I really like Aria. I mean I totally love with super mother depth. But I really like her too. She’s interesting and funny and fun to be around. She’s intelligent and, in her own baby way, witty. She’s adventurous, loves to explore and figure things out, but loves a good cuddle and a kiss on the cheek.
So in honor of her turning 18 months this week, here are a few of my favorite things.
I love her chortle.
It may be my favorite thing about her. It’s this slightly surprised, slightly expecting, but appreciative laugh she often makes. She sees the humor in something and laughs, rather than laughing in delight or laughing because something is silly. It’s “a laugh because she is amused or appreciative of something.” A chortle. I hope she always has it. I find it quite distictive and it always make me appreciate the humor in a situation too.
I love how she communicates.
I’ve an unfinished blogpost about communication and lots of hand waving. But Aria, she’s just so interesting about it. She gestures and moves her body and does this full on head nod when you get something right. It’s almost as if she’s the adult and your the child who just answered a question right. As if she understands I’m just slow and it’s an accomplishment when I figure things out. At the same time, this comes of as charming rather than condescending so you actually feel approved of in the same way if your manager tells you what a good job you’ve done and really means it.
I love how Aria celebrates success.
Aria is just fun. She likes to play and puzzle things out. She spent a half hour figuring out how to turn her wrist just so in order to get a teaspoon into a baking soda box. When she knows something is in reach (I had to prove it to her a couple of times so she wouldn’t give up) she goes at it with delightful determination. And when that teaspoon finally went in, she grinned with satisfied success. It’s not gloating. She seems pleased with accomplishing the task, rather than being the one who accomplished it. She even chortles after accomplishing something or figuring something out.
I love how Aria chooses her friends.
She’s so friendly. Though a little overwhelmed by crowds and lots of unfamiliar faces, in small encounters Aria smiles and waves and talks in her baby talk way. She chooses her friends, even at this age, and the ones she chooses are the ones who make her laugh or are low key but equally engaged with life. In other words, so far at 18 months, Aria chooses friends who bring out the best in her. I hope she’s always so sage. She seems to gravitate to adults who, rather than loving on her, show her new and interesting things. Today my friend Cristina showed her butterflies and stacking baskets and a unique doll her daughter had made. She talked to her like I talk to her, as if they were having a conversation. Before I knew it, Aria was waking right over to her and asking to be held in her arms. That almost never happens.
I love how Aria talks.
I realized recently that I’m constantly taking to Aria. It wasn’t really a conscious thing. While I always forget to point out things and repeatedly give names, I tell Aria everything that is going on, get her input on things in a conversational way, and explain what’s happening. I also didn’t really consciously realize Aria was actively engaged in many of these conversations. “Gagle ga ha ba ba all done ga gi ga… Ba ha ma ma mo mi night night mi mil ba ba.” I noticed it when in real words started popping up in her sentences. “Oh. Yes. We’re really having a conversation!”
Yesterday I was at my friend’s house and we laid a blanket down for Aria to curl up on. Cristina showed Aria a doll getting into the blanket, rubbing her eyes, and falling asleep. Aria mimicked the doll and curled up on the blanket. She then began talking and singing to herself and the doll for the next half hour.
The other amazing thing in this communication front is about two months ago it became very clear Aria was understanding most of what I say. I realized it when I handed her that cleaned and said blow your nose and she did. I can ask her questions, give her directions and tell her all sorts of things. If she knows a related word, she’ll say it with a satisfied grin. “Walk.”
She’s just so eager to communicate. I have a feeling she is going to be a great conversationalist.
I love how in charge Aria is of herself.
Last week when Grandma was here, she and Aria were eating dinner together in the kitchen. She started looking tired and rubbing her eyes. She pointed to the ceiling. Surprised, Grandma carried her upstairs. Aria pointed to her crib. Stunned, Grandma set her inside. After a second or two of getting comfortable, she rolled over and went to sleep.
She’s just very aware of herself. When she’s cold, she asks for a shirt. When she’s hungry, she drags me to the fridge and picks out s snack. Usually yogurt, a clementine, aged cheddar, or whole grain crackers.
Yesterday she pointed to her diaper when she was working on something, said CaCa and led me to the bathroom. I sat her on the lid of the toilet and she sat there whole she finished.
I just get the sense that she’s going to be very self-aware and instead of using that self-awareness to beat herself up, she’s going to use it to be a master of self and a leader of others.
Or this may just mean she’s better at picking out clothes than me, like earlier this week when she realized the top and bottom she’d picked out did not match the way she was hoping.
I love how chill Aria is, 95% of the time
None of us are chill all the time and Aria is definitely not chill when her teeth hurt, when she’s over tired, when she’s worried about someone taking her away from me, or when she feels she’s been treated really unfairly.
The rest of the time she is easy and fun and seems to easily get enjoyment out of everything life has to offer. And it’s this kind of savvy enjoyment. She seems to get the humor or life, even as young as she is. I think this is why I legitimately enjoy Aria’s company. It’s fun doing things with her. And I feel very confident it’s only going to get better The more she is capable of doing. And with the way she figures things out. There is a heck of a lot she is going to be capable of very soon.
So here’s to you!
Happy 18 months. You are now twice the age you were when you were born. That is quite an accomplishment.
It’s kinda poetic. I’ve been working on this post for a week. Just as I’m uploading the last picture and preparing to publish, I hit shuffle on my music.
Shots by Imagine Dragons came on. It took me back to 20 minutes after Aria was born, when she crawled up my chest to nurse for the first time. 20 minutes old, fighting her way up those 8 inches to get what she needed. It’s just who she is. Gotta love her!