only crawling, she still manages to find a way to stomp when she's doing it. i love that i can hear her little hands slapping down hard on our bare floors, and that her breath gets all excited when she moves -- she sounds like a tiny little freight train chugging across the room.
i love that when she eats, she has to first feed herself with her finger foods for about ten minutes. like, a long time. and only after i sneak in her first spoonful of whatever it is she's having at that meal, only then will she open her mouth for more food. as if she thinks whatever is in the bowl and on the spoon is something she won't like, but if i can convince her to take just one bite she realizes that it's actually pretty good. and she'll get into this groove where she'll eat really well for another 5 or 10 minutes or so, and then she'll come out of her food-trance and won't be able to eat any more until she has a toy in her hands. because if her hands are busy, then her mouth can open. and then she can finish her food. usually in the moment, i find this really annoying and frustrating, because i just want her to EAT. but mostly, i think it's adorable that my little girl has quirks and preferences already. and i love that about her.
i love that no matter what she's eating (fruit, yogurt, a shoelace, fingerpaints), she always says, "mmmm..." this is especially helpful when she's just around the corner from me, and i can't see her. and then i hear "mmmm...." and i know i need to go get her and take whatever it is out of her mouth because she shouldn't be eating things off the floor. i love that no matter how much i vacuum or mop, she still finds things on the floor that she shouldn't eat -- i love that her vision is so good and that her fine-motor skills are so developed.
i love that she is learning how to ask for things. i love that when she needs a diaper or a nap or some food, she will cling to one of us, trying to pull herself up on our legs, and fuss a little bit, and act desperate, until we are able to fulfill her needs. i love that she is learning to trust us, and learning how to use her voice, and learning also that it is okay to ask for things. i love that she can communicate with us already, even without speaking words!
i love that when she poops, she pushes so hard that she clenches her little fists and her face gets all purple and red. and that when she's done pooping, she does this little poop shiver. and then adam and i mimic her and do a little poop shiver too, and that makes her laugh. i love that.
i love that she loves books. she LOVES books. especially good night, gorilla and brown bear, brown bear, what do you see? i love that i can recite brown bear from memory because we read it so much. i love that when we get to the page in good night, gorilla, where the page is all black except for two little white open cartoon eyes, she automatically starts turning the pages backwards in the book again, even though the book isn't done yet. i love that she does that every time. i love that she likes to turn the pages, forward, backward, close the book, open the book, close the book, open the book, go backwards again... i love that she is exploring how to read. i love that when i sit down on the floor with her to read a book, she leans the back of her head against my chest and puts her hands on my legs in between turning the pages.
i love that she loves to stand in front of the living room window and wave to the people on the street as they pass by. and i love how she SCREAMS with laughter when they actually wave back.
i love that she will sit on her knees and bounce up and down with her arms out to her side. we call that her "cowgirl." "honey, come quick! she's doing her cowgirl again!" i love that when we put on music, she will jump up and down a little bit, like she's already learning how to dance. and then she claps her hands, which takes up all of her body movement, so she has to stop bouncing because she can't do both things at the same time.
i love how much she talks and babbles. she always has something to say.
i love how when she nurses, she plays with my long hair. she strokes my hair and gently pulls it between her fingers. even when her eyes are closed, her hands are still working. only when i hold her little hand in mine to help her become still, is she able to completely relax and quiet her body and fall asleep.
i love that when she's trying to fall asleep, she has to bury her face into something soft -- her teddy bear, her satiny blanket, my bosom. she grabs her teddy and pushes her face into it as hard as she can, and rubs her face back and forth just to make sure she's completely buried in it. it's adorable and so pathetic and i love it.
i love gracie. she's amazing.