(In her Purdue cheerleading outfit, getting ready to 'watchupudue' with Papa.)
Last night it was getting close to bedtime and I said what I always say to Abigail, 'You know what we need to do?' I usually follow it up with 'pick up toys.' But I decided to steal a few moments with a little girl who was getting sleepy. So I followed with, 'We need to snuggle.'
She put her thumb in her mouth and laid against my chest and quietly gave me a mmmmhmmmm. I then went through my guess what game for a few minutes with her. It goes something like this:
Mama, 'Guess what? Mama loves you.' (Abigail giggles a little). 'Guess what else? Mama thinks you're beautiful.' (Abigail sits up and looks at me). 'Guess what else? Papa loves you.' I go on and on through people that love her and things I like about her until she responds with this.
Abigail, 'Geuss whayelse? I lub Mamal. And guess whaelse? I lob Gwandpa.' ALWAYS it's grandma and grandpa. Never is it Mama. But it still makes me smile every time.
As I was holding her last night and we were giggling together It was another one of those moments where I could feel time slipping through my fingers. I knew the day would come when she wouldn't say yes to me saying we need to snuggle. So I savored it, and stored it away for when the day comes that I needed that memory.
Lately, Abigail seems to be doing new big girl things by the day. She can now take herself potty ('Mama goyout pwease.') She can put her coat on by herself. She is starting to put her shirts and pants on (mostly) by herself. She can get her socks on by herself. It feels like all of these things are exciting and sorrowful all at the same time. And so I rejoice with her at all the things she is capable of, and mourn my baby growing up so quickly.
At the exact same time though I can't help but be both proud and in awe of how smart she is. I listen to her count, identify letters and tell me the sounds they make, identify numbers, sing along to songs, say Bible verses, and so many other things and am dumbfounded at her memory and intelligence.
I also am blown away by her level of creativity. I know all kids pretend, and that, she does. She mimics whatever her Papa or I are doing all the way from cooking to how she takes care of her babies.
But my very favorite new thing she has acquired (we have no idea where they came from) are her four friends pig, hippo, elephant, and lion. They are imaginary. They go most places with us. Papa had to run upstairs last night to get them before we left. They need their seat belts on. They join us while we eat. I have always been sort of fascinated by children who have imaginary friends. How do they come up with them? Who gave them the idea to make up someone to play with? I don't have answers to those questions, but far be it for me to crush a little girls imagination. So I put lion in my pocket if she asks me to. And sure I look silly buckling an empty seat belt, but just because I don't see her friends doesn't mean they aren't there.
(Playing dress up.)
Each new day brings about loads of fun and laughter (along with frustrations sometimes) that make being Abigail's parent the best job in the world.
Enjoying our funny girl,