This entry is more of the personal online diary variety, documenting all of the things she has been doing that I swear I will never forget, but fear I could. As time moves forward, what was once in focus becomes blurry. There are things she's done on this trip that I want to remember until my dying day, and this is my insurance. This is my way of making sure that even when I attend her first dance recital, I still hold close to my heart the sounds she made while greedily gobbling up her fruit from our hotel:
It's more the type of posting that I hope she will read some day. The type of entry I wish I had from my Mom, containing the mundane, yet infinitely interesting details that I wish I could share with her and talk to her about. "Yes, you did that too at her age and it used to crack me up!" she would say.
So feel free to skip this one! Really, my feelings will not be hurt. In fact, I'll never even know. As adorable as my girl is, she's my girl and every Mom has an interest in, and love of, their own child that far surpasses any other. I have fallen in love with her even more this past month, which I did not think was possible. If this love continues to grow, which I imagine it will, how is my heart going to hold it all?
That is how my Mom must have felt. I was sitting on the cobblestones in the town square of Old Town Prague. My husband was with Baby A, trailing closely behind her as she wandered around, happy as can be, making eye contact with everyone that she could and smiling and pointing up. When she walks, she seems to be in a perpetual state of pre-face-plant, yet hardly ever falls. She'll wander in front of people, stop mid-stride or change direction on a dime, much like a tiny little drunk person. She throws her arms up and down, or lets out little shouts of glee. On this particular night, it was after 10pm, yet the skies were still a deep blue and had not yet turned black. Three elderly people stopped and were captivated by her. She stopped as well, and my eyes welled with tears, seeing how much joy she was bringing them, and knowing she would have brought my Mom exponentially more. "Go see Mommy" my husband said as he pointed. She locked eyes with me and was on a mission as she began stumbling my way. As she approached, she threw her arms up into the air and held them there, anticipating our hug. She threw her arms around my neck and fell into me. That. That right there is a moment I never want to forget,
It was right as the birds were circling and flooded with the lights from Tyn church. My "sign," and an absolutely magical moment. See, when I watched the faces of the three elderly people brighten as they interacted with Baby A and felt that pain of missing Mom so sharply, I absently wondered to myself, to God, to no one in particular "Why can't I have a sign? Please show me that you're there." And then the birds happened. Taken aback, I was slow on the draw with my camera, and just like with everything, it's not nearly as captivating on my grainy footage as it was in person. Everyone in the square - hundreds of people - were all facing skyward. There were gasps and even a round of applause. All for what I asked for. Or so I like to think. Thank you, Mom I whispered and hugged my girl just a little tighter, feeling through my love of her the love that Mom had for me.
Not all moments of our trip were as magical. But you know what was? Her averaging 10 hours of sleep every night, and even a record 14 while we were in Vienna. I loved being able to let her stay up later and know that she would sleep in. Most nights, she went to bed after 11pm, and slept in until 9am. I didn't even know babies could do that. Being well-rested made the trip that much more enjoyable for all of us. Most days, Dad was even able to get in a nap while she did, and I blogged or read.
Before this posting gets too much longer (you're still with me?) here's a listing, in no particular order, of all the new and cute things that she did or learned on our trip.
- She doesn't always give us a kiss when we ask, but sometimes does unsolicited, and those are the best. Like when were were in line at Billa, the grocery store next to our hotel, and she opened her mouth and leaned in toward me with an "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh" and then did the same for Dad. Or, when we were having Italian food and she was a few feet away in the children's play area and approached a girl a few months younger than her, mouth open and "Ahhhhh." We laughed and struggled to try and explain to the girl's Mom, who didn't speak English, that she was trying to give a kiss not bite her.
- Her joy in exploring each new hotel room, and how almost anything can seem like a toy to her. On this trip, we stayed in a total of six hotel rooms. She loved exploring each one, and quickly mastered the elevator routine, walking ahead of us from our room, helping us push the button, entering on her own with excitement.
- Stairs. Stairs are a huge favorite of hers right now. She likes to crawl, or walk up an entire flight and is starting to learn how to walk down. She wants to do it on her own, but will hold my hand. Sometimes, I hold on to her clothing without her knowing, or trail closely one stair behind, acting as a professional stair-spotter.
- Moving furniture and pushing her stroller.
- Hugs. Dad taught her to hug by hugging her puppy. She hugs us many times throughout the day but it is never enough.
- "Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" She still doesn't pronounce the 'g.' Birds, horses and other animals are still referred to as dogs. Sometimes we try and give her the correct name, other times we go along with it.
- Spaghetti. We love how she will dig into her plate with two hands and grab fistfuls of spaghetti to put into her mouth. It gets all over her face and on more than one occasion, in her hair.
- Ice cream! Her first taste was on this trip. Not sure what to make of it at first, she quickly became adept at shoveling it in, asking for more by opening her mouth and leaning in, like a little birdie.
- Wearing flip-flops
- Playing peak-a-boo by covering her face with her hands
- Tickling or "getting" us. Like when we were in line at the airport and I said "go get Daddy" she walked over and tickled the back of his knees. She gives away her stealth approach by giggling excitedly from a few feet away.
- Kiss attacks
- Playing with Trevi when we returned. She will hold a ball in each hand, toss one about a foot and when Trevi goes for it, she laughs and laughs.
- Walking around with a towel on her head.
- Finding me with hide and go seek
- How she interacts with people, especially in the town square in Old Town Prague. She would walk around the circle, making eye contact with anyone that she could. It was so surprising to me that across all ages and genders, people were captivated by her. From teenage boys, to elderly ladies, so many people spoke to her in their language and many of them kissed her hand, held her or touched her in some way. Culturally, this would just not fly in the states, which is a shame. She loved it! She would smile, act shy or point up, at nothing in particular.
- Her pointing, at almost everything, especially birds. Right now, she points with her middle finger.
- So much babbling, more so than last month. Its as if she is speaking in sentences and having a conversation with you, except that there are no real words, only approximations.
- Using her pretend phone or the phone in the hotel. Starting to understand the concept.
- Following directives such as "Give this to Daddy."