Saturday, November 6, 2010

a fitting post

When Annabelle was small and in that stage where babies put everything in their mouth, Annabelle didn't. She'd find small things on the floor or sticks and leaves on the ground outside and instead of plopping them in her mouth to determine their origin, she'd turn them over and over in her tiny, precise fingers until she figured it out. If she was interested, she'd hold on to the item. If not, she'd discard it. After smacking me in the face a few months ago, we had a small discussion about hitting and being gentle. She no longer hits and instead pets babies and small animals when asked to be gentle. She brings us scissors when someone has left them in her reach. She lightly touches car surfaces or the oven to determine if they're hot. She stands or sits at the bottom of the stairs and waits for someone to take her up. She stays on the sidewalk. When she runs away, just ask her to come back. She will. She chews gum, and when she's done, she puts it in the garbage. No. Joke. (Okay, she's swallowed it a few times.) And this has been the very typical trend of our very atypical baby. She's always acting a few decades older than her tiny body says she should.

Until recently. Recently, she's decided that being a toddler and maybe getting a jump start on those terrible twos is a fabulous idea. She throws fits when she can't get her shoes on by herself, and of course fits louder if you try to help. Tantrums are becoming more common than not, and usually for no apparent reason except she feels like fitting. When we play outside, she occasionally runs away from me, and unlike the past, when she'd turn around when asked to, she runs faster - away. She often says no when we make requests. She attempts the stairs on her own and leaps off couches (always assuming someone will catch her). Last night she got into the spice cupboard at her grandparents' house four times; the first time she dropped a bottle of beef bullion on the slate floor, shattering it. The next three times, she just got in trouble.

Our little atypical baby, while still fascinating in her own "old soul" kind of way, is no longer a baby. She's a toddler, with ideas and preferences and dare I say passions. We have moments that we long for that little baby who couldn't roll over, who crawled backwards for a month, but then we realize that she's completely lovely still, even in her fits of rage. She's growing up into her own little self. It kind of makes my heart hurt, both because I'm sad to see her leave those baby days and because it swells with pride to watch her become. She's becoming Annabelle, and she's doing it so beautifully.

Sometimes I think that all these stages that we watch for in our children are just as much stages and milestones for the parents. We're marking time with their growth, and it seems that if time is going to fly (and it always does), the best way to watch it speed by is in the small sprinting body of your perfect-even-in-her-fits toddler.

And although I swore I'd never post "naked pictures" of my child, this is for all those tantrums yesterday young lady. Seriously. :)

1 comment:

Diana said...

Yep, the stage of fits is no fun at all. We've been in it with Thomas for awhile, and it's definitely a stage of growth for me too. I've learned that my patience definitely needs some refining. Good luck with all of this. It can definitely be exhausting!


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