Sunday, October 25, 2009
These pictures pretty much sum up the essence of JoJo. Lately she has been doing her own special pose for the camera when you ask her to smile: shoulders up and mouth closed, her expression clearly relaying "Yeah, I know. You don't even have to say it. I am adorable." I don't know where she learned it, but she whips it out whenever the lens comes near her. That is, if she is not doing what she does best, which is flying through the air and performing near-death acrobatic stunts. My cousin Brigitte spent the whole time she was here cringing and reflexively reaching out to catch her because you are always seeing a glimpse of a fuzzy blond head arcing through your peripheral vision on its way to some sharp corner or stone fireplace edge. And the problem is she is way too fast. Try as you might to watch her carefully, she will find a way to be standing on the kitchen counter and rummaging through the knife drawer (what, they make latches for those?), and if you ask her to sit down, you're risking more injury because she's likely to leap in the air and put her legs straight out in the pike position like she's Mary Lou Retton and miss the wooden stool entirely.
She's also making good strides in her vocabulary. Some of it is nice and clear, like when she pointed out the window in the wee hours of the morning and said "Dark. Scared." To which I did respond with comfort and soothing noises instead of snidely remarking about it serving her right for getting me out of bed so early, like I wanted to. Some of the words are entirely garbled and woe to you who does not understand that "tatoo" means sucker. There shall be much snarling and rigid bodies on the wood floors in your future.
She's also getting into the official toddler arena of micromanaging your environment. Her crib is crammed with five blankets, a pillow, several nude dolls and a menagerie of stuffed animals that all need to be tucked in beside her. She needs her ears cleaned with a Q-tip twice a day and don't even think about trying to put her in bed without holding her like a wooden log so she can drink from the faucet.
I love that she is getting older, that she is getting more opinionated, more vocal, more of her own little person. Each day I look at her and love her just a little bit more than I did the day before, more than I imagined I would love the children I conjured up in my future. I wish I could go back and tell my twenty-year-old self what was in store, that one day there would be this husband, these girls, this blessed life.