How is it even possible that my sweet baby girl is 18 months old already? How is it even possible that in just over two months (maybe less?), she won’t be the only sweet baby in this house? But here we are…already a year and a half in with our little girl, and I stand in awe of not only how quickly time has gone but also how much Raegan Leigh has developed into such a person, so very much her own.
For one thing, Baby Girl clearly has style:
She also, clearly, loves her brother (note his monkey hat to her side and his Angry Bird slippers on her feet). The way those two light each other up is something that warms my heart at least once every day. [Let the record show, however, that the way they egg each other on is something that terrifies me at least once every day because I can only imagine what kind of shenanigans they will get into together as they grow.] The other night at the dinner table they were so connected, so delighted in sharing a conversation with each other that they just kept going and going, repeating the same phrase and giggling over and over that all Ben and I could do was watch and marvel at them.
Besides her brother, there are a few other things RL clearly loves: “Pup pups” and questions top the list. Every time she hears a dog bark, her eyes go big (as if they aren’t already so) and she says, “Pup pup? Pup pup!” And at every animal she sees, be it an actual dog or a squirrel or a bird, her eyes go big as she points and exclaims, “Pup pup!!” This all becomes even more comical considering that the only animal sound she knows is “Moo” (so be prepared if you ask her what a dog or a duck says because she will not be answering you correctly!).
Right or wrong, though, she’ll be delighted because the girl loves questions (can’t imagine where she gets that). She answers them with “yep”s and “nope”s pretty accurately and, holy moly cow, does she ask them all the time. “What’s that?” (sounds like “Wass dat?”) and “What’s this?” (sounds like “Wass dis?”) are her two favorites. Every noise she hears, besides the dog barks, is followed by the big eyes and one of those two questions. Every. Noise. The trucks on the street. The wind blowing outside the house. The mailbox banging in the wind. The lawn mowers at the neighbor’s house. The sirens sounding alarms around town. The birds up in the trees. The voices of other kids out playing. Someone dropping or doing something in another room. Seriously. It doesn’t matter what is making the sound – she wants to know about it. And she wants to know every single time she hears the noise, even when it is the same noise over and over and over.
Which brings me back to the brother/sister connection the other night at dinner. Our neighbors were out mowing and Raegan was asking, naturally, “Wass dat?” – repeatedly. Normally I translate for her and say, “What’s that?” and then answer by filling in the blank of whatever it is – repeatedly. This particular night, however, Harrison decided to start translating her words by saying, “What’s that?” and it was like her world had been rocked in the best way possible. Her big, even brighter than normal, eyes swiveled to look at him in his chair and you could almost see the realization in her mind that someone else besides Mama got it and that that was pure awesomeness. Not that they don’t interact all the time, but there was just something about this moment where they became the only two in the conversation and it was amazing, for all of us. I honestly can’t even tell you how many times she asked, he repeated, and they giggled after that. I just know it was fabulous.
Another fabulous factor in the World of RL would be just how much of an old man she really is. I mean, the girl’s favorite place in the house to be, by far, is the bench that sits below our kitchen window. No, really. Just look at the pictures here; the bench is in three of the four! But of course she doesn’t like it just for sitting. She likes it for the access it grants her to the window and the neighborhood/world at large. She hangs out there, with or without me, snacking on cereal, taking pulls from her sippy cup, and keeping tabs on all the people and “pup pups” she sees. I mean really, she totally reminds me of my Grandpa Tim who, after moving to town in his what, 70s?, loved to sit at the picture window beside his dining room table, drink coffee, and keep watch over all the doings of the world around him. My daughter is just the same and this is how I find her more often than not, if I let her toddle off on her own for a bit:
To extend their lifespan and preserve their whiteness, I often put the curtains up as a preemptive move; however, she obviously knows how to achieve her goal whether I meet mine or not.
I will say, though, that Raegan is the smiliest and most cuddly of old men. She loves to give hugs and squeezes and lately she’s even been leaning her face in for these supremely sloppy kisses. And if she sees anybody hugging anyone, she’ll either run to join in (is there anything better than a toddler running? RL throws her arms back when she does, superhero style, and pounds the floor with fast, thunderous feet as she goes), or she’ll scoop up a stuffed animal or pillow or whatever and give it some love. Such a funny peanut. And one we’ll have to keep an eye on once New Baby arrives! I’m thinking a baby doll might be in order for her, or else I fear she might spend all day every day trying to love on her new brother or sister.
So Happy 18 Months, Sweet Raegge! You give each one of us so many reasons to smile and laugh every day. And to cliche it up, once again, your sweet personality shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same: