Memo To Emmy: 18 Months
Really Emmy? You and Juanita, your lookalike doll Asian Grandma bought at Costco with hair that looks pre-chopped off? Those double ankle wrinkles? Your wispy mullet? Your cuteness is trying to bamboozle us into creating a sibling. Shudder.
You've crossed some major milestones this month. No more bottles! We were prepared for the biggest battle this side of the Mississippi since we took away your pacifier 12 months ago. We had reinforcements. Your father and I pep talked each other for a week. We read "What to Expect When You're Expecting Drama with Your Toddler." We strategized and huddled and hut hut HUTted ourselves into formation.
But when the day came, you went down without a fight. Zero. We just didn't give you the bottle one morning, offering you a stainless steel container with a straw instead. You didn't really want to drink milk out of it for a few days, but you didn't give a Boppy about losing your bottle. You were all, "Bottle who?" We could've taken that bottle away from you months ago!
Turns out, we accidentally did something the experts actually recommend. We always held the bottle when we fed you. We laughed and talked about how lazy you were behind your back. "Can you believe that baby? She won't even hold her own bottle!" But as it were, you never got attached to it or possessive about it and when the bottle disappeared, you were like, "Whatevs. Did anyone hear that? I just farted." It was like hitting a Staples button. That was easy.
However, you've developed some Baby Bully tendencies. You are very crotchety with Asian Grandma and Mama when it comes to: changing your diaper, brushing your teeth, being placed on the ground after 5PM, and generally doing anything you are not in the mood to do. Who to blame? I have a few ideas, and they all start with the initials "A.G." Frankly, you are getting a tad spoiled, ma'am. I have asked you many a time to "Please hold, someone will be with your shortly," because you get so short-tempered at times. Blame "M.a.m.a." for that temper.
You have acquired some awesome new physical skills though. Crayons, markers, sidewalk chalk and magnetic art boards rock your world. For a whole 3 minutes at a time. Daddy has taught you "1...2...3...JUMP!" You squat down really, really deeply like a midget Sumo wrestler and then, at the last moment, straighten your legs! No air, no actual 'jump' but it's enough to get a round of applause every time. Super kawaii, baby. You're also an expert one-leg stander, master of "baby steps" where you shuffle forward with tiny steps like you're trying to escape from an electrified live van. (My fellow "Look Up and Live" trainees will appreciate that visual.) You can almost whisper. You think whispering is putting your lips next to our ears and breathing for 2 seconds before pushing away and expecting applause. Dada is all about teaching you these useful skills.
Asian Grandma has taught you to spoon feed yourself pretty impressively. I like it because I can wolf down more of my own food in between catching bites of chicken that you spit out.
You're now reading aloud. You like to take copies of real books, ones without pictures, ones that your father runs away from screaming, "No, no, no I HATE READING!" and you flip through them and "read" in Emersonese. "The Given Day" is your favorite novel right now. You've lost my place multiple times flipping through the book I borrowed from Uncle Mike's library. Don't worry, I won't tell him about the pages you've wrinkled.
You've developed a really funny fear of flies. Where we live, the flies that get in the house have sonic BOOMINGLY LOUD buzzers. You always know when one is inside because it's suicidally slamming itself against every window trying to get out. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. ZZZ. ZZZ. ZZZ. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. You hate this. You run and cling to my legs as though you're bitter and religious. I caught one once to show you "It's really no big deal, Emmy. It's just a fly, see?" You didn't care. Every time you hear ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. ZZZ. ZZZ. you start to frown and get weepy like you've seen the end, and the end has honeycomb eyes.
You're so much fun Emmy. Fun enough I understand why people become stay at home parents. I love every minute of wrassling with you, with little fly-fearing bully.
Moms and Pops