I remember when some of our friends started having kids. We who were still child-free used to make fun of their endless discussions about diaper-changing and rolling over and such. “What happened to all those deep college conversations about Sartre, Camus, trees in the forest and reincarnation?’ we lamented. But of course, once our children arrived, we were right there with the amazement of “I think she smiled today! Or maybe it was just gas.”
All this a warning prelude to faithful blog readers: Zadie has arrived. For the next five days, there will be nothing but grandparent verbal dotage and reporting on all the new delights of our 16-month old darling who we haven’t seen since Thanksgiving. Then she was just walking. Now she runs from place to place, dances while I play ukelele, touches my nose when I say the word and most endearing of all, walks from room to room and pauses to say her favorite word out of her five or six word vocabulary—“Wow!”
Off we go to the beach. We take her shoes off and she feels the Florida sand in-between her toes. “Wow!” and take off running full tilt towards the water shrieking in delight. Feels the water wash over and stops. “Wow!” Sits in the sand and scoops some on her aunt’s belly. “Wow.” Swings in the baby swing until she starts rubbing her eyes to tell us it’s naptime. “Wow.” Quick stop at the market and put her in the driving shopping cart. “Wow!” Finally back home and down for a nap. No more “Wow!” Now it’s “Waaah!” The world is so full of Wow, why miss any of it with a nap?
For the record, her other words are “Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh), yes, mama, uh-oh, nana (for banana)” and a sign-language tapping knuckles together for “more.” My goal is to increase her vocabulary to include “Pop-pop (or Grandpa), ukelele, bagpipe” and the lyrics to Pete Seeger’s “Abiyoyo” (her spontaneous singing already close to that). If she masters those, then maybe we’ll add “existentialism, reincarnation, sustainable development.” I’ll keep you posted.