Since Bean was born, I've asked my mother what I was like at her age.
"Oh I don't remember," she sighs. "There were so many of you, you all just kind of blend together in my mind."
And I can hardly blame her. There were 5 of us for heavens sake, I'm sure she was barely coherent for a lot of those years. But I don't want to forget.
Bean you are determined. You are a do-it-yourself kind of girl. When it comes to learning new skills, you won't stop until you get it down. Last week Husband taught you how to clip the buckle on your carseat. Now you won't stand for someone else doing it for you. You have to do it yourself.
But you're a happy little dictator. You're easy with the smiles and a wonderful mimic. If Mama sticks her tongue out at you, you are happy to reply in kind with a wag of your own tiny tongue.
When we ask you where your nose is, you touch your nose and say "beep". When we ask after your ears, you point proudly. When we ask where your tummy is, you lift your shirt and rub it gleefully. When we ask where your mouth is, you stick your tongue out and touch it with a giggle.
You're always on the move, little Bean. You're curious and active. Last night at our parenting group, all the other babes were happy to sit in the grass and play with toys. Not you. As usual you were running around, finding stairs to climb up and down, up and down. You found 16 different ways to go down the stairs... backwards on your knees, forwards holding Mama's hand, face first on your belly... The you ran around the garden looking at flowers and picking up rocks. We saw a little bumble bee flitting on some flowers and we stopped to look. You were enthralled. When you got to the herb garden you plucked a basil leaf and held it to your nose, sniffing exaggeratedly just like Daddy taught you. I gave you a spearmint leaf and you sniffed it before shoving it in your mouth with a grin.
You've started saying "upp!" when you want to be held. You will run to me and grab my leg. "Upp!" you plead (or demand). Your tiny voice is so adorable I always oblige. You run to the couch and look behind you... "Upp?" you ask.
You've got so many signs now I can hardly keep track. Diaper, banana, eat, cheese, grape, all done... just to name a few. And of course the most important sign: more. You use "more" to get more food, more hugs, more trips down the slide.
Your teachers say you are half ballerina, half linebacker. You've got bruises on your little legs and scrapes on your knees. Dirt under your fingernails and finger paint in your hair. But you're petite and lovely, your sweet little face can melt me in a second.
When you sleep, you curl up in a ball with your bottom in the air. You clutch your soft little lovey to your face and you sigh in your sleep. You've started sucking your thumb on occasion, though it's not clear if it's a habit that will stick around.
It's so much fun to play with you and teach you. You love learning new things, and you're proud of yourself when you have an opportunity to show off.
I love watching you grow, little Bean.