I promise I will go back to lauding staffers soon, but today has been a trying day, so I'd rather re-visit my weekend with The Banana.
When she wakes,she calls for me to pick her up from the crib. When I lift her, still warm with sleep, she lays her cheek against mine, and puts her tiny arms around my neck. She calls me "Momma."
She likes to assist with breakfast, even if in pouring a mound of Honey Nut Cheerios, most end up on the floor. It gets tricky when she tries to pour the milk. She likes everything served in a pink "hello kitty" bowl. She likes to breakfast in pajamas with a napkin tucked under her chin, in front of an episode of either Elmo or Dora. She prefers not to be spoken to at length until she has had her morning orange juice. She is my daughter in so many ways.
After a phase in which she fought valiantly, she has recently decided that she will agree to wear clothing. Yesterday she wore a ballerina skirt, with an old t shirt of her brother's. I had to draw the line at sandals. We settled on rain boots as a compromise.
She rode her tricycle to the park while I walked along beside her. Every 5 feet she would ring her bell and call out "Look out everybody! Look out everybody!" to people who were more than half way down the block. She wore a pink knit hat with ear flaps and purple mittens, and most people smiled as she tore past them, chubby little feet pumping, singing snatches of the theme from Sesame Street.
Every small child she sees, even some that might be slightly older, she refers to excitedly as a "baby." "Look Mama, a baby!" she cries swinging next to a girl who is most likely two, like herself. She unabashedly presses her face against the plastic sheeting covering a stroller; "Where's the baby? Where's the baby?" She walks up to children in the park, puts her nose close to them and calls out "Hellllo bay-ay-bee." Sometimes she will lay a small hand on the side of their cheek.
Annie is all mother at the age of two. She takes care of five or six different dolls at home, dressing them, feeding them, and having long conversations about important things with them. When she tires of the unresponsiveness of plastic dollies, she'll take the smaller cat around its middle and plunk her in the doll carriage for a ride. Yesterday, she attempted to diaper the larger of the cats. After she received a swat with a paw, she gave the cat a time out. She later told Kip that the cat had apologized to her, and all was right with the world.
When Jesse cries, it is Annie who says "Don't worry, everything will be alright." She is quick and generous with hugs and kisses. She will trace the outline of a slight injury on Kip's extremities and cover it with an entire box of bandaids. So that is why, even after what for me would be a not-so-great-day, I know that in a few minutes things can improve. I will soon have a Banana wrapped around my knees asking me to come play. How lucky can you get?