Tuesday, January 25, 2011

crazy little girl

Eva loves...

pulling up to standing
waving at people (and by waving I mean opening her mouth really wide, saying hi with her eyes, or flapping her arms like wings... because she doesn't know how to "adult wave" yet)
letting you know she's tired of being held and sometimes she does this by clenching her little legs together so you can't wrap her around you or arching her back!
back arching in general, for any and all occasions, and to generally communicate frustration
eating oatmeal, rice cereal, veggies, bananas, and especially Graduates (an infant type of Cheerio)

She is absolutely in love with little girls. She loves watching them do anything. Yesterday she admired a little three year old from our church as she played a lap harp and talked. Today she watched as a little toddler peeled an orange. And by watching I mean some intent staring as well as some crazy chasing as fast as she could crawl, climb and go in her direction.

She also loves doting adults and really doesn't have any preference over who it is (stranger, friend, man, woman, child, etc) although hats, glasses, and facial hair score big points. I was a bit afraid at all this apparent extroversion until a friend of mine simply stated "she just loves people, like you and Donovan!" I feel much calmer about it all now. Somehow that made it seem so fitting for our family and so beautiful. Sometimes I get nervous and think, she will be so extroverted she'll make me crazy! But that's not necessarily true.

Right now if Eva could instantly become an adult in the working world, I have a few ideas of how her raw talent could be optimized. (I can't believe I'm doing that which I said I would never do, but this is partially for the sake of comedy.) Eva could be a...
-missionary. She is a magnet to others and really loves them without restraint. She ministers to others and makes them feel closer to God. She radiates beauty and is unashamed. She just wants to make others happy.
-computer technician. Seriously. Today I found her in a nest of computer cords with a huge smile on her face and I could almost imagine her pulling out plugs and reorganizing them and saying gibberish that I couldn't understand like "Stanley, pass me the B35 ninety X, I have a real problem over here and it's going to take me all afternoon!"
-artist. She loves looking at the sky and just stopping and staring. Sometimes she finds the most simple thing (like a tagged speed limit sign) and locks onto it with her eyes, even following it as we pass by. It's beyond me what she sees in something so simple! But I can imagine great things coming from her. She helps me see the world anew and I think that's what artists can do too.
-animal rescuer. Eva loves animals as much as she loves people. She tries to interact with cats and dogs and attempts talking to them in the same way she communicates with humans, she doesn't judge them to be any different!

On a serious note, most of the time I'm trying to hold onto every precious moment. I love being with her and raising her. But one bad thing did happen this week! As I sat a mere 1 foot away while Eva was bathing in the adult bathtub, Eva put my razor in her mouth! You can imagine my shock and surprise to look over to see her with the handle of my razor sticking out of her mouth. There was a cut and some blood and a restless night but I think all is well now. The only other hiccups we've had lately with this developmental stage is 1. learning to get down (from standing or sitting) gracefully, which is much harder to do when tired and 2. eating things (leaves are our biggest problem).

She keeps me on my toes! Did I ever say I'm glad I'm 26? Whew. I am!

Friday, January 14, 2011

just because

I love seeing Eva's determination. Today she stood on her toes to reach for something but it wasn't just her toes it was the tops of her toes. Her whole body reached for the object (I'm still not quite sure what exactly she had in mind at the time because there were a few things within her line of vision). I look at her sometimes and think, "if only I had that much zest for life!" Children make you new again, they help you realize how fun simple things like water can be, and they help you enjoy simple things (like breathing fresh air) as you live life along with them. Just today I found myself sighing and screaming along with Eva as we breathed our lungs full of cool fresh afternoon air. Of course, children also make you tired beyond all belief. So there is this strange dichotomy of complete exhaustion, sweet slowness, exhilaration, and a desperate cry to go to sleep. I'm hoping this long weekend finds you slowing down, breathing in fresh air, and kissing the cheeks of your loved ones just because.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

watching a person unfold into humanity

Eva is working on grabbing toys while she is propping herself up (in a standing position) on furniture. I can see the wheels turning. She wants to grab the object. She also wants to stand and hold onto the furniture. But she can't stay standing without holding onto the furniture. She's tried and figured it out. It hurt to learn that lesson! After she fell that first time she went about furniture-standing much more cautiously. And to get down there were two options 1) wait until her legs almost buckled and then cry for help, while shaking from head to toe meanwhile (looking very helpless and often getting the hoped-for assistance) or 2) slowly tipping like a falling tree, allowing her big baby belly brushing the couch to slow the force of gravity. I watch these things and wonder with her. How she figures them out. How she decides to explore further. How she trusts again and risks again. The world is a scary place! But she is a brave soul. I think all babies are. To work within a world where things hurt and are not always working out as you would like them to. To work at things that time after time don't succeed. I wonder at how she is motivated to try things like walking that she has never accomplished before. How does her body and her brain motivate her to try for the first time? And second and third time (after those attempts didn't work), before there is any reason for her to think that she will eventually get it? Eva puts her whole body into moving. She can scoot and just this last two or three weeks can do a proper knee and hand "crawl." If she sees a computer cord or a piece of paper she is on a 100-meter sprint speed toward it, nothing will stop her. Yet, to my great delight and humor, if I pick her up and play a different game with her the memory of the cord is removed from her entirely and she is enveloped in the new activity. I will delight in this for as long as it lasts. It seems if we could delay this lack of short term memory until about age 4, many toddlers would be easier to manage :) So Eva is moving through this world, one small task at a time. And I am watching. I love just seeing it, experiencing it though her eyes. It really does make me feel like the whole world is new again. Small banana pieces are new again. I cut some up for her today and reveled at how she watched them, grasped for them, and in spite of them slipping away from her rigid little fingers, she continued on this journey at trying to get them. Although when she did I was surprised to find that the goal was not to get them in her mouth and I'm not quite sure what the real goal was. Perhaps just to chase them. Ahhh, raising babies makes me feel young and carefree and wild. I love having a little learner in my house. It is so strange and lovely!