Tuesday, December 10, 2013


Once in a while, I introduce a new book to the usual rotation of books, and the other night I showed her "Where the Wild Things Are."

"Wow" she said as she stroked the cover and fingered the gold Newberry medallion on the cover.

She picked it up and brought it to me. She snuggled up next to me and we opened the book together.

She sat still, in rapt attention as I read each page.  Her eyes flickered over the page, taking in every detail. I looked down to see her her hands clasped together, one hand over the other.  When the last page was turned, she asked for it again.  We started over, and her head leaned back on my arm, heavy and sleepy.  I could see her eyes droop and she rubbed them, trying to keep them open.  I laughed and closed the book.  "Time for bed, baby."  She agreed by coming into my arms as I stood up and turned her head into my neck.  She let her arms drop and she found my hand and sleepily stroked it as I swayed, singing her a made-up song about loving her till the end of all days. After a few minutes, I layed her down in her crib and she was instantly asleep.  "I love you and I'll miss you until the morning", I said, and tiptoed out.

These days, she takes my hand when we walk.  Finally! When she first learned to walk, she was insistent that she do it herself, and would leave me hanging constantly, but now she is always reaching up to take my hand.  This looks like her grasping onto my finger with her whole hand, and it is the best feeling. She also pulls and pushes my legs to direct me, tries to roll me out of bed (when i don't wake up fast enough), pulls on my shirt, and motions at me to come, which looks like an outstretched hand that closes and opens a few times.

She must have a more concrete sense of her family; when we are having a moment pointing out our noses, she points to her nose and says 'nohs', she points to me nose and says, 'nohs', and then immediately points to the air and says 'papa', for papa to materialize so that she can point out his 'nohs'. If he's upstairs, I yell up to him to quickly come downstairs… sloane has to point out his nose!  And he obliges.

"You are so fun to play with right now!!" I overheard Ken exclaim to her earlier.  She jumps, she dances, wants to play hide and seek, and pretends her stuffed animals are babies and does things like pretend to feed them a bottle, put them in the swing, and tries to put socks on them.  Tonight, we spent a good ten minutes, holding our arms out in a pretend basketball hoop, while she threw a ball in the space between our arms, making "hoops" and celebrating with the most joyful of laughs and hops after each one. Ken and I were smiling and laughing with her so hard, our faces are still recovering.

She learns so quickly.  Everything we do, she is watching like a hawk. She will usually try to imitate what we are doing, which means she quickly learns how to do things like put her shoes and jacket away, tell Rusty, 'no', throw trash in the trash can, put ornaments on a tree, wash her hands, pose for pictures…and on and on. It does not cease to amaze me.

There are days when we come home and she is a little angel.  Then there are some days where no matter what I do, she is cranky and clingy and erupts into tears and tantrums. Through both kinds of days, I am learning how to be a mom.

Every month is its own little monument, but this month, something really special is happening with regards to her language development.  She is really understanding that words are a way to communicate and she is trying to employ the words she does know. I can almost see all the connections that she is making in her brain to get to a new realization each and every day and I am slack jawed.  I will say, "Sloane, can you say ____?" and run through a list of words that she can say, and then try out new words that she's never heard before and she will try to repeat them after me.  She still can't get a bunch of sounds right, but she tries. Most recently, she's always declaring things to be "haht!" (hot) or "col" (cold) - food, running water, outside temperature, etc.

She loves the nursery rhymes that she has been learning and will try to sing along with them. She doesn't get a single word out, but she is humming and mumbling along, clearly enjoying herself.  These days when we get in the car, she asks for these songs. I end up singing a lot of them and if I pause too long in between, she yells out, "moh!!" (more!)

I've never had a new human being to which I had to introduce the world, and it my favorite obsession right now.  One time I thought, this is what Anne Sullivan must have felt like when she was figuring out how to get through to Helen Keller, and another time I thought, this might be how I would explain things to someone who time travelled from a thousand years ago the present. Hey! these are terrible analogies, but I'm trying to get to how amazing and perspective-altering this all is. I am learning so much.

And lastly, I thought I'd include here some photos of our first 'baby', the ever-anxious Rusty, who is taking on the role of a little brother to Sloane, a brother whom she both loves full-hearted and can pet and hug forever, but also finds annoying when he gets in the way. "Goh!" she says to him, pointing to the bathroom, her little face furrowed, when he is being barking loudly, jumping and knocking her over.  The next moment, she is all hugs and kisses. "Eah" (ear) she says, fondling his soft pointy ears.


  1. this is a beautiful post and you are a beautiful mom

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  3. i live for these sloanie posts
    i don't know what i love more, seeing them now, or thinking about how much sloane will love these posts and all the things you were thinking and feeling (when she can READ one day!)

  4. the second photo and second to last photo are my favorite-favorite out of all of them which are my favorite

  5. You did it again! I'm tearing up! You know exactly how to put my feelings into words! My little Leah is 10 months old and even though she's not at the same stage as Sloane, so many things still ring so true. I love the part about learning to be a mom and wrap your head around this new adventure of teaching another human about the world.

  6. your girl is such a treasure! She will be a full person because she has parents that recognize that

  7. it makes me sad that i'm missing her whole life :(