And for a little light-heartedness . . .
1. The day we came back from NJ, she started this game with me wherein she stands on her little bench/stool thing, and I sit in front of her, facing away from her, and she insists I take down my hair, and then she plays with my hair, pats my shoulders, and sometimes has me tilt my head back for a kiss, first to one side, then the other. And today during this game she kept hugging me and saying, “My toy!” And when she does the kissing thing, she giggles a lot in between. (She also wanted us to touch our teeth together but gave that up quickly because it kind of hurts.)
2. Today she walked up to the library on her own, moved her little chair over to where the light switches are, and turned them on herself.
3. She flirts. When we were in Baltimore, we went to the Inner Harbor, and there was a little boy there, maybe 6 mos older than Zoe. Zoe walked right over to him with her chin tucked, her head to the side, making eye contact and smiling coyly. Then she FLIPPED HER HAIR! Where does a 21-month-old child learn to flip her hair? Probably Glee.
4. She also selects outfits. Tuesday when I was back home for less than 36 hours, we went to Old Navy. Zoe kept pulling stuff (in the Toddlers section) off the rack and going, “Oh, cute!” and “Beautiful dress!” and “Jeans!” and handing them to me. Then we went home and I washed all her stuff. She pulled out this floaty patterned tank top that I’d gotten her and the shorts she’d picked out and wanted to put them on. BUT she also wanted her capri-length black leggings on UNDER the shorts. And she had to select a different color headband. Ridiculous.
These last two items, by the way, indicate that I am in SERIOUS TROUBLE with this one and that it will all start well before she reaches thirteen. In fact, it has started already.
5. She grabs my hand and says, “Come, Mommy,” and then leads me to where she wants me to go. (She does this to people who are not me, too.)
6. She responds favorably and instantly to pretty young girls with brown hair. We had over a potential babysitter last week, a thirteen-year-old girl from across the street. The doorbell rang, which made her nervous, but then this girl walked in and she was immediately like, “Come! Blocks!” and started babbling about her toys and such. Then this week, Aunt Kate (who is herself a pretty young brunette) had a friend come by, whom Zoe had met maybe once, and Zoe took to her instantly and absolutely. It’s adorable.
7. She’s fearlessly bossy. A couple of weeks ago, we were at the playground with Aunt Kerri, and a group of pre-schoolers zoomed in. In imitation of me, she started hollering, “Watch out!” at them. (I was yelling because they were about to ram right into the large, heavy swing Zoe was swinging on.) Then when the four- and five-year-old boys were doing something of which Zoe apparently disapproved, she walked right into the middle of a knot of them and yelled, “Stop it!” She also didn’t like the way the boy (a few months older than Zoe) was treating his dog and kept instructing him to “Stop it!”
8. She sings songs. Sometimes she sings children’s songs, like the alphabet song or Twinkle, Twinkle. She also has a few little ditties that are sort of made up. She likes “Tonight” from West Side Story (which she knows from Glee). Her favorite right now is Bad Romance by Lady Gaga (and she prefers the real music video to the Glee version). But she actually sings all of it. The nonsense syllables in the beginning are one thing, but she goes, “Bad Romance,” and “I want your ugly, I want your disease,” and “Love . . . love, love, love” with all the right intonations and everything. It is awesome.
9. She’s noticing and commenting on people’s emotions, and most of the time she’s responding appropriately – like if she sees me crying (which she’s had occasion to do these past few weeks), she gives me hugs, pats my hair, and asks, “What happened?”
10. A few times, I’ve given her a pad and pen, and she scribbles away, all hunched over and focused, and then every once in a while she’ll look up and go, “Genius? Genius.”
11. She sits herself down – on a step or a bench or something – and leans slightly forward and clasps her hands in her lap, making herself look completely darling. Then she invites me to sit down next to her (“Come, Mommy. Sit down right here.”). Then she smiles at me and says, “Feels good!”
12. When she is upset, usually about being told “No,” she flings herself down on her knees with her face to the floor and wails piteously. Occasionally she pauses mid-wail and looks up to see if you are feeling very sorry for her. But whatever you do, you shouldn’t laugh when she does this, because then she really starts wailing.
Well, that’s all I’ll write about right now. The girl is full-time adorable; it’s hard to get it all in.