I think the toughest part about packing up our house to move is taking pictures of my kids off the wall. I'm not a parent that only leaves the most recent portrait up, so I counted and there are over 130 framed photos hanging in my house, mostly of my kids. Well, mostly of Milo. Poor little Violet gets the short end of the stick on that, simply because we sort of ran out of space and because I haven't filled some frames that I've been saving for pictures of her.
Thinking about Violet getting the shaft also reminded me that her birthday sort of slid through the space between tick and tock this fall, what with Milo breaking his arm on her birthday, then us plunging headlong into purchasing a new home and selling our current home, so I want to post about some of the things our little sweet pea has been doing lately.
Singing. She creates her own soundtrack as she goes about her life, "Doo-dee-dooing" and "La, la, laaaaaing" as she diapers her baby doll, cooks pretend lunches on the play kitchen, or dresses up in her princess gear. I love this! Sometimes it's just a long, breathy, "Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-aa-aa-aaaah!" that scales her vocal range, sometimes there's actual words from a nursery rhyme, "Asses! Asses! We all fall down!", but there is always music in her heart.
Along with singing goes dancing. She's managed to pick up a delightful habit of dancing when she hears music, any music, any time. It's very cute -- sometimes, she turns slowly as if she's gliding in a billowing ball gown, sometimes she's head banging, and sometimes she's hopping about like she's raving. She skips and tumbles, twirls and dives, smiling and giggling.
One of her more humorous utterings is "No fair!" Always spat out with arms tightly crossed, chin tucked, and eyes peering out from under knit brows. I am surprised at the things she thinks are not fair -- last night, it was not fair that Milo was sitting in my lap and didn't want to move when she thought she needed to be in my lap. I imagine that I might be hearing this a lot in regards to Milo -- not surprising nor unexpected, yet sort of funny at the same time. I think it was only this summer that Milo started saying "Not fair!" I'm not quite sure that Violet actually knows what it means.
She really loves to play around with her voice and uses different voices for characters. Milo has yet to do this with any sort of consistency, though his toys have been talking to each other for nearly three years now. Violet has a particularly funny voice that never fails to crack me up -- she draws her lips into a tight circle, lengthens her jaw and talks in a very deep voice, her eyes are wide and her eyebrows raised. I haven't pinpointed who she thinks she's imitating, but she finds it funny, too.
"This is yours and that is mines!" I love how she has generalized mine to "mines." How utterly adorable! She properly uses hers, his, and yours and they all end with an "s", so why shouldn't mine?
Violet shares everything. If I hand her a cookie, she immediately demands another -- but not for herself, for Milo. She doesn't give it a second thought to hand him some of her loot, even if he hasn't asked. She is insistent that everyone have what she does, no matter what it is. She never squabbles nor tries to stealthily sneak away with more than her fair share. Her most selfish act is mine, too. She loves to lay in and nurse on weekend mornings, making it difficult for Milo or Scott to squeeze between the two of us. Neither of our boys is lacking for attention, but she is unwilling to share our special time with anyone. Given that Milo had us to himself for 26 months, I think it's OK that she has me to herself for 26 minutes on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Finally, she has learned, "I love you!" and will tell me this as she pretends to talk to me on the phone, or as I tuck her into bed or leave her at daycare. Hearing these words from her melts me into a roiling, fizzing, pool of joy. I feel lightened by her sweetness, lifted by her smacking little kiss. I can't imagine a day going by where I don't hear this and feel it from her and truly cannot wait until she's sleeping in the toddler bed and I can snuggle in deeply to kiss her goodnight, kneeling next to her as I do to Milo, holding her as she settles into her bed, soft and warm, her little arms wrapped around my neck, fingers tangled in my hair.
And so, my little flower, you are no shrinking Violet. You are graceful, kind, and effervescent. Your sunny nature shines on the cloudiest of gray days. I adore you, my beautiful girl, and wish you a happy, happy year.