So… it’s been awhile since I’ve updated around here. Part of the reason is that a lot of the things that I felt I should be commenting on (the weekly bread, making the missing links in my wardrobe, the remaining mystery yarn packages) are… kind of low on my priority list these days. Still things I’d like to do but definitely not things I’m directing my energy toward in my day-to-day anymore. So there was all this Unfinished Business Guilt around all that, which is a little silly. So I reminded myself that the reason I even started writing this thing, you know, way back more than 2 decades ago, the primary reason was to capture my life as it is in that moment. And right now? The moments are pretty awesome. So let’s start with that, and I’ll try to do my capturing a little more frequently.
Our little Starfish is now two, which continues to shock me pretty much daily. She adores the outdoors, and I will look down at her (usually pony-tailed, these days) little head while we’re walking and wonder when my bumbly, smiling baby became a little girl? She is a bubbly spirit full of opinions and wishes, but not quite the language yet to distinguish between what has happened and what should happen. This is supported by the number of times when I asked her what she did in the afternoon and she happily exclaimed that they played with play-doh, mama! Uh, no, no they did not, according to her awesome daycare caregiver. Well then.
Her love for animals continues to grow; I am so looking forward to hitting up the petting zoo at one of the small town Fairs this fall! Last year Starfish watched with wide eyes, but seemed a little hesitant about getting too close, even when I had eager alpaca chomping pellets out of my hand. This year, it’ll be interesting to see if she’s feeling a little more confident in that arena.
Back on the capturing front, I’d read somewhere that for slightly less-than-organized parents, if the idea of keeping a memory book or scrapbook is too overwhelming (check), then one thing to preserve (besides the thousand photos on our phones, obviously) is a list of things your child says or mis-says because once they outgrow them, they’re part of the cute that will really be missed, until forgotten. That rang painfully true for me, especially as Starfish has already outgrown a couple of her early expressions, and The Boy also agreed with the sentiment. Some of our favourites:
Beep beep 麵包 — her version of toast, given our toaster oven’s loud beeping
Rillillibit! — apparently what frogs really say
EEE-度 — she hasn’t quite grasped the ‘n’ sound in 呢度, I guess?
T’aime t’aime — she has since graduated to “je t’aime” most of the time, sadly
Doong-doong — grandfather (公公); ‘g’s are a work in progress
Audee — her best friend (Audrey)
Collett — “correcte”, as in “c’est correcte”
Suh-老老老老人 — a little like saying “San-tan-tan-tan-ta Claus” till she masters 聖誕老人
Oooh-bus — school bus, the very best of the buses
THEYLIZ!!! — always said in an exclamation, a mashed-together version of “there it is”
Ohhhhh! dodo — “gros dodo”, or big sleep; this one has largely faded into disuse
爸爸冇晒褲! (Papa has no pants!) — The Boy comments bemusedly that my being pantsless never seems to be worthy of comment. No comment.
GOI!! — short form for 唔該; we’re working on “please” and “thank you”… slowly.
The last one I’ll document is more of a construct than a specific word. For reasons unknown to us, when she wants to negate a sentence, Starfish will state the positive version, and then add “–no.” at the end while vigorously shaking her head. E.g. “Papa mange les carrottes — no.” It’s the solemn head-shaking that makes it, really.
In our daily adventures, The Boy and I both marvel at her focus. Whether she’s “helping” me make dinner by studiously pouring her “ingredients” between her allotted cups and bowls (and annexing all the spoons she can find), reading, pointing to and re-reading her favourite book (well, “reading”), or cuddling the kittens with gentle and deliberate ministrations, it’s super-fun to see what her bright-eyed attention will light up next. She loves vehicles of all sorts: trains, trucks, excavators and firetrucks, in toy form, books, videos or drawings. On walks, she’ll hear the airplane overhead, and interrupt us to announce it. Her favourite mode of transportation is the bike seat just behind my handlebars, from where she will delightedly ring the bell, and urge me to go faster. (But also to be careful. Who says they don’t listen?)
The Boy and I have both spent the past two years in pretty much perpetual awe. Every day, Starfish continues to amaze us with how fast she learns, or renders us speechless with a new glimpse of her joyous, generous heart. I often feel like I have no time for anything I did in my old life, but there is no down side.
I’m looking forward to summer!