Monday, February 7, 2011

Occupied Territory

Heavy title, I know. It's crazy what is going on in that part of the world, but relax I'm not going to talk about politics on a blog about my kid. The only part of the Middle East I can relate to is having to duck from rocks from my daughter's pockets when I pull her clothes out of the dryer.

There is an explosion happening here though. Her vocabulary. I feel like I have either been writing about complaints I have, or venting about how hard my job is, so today I want to stop and acknowledge how impressed I am with my girl. There has been a very positive shift since the big power struggle a few weeks back. It been refreshingly easier to be with her and she is clearly aware that she has a choice in how she can react when things don't go her way. She is rolling with the punches better.

A few weeks ago, I would say her vocabulary was somewhat limited to the word "no." Not to say that word has stopped -- it hasn't, and when she uses it, it is very loud and clear. Since her behavior has mellowed out, she is suddenly extremely polite. She says please and thank you. She says, "May I please see that?" She even (sometimes up to three times a day) says, "Mommy, I love you." It's pretty freakin' sweet. She is able to express her emotions (even if not everyone can understand her) in a sensitive and giving way. Over the last few days with her I have had so many moments of awe when she says things. I feel a wave of happiness physicaly go through my body and leave me with a proud glow of love for her. I am really enjoying who she is, and who she is becoming right now.

She concerns herself with what is around her. She wants to know what has happened when she sees another child crying. She will ask why they are sad. When she is eating something and enjoying it, she will practicaly sing the word "yummy" and then generously asks if we want to try some too. When I come in to her room at night to tuck her in the second or third time, she can see my frustration. She will say, "Mommy, you happy?" I respond by saying I will be when she goes to sleep, I then tuck her in and I am leaving she says, "Mommy, you happy now?" When my husband was jumping around to entertain her this evening, she said, "Don't hurt yourself, daddy."

I know it sounds cliche to say how time seems to be flying by when I think about how she was a baby a minute ago. This little chatter box a year ago barely spoke three words. Her doctor said that if at eighteen months she didn't speak more, we should take her for speech therapy. I know there is the technical reality of how kids develop, but it blows my mind to see an individual emerge before my eyes. How I can use a word once and the next day it's part of her communication forever is baffling. A couple of days ago, I was holding her an she asked for something. I explained I couldn't get it in that moment because my hands were full. She looked up at me and asked, "Your hands are occupied, mommy?"

She has that right, but that's not the only part of me thats being taken over -- so is my heart.

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