“Come quickly,” my 9-year-old daughter Athena cries. “I need to show you something RIGHT AWAY.”
I wipe my hands on a cloth and hurry out of the kitchen. Baby Leone, almost ten months old, is happily playing on the floor by the coffee table.
“Look!” Athena points. “Look at her hair. In the back. It’s so LONG!!”
We are all startled by how fast Leone is growing. Her light hair has started to curl in wisps around her head. Two more top teeth (she has four teeth so far, two on the top and two on the bottom) are coming in, and she is on the move, doing her funny half scooch half crawl to get wherever she wants to go. Even though she’s all pudge, she can pull herself to standing now. She’s happy to stand and bounce herself up and down and she tries to cruise (which usually ends badly. Luckily she’s so small that her face is close to the floor and even though the crash makes a terrible sound she recovers quickly.)
She still manages to find whatever choking hazard is within half a mile of where she’s sitting. She then pops it in her mouth and looks pleased with herself, drooling furiously as the item makes her cheeks puff out. Beware the concerned parent who has not renewed her certificate in infant CPR who tries to get the hazard—be it a marble, a grape, a lego, or a pebble—out of her mouth. Leone will usually spit it out but she does so angrily, wailing her annoyance in shrill tones.
Among her favorite activities:
1) Playing with the glass recycling bottles on the floor. They roll! They spill something bubbly! They make a clanking noise against the floor!
2) Practicing with a piece of pasta. Or a strawberry. Strawberries are great for mushing into one’s face and one’s mother’s clothing.
3) Sitting on the potty in the morning and playing with the toothbrushes, two in each hand. But since the siblings do NOT appreciate when said toothbrushes are found in strange places around the house, these titillating toys must remain in the bathroom. Leone protests vociferously.
4) Brushing her own hair: with her soft little bamboo brush, with a big sister’s brush, or with a toothbrush.
5) Exploring the refrigerator: She’s a baby on a mission the minute the fridge door opens. Then she stands up inside the open fridge and flings whatever is in her reach onto the floor. Destruct-o baby on the loose.
6) Pointing where she wants to go: it’s all in the index finger. She points all the time at everything now. Isn’t it amazing how much babies can communicate without words?
Tonight was the picnic for my 11-year-old daughter’s sixth grade class. The teacher’s two-month-old daughter and Jenny’s three-week-old son were both there.
They were so cute.
And happy to be cuddled in their mothers’ arms.
Leone, on the other hand, was all about sitting with the big kids on the picnic blanket and eating pesto pasta.
“Oh The Cuteness,” Athena calls her. “Oh My Adorable.”
“Mommy,” Athena then says with a melodramatic sigh. “I don’t WANT Leone to grow up.”