A few of my favorite things

As Aubrey has gotten older I find it easier to get more and more wrapped up in my day to day life , work  and other things that weren’t so evident to me when she was an infant. I don’t want to say that the wonder and amazement at the little life Brandon and I created has gone away,  but I find her growing independence has allowed the outside world to creep back into my field of view. When she was an infant I could hold her for hours and just marvel at her little features, the feel of her breathing, her soft scent and the faces she would make as she slept in my arms. Now that she is an active toddler she is free to leave my arms and entertain herself, which in turn widens my gaze to the laundry piling up in the hamper, the dishes needing washed, the grocery lists to make and all the other distractions of life.

Because of this, the moments when she does do something to snap me out of my distracted haze stand out so much more than before. Hearing her voice completely changes my mood and no matter how stressful my day at work may have been, I can’t help but smile when I walk in the door and she happily yells, “Mommy!” as she runs to me. It’s not only her voice and the way she pronounces things that I want to lock away in my memory, but also the genuinely sweet and kind personality inside her.

So many mornings I’m tempted to pull off the the side of the highway on the way to day care when I hear her say with gentle pleading from the back seat, “Mom, hode [hold] you?”

Before every bath in the midst of her excitement to get in the water, she never fails to give me a tight hug around the neck and a kiss before climbing into the bubbles. With each hug she gives she does an emphatic grunt to show how tight she is squeezing and every kiss is accompanied by sound effects. “MmmmmAH!”

Her heartbreaking wails of, “Mommy nigh nigh!” on the nights when she wants me to lay down in her bed with her. And on the nights that I do she can’t seem to get close enough as she does her best to pull my head onto her pillow saying, “Mom o’er [over].”

The unfailing politeness as she thanks Brandon and I for everything from juice to kisses. “Ahn you Mom. Ahn you Dah-ee.” Or her persistent reminding when she feels that we have forgotten to give her her due thanks. “Ahn you Auby,” over and over until we say it at least once. And her mastering of the word ‘please’ so that with a soft request of, “Toontoona peesh Dah-ee,” Brandon, who swore he would never be wrapped around her finger, will turn off his documentaries and search the channels for cartoons.

Her desire to help with every task no matter how much more work her help will create for me. “Auby hewp.Auby hewp too!”

The genuine concern when she realizes someone is missing from her presence and the way she cocks her head and holds her palms up as she says, “Dah-ee go? Mom go?” And the excitement that comes when the missing person returns. “Dah-ee he-ur! Hi Dah-ee!”

Her sense of fairness and generosity when she insists that if I give her fruit snacks or a pudding cup that I must give one to Brandon as well because she knows he enjoys them too. “Dah-ee one too?” She also uses this concept to bargain for accompaniment when she is afraid she will be the only one doing something. “Mom nigh nigh too?” “Mom buh bye too?”

She is growing up so fast and learning new words and phrases almost hourly. I’m sure it’s only a matter of weeks before her pronunciation improves and she gradually loses the adorable toddler vocabulary in exchange for longer phrases and before long I’ll be hearing, “Mom, can I borrow the car?” instead of, “Mom up? Mom hode you?”

It’s a horrible curse that when we’re young we strive so hard to grow up as fast as we can and when those short years of innocence are over we’re left wondering where time went and wishing against reason that it slows down as we watch our own children racing through childhood as well. I’m sure most everyone has heard the pleas of  our predecessors urging us to slow down and enjoy each day for what it is rather than counting the seconds until tomorrow, but like each generation before us we commit the same mistakes letting those words of advice drift past us like a stranger in a crowd we have no desire to know. I already know I will beg Aubrey to slow down, just as I know she will only half hear my words as she pushes forward toward adulthood at a pace too fast for my liking, but I hope that she can look back on her life with satisfaction at a full and happy childhood.


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