Thursday, July 21, 2011

baby talk

No, she's not talking. But she communicates insanely well. And it's making me stop and really take in her every glance and hand gesture and facial change. With Zach being my first, I focused so much on verbal language. Here is my baby, I will talk to him and eventually he will talk as well. And he did. Insanely early and non-stop and very, very clearly with a huge vocabulary. But I am wise enough to know that Naia is not Zach and she will find her voice on her own terms in her own time. Yet somehow at the end of the day I feel like I can turn to my husband and tell him everything she said, even though she hasn't "said" a thing.
First of all, that punim. The looks she gives could stop a bear in its tracks. When she is not interested in something the eyes say it all. Be gone commoners, the Queen has spoken! (The commoners in these scenarios are usually Zach and I.) When she's sad, it's all lower lip and eyebrows. They both dip down and quiver just before the waterworks. Her wee little mouth lights up in a wide open grin when her brother makes her laugh or mama plays "eat the baby". She crawls across the floor examining every piece of lint on the way as if it's her life's work (and it is!) She paws through her books with equal parts dainty and awkward, trying to get the darn things exactly the way she wants them and often turning the sturdy cardboard pages with her long slender toes. And those feet! We call them happy feet because she manages to balace on her tush and kick them up and down at a rapid fire pace when she's extra excited about something.
All day long she tells me what she likes, what she needs, what she wants, what's not working for her, when she needs to rest, when she needs to nurse, that she's not ready for trying food yet, and she would very much like to be walking now because truly crawling is for babies.
(check me out I'm standing!)
(oh crud. I WAS standing.)

She tells me that certain people make her happy while others make her uneasy, that dogs are amazing and cats are a mystery to be solved. She whispers that trees are magical and wind confuses her. She declares to the world that her brother is the funniest person on planet Earth. She would really like to know the mechanical engineering behind seat belts. And she confides that she's only barely tolerating life jackets with the promise of a day when they are not a full body experience.  
Dolls, baby toys... forget them! Plugs, wires, hair brushes, paint brushes, sun glasses, car keys, rope, bottle caps -- yes! This is a girl who knows what she likes and will not be lured in by sparkles and fluff.
I am filled with wonder at the end of each day, as she lets me know that she would please very much like to nurse to sleep now and I look at her snuggled next to me in bed and marvel at her silence when she in reality has not uttered a word all day. And with one last sleepy glance from her long lashes she reminds me that she doesn't prefer bedtime poems or songs like her brother, no thank you, but if you could stroke my hair and not say a word that will get me on the fast track to dream land.
I am savoring this intimate time, when her language is mine to unlock and interpret. I am loving this brief spell of magical conversations that float invisibly from her heart to mine.
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