Yesterday, as I was telling someone about Amelie's latest feats and accomplishments, they said something that struck a chord. They said, "Well, she's turning into a little person!" And that really bugged me. You see, I'm one of those who sees a baby and sees...a little person. Whether the child is less than a minute old or 5 years old, I see a little person. They're not puppies or kittens. They're humans who, at varying stages of their lives, may be wholly dependent on other, bigger people (until we're old and decrepit and then we're dependent on other, littler people).
This is how I've thought of my daughter all along - as a little person, even when she couldn't hold her own head up but tried, oh how she tried! So of course, since she's only been a little person in my life for a year and a half (which, in my life, is hardly any time at all) and I can still feel her trying to root on my cheek in those quiet moments when I reminisce to what amounts to yesterday, the 18-month old Learning Explosion has taken me totally off-guard.
It started with the potty and has snowballed from there. Suddenly, we're moving from one or two word expressions of thoughts, observations and desires (i.e. "Mama! Bus! Bye-Bye [which translates to "I love you", believe it or not] and so on) to assigning characteristics to these thoughts (i.e. Mam! Gree' cock! [translation: Green Chalk. Yes. I was as horrified as you were when I first heard that one]) and scarier still, assigning them correctly (as in she didn't call the purple chalk green, she called the green chalk green).
She sings the ABCs with me - and gets most of the letters right. Last night, I taught her the Underpants Dance which appears to be a smash hit in the household now...and of course, she loves to "dahr" (draw).
But in the last couple of days, two things happened that made me realize the real scope of how much she's changed.
1. She goes down the big slide by herself now. Not the little, plastic "big" slide but the tall aluminum ones. As M was getting situated to take her down one the other day, she pushed off by herself, before he was fully ready, screamed, "WHEEEEE!!!!" all the way down...and stopped herself at the bottom, scooted off the end and ran 'round to do it again.
The poor man just sat at the top of the slide, not quite believing what was happening and, as he told me later, said, "buh-byeee" a little sadly when she did it over and over again.
2. As I was wrapping up dinner last night, I heard a muted conversation coming from the living room with respect to who was using what paint brush and, from Amelie, "Shhhh! Kye-et!!" Not too long after, she toddled into the kitchen with M trailing after saying, "Are you going to give it to mommy?"