Monday, January 21, 2013

Toddler Mia

I think it was back when I was pregnant with Mia that I read a post where Ellen of Love that Max wrote about how her heart just lurched when someone asked her how her second-born child (Sabrina) felt about Ellen's blog named only for her first-born, Max (who has CP, like Sammie B).  When I read that, I too wondered "should I change blog names?"  "Will my second-born feel cheated?"

The thing is, this blog often does center around Sammie B and my journey as a mother navigating this world of "special needs parenting" (whatever that means!).  But, make no mistake, our little Mia Mia is not just a guest star!!!  I'm sure every mother struggles with making sure that each of her kids feels loved equally . . . and that typical struggle is, I think, magnified when one kiddo needs a little extra help with things.   I worry a lot about finding the right balance.  About making sure each girl knows that they are each loved more than words could ever, ever describe.  The "my-heart-so-full-I-think-it-might-burst" kind of love.

So, with that backdrop, let me tell you what is going on with "My Mia Mia" these days.  All kinds of wonderful.

At the beginning of 2013, Mia was moved from the infant class to the toddler class at daycare.  And, she adjusted like a champ.  About two weeks in, I asked the teacher how things were going and she said she couldn't believe how easily Mia adjusted.  I was most amazed that she's taking naps on a cot there and not taking (or crying for) bottles at all . . . and I asked how they get her to fall asleep (she fights sleep like crazy at home and we are still giving bottles at naptime and bedtime here!) and her teacher said, "when we finish lunch, she knows it is nap time and she gets up, walks over to her cot which she already knows is hers, and lays down and goes to sleep!"  Just like that?!   Such a big girl.

Each day when I drop her off at daycare, I put her down and let her walk into the classroom by herself. As soon as she sees her little friends, she stops in her tracks and just squeals with joy.  As if it has been weeks since she's seen them and she's missed them so much.   She is so, so happy there, and that certainly makes drop off easy.

Suddenly, she's doing things that we haven't taught her and that make us look at each other like, "where did she learn that?"   She grabs Sam's play purses, throws them over her shoulder, and says "bye bye" and walks away.  She lays her baby dolls down and pats their back and does "shhhhh!" with her finger to her lip.   She hands us blankets and makes us lie down and then says "nie-nie."

She loves to say animal noises, especially "quack quack" for ducks.   Will mimic most simple words (and don't judge, but next to "mama," my favorite one to hear her say is "poo poo," and when we are alone in the car and I'm trying to keep her entertained so she doesn't go into "Mia-hates-the-car-seat mode," I often say "Mia, say poo poo," over and over.  We both get a kick out of it.  It's funny.   It's cute.)

She loves to eat.  Loves.  A trip to Costco and the samples . . . are Mia's idea of heaven.  I  kid you not, she sees a sample table, leans forward and opens her mouth.  She'll try most any food, and we've only found a few she doesn't like (mashed potatos and gravy???!  Who doesn't like those?!  I KNOW!).  She's had curry and tofu and things B and I never tried till we were adults.  She's also had an entire bowl of salsa, without chips, because that's how she wanted to do it the other night when we were out to eat, so we let her. She liked it. A lot. Spicy, just like her, I suppose!

She does things she knows she's NOT supposed to do and tells herself "no no" while she's doing them.  She looks right at us and shakes her head and says "no no" as she's doing whatever the "no no" is.  She climbs things.  I turn around and find her in positions that nearly give me a heart attack.  The words "No no, Mia - Tushies in chairs!" are common around here. . .

(My mom would tell you that she laughs everytime she sees this picture because, in her words, this picture just captures our funny little girl so well). 
If I had to sum Mia up in a few words, I'm not sure I could . . . she exudes happiness and sunshine.  She's excited and just plain joyful 95% of the time.  She squeals with delight.  Especially when she sees B.  "Dada" is a word that (apparently) must be squealed with utter and total glee.  Her personality is big.   Her joyfulness and excitement infectious.  She is precocious.  She is independent and brave. Whenever we are someplace new and she has a chance to "break free" and go exploring, she does.  She takes off, walking with such purpose.  With a giggle and a bounce in her step like she's just totally escaped (never mind the fact that I'm always close behind).   But then, as independent and precocious as she is, there are these moments where she's exploring and she'll suddenly stop and reach for my hand like, "whoah, I'm going to need you for this one, mama!"  I love those moments.   Love her little hand in mine.  Just as I love the moments when my otherwise so independent girl decides she wants to take a (very quick) break from playing because she just needs a snuggle.  And the moments where she will suddenly just cling to me and say "no no" when she doesn't want to do something (like feed the horses at the petting zoo).   I am ever so mindful of how fleeting this baby and toddler business is, and I know there will come a day when I long for one of my girls to "cling" to me . . . so I soak it up now, every opportunity they give me. 

She loves to dance, and seems to love to be the center of attention. We took both girls to a local children's concert this weekend, and she got up, right in front of the musicians and was dancing and giggling and looking at the crowd as if she thought they'd all come to see her performance.   She was so very, very proud of herself.

She's obsessed with shoes.  Wants to have hers on at all times, and actually gets excited in the mornings when it is time to put them on and angry when we take them off.  We often let the girls eat dinner or paint and do other messy things in just their diaper/pull ups . . . but Mia insists on keeping shoes on.  So, many nights, Mia can be found playing in our den in nothing but a diaper, socks and shoes.  We stopped putting her in those full-footie pjs because she would want her shoes OVER them first thing when she woke up.  She is a funny little birdie.

(I said joyful 95% of the time . . .  this picture would be the other 5% . . . a Mia Mia meltdown, in her best Ugg footwear!  The epic meltdowns are new to us . . . the throwing herself on the floor, kicking and screaming Mia meltdowns.  Oy.  And yet, she  manages to be cute even during those moments.  I told you, her personality is big.  She does it all "big" - joy, tears, humor, frustration, love . . . are are "big" coming from our littlest lady.)  
She LOVES baby dolls.  Of all her Christmas presents, the one that she was most excited about and the one that held her attention the longest was a baby doll from my parents.  Once she'd opened that, she had no interest in any other presents, and went right to work giving her doll a bottle.  Pure sweetness.

(It was a rough hair morning)
She is Mia Mia.  Our Mia Mia.  My little birdie.  And we couldn't love her any more than we do.   I hope that as a mother, I can strike the right balance in giving each of my girls what they need.  In being the mama they each need.   (I love them both to bits and pieces . . . I actually just snuck into their rooms moments ago just to watch them sleep and breathe, and I put my hand on each of their little backs and whispered how much I loved them before I snuck out of the room . . . excited to see their little faces again in the morning, thinking "I actually miss them while they are sleeping.").

Mia, Mia, this blog may be called "My Sammie B," and I'm sure there will be times when you see your big sister getting extra help and "extra mama (or dada)," but you must know this . . . you are our Mia Mia.  You are pure sunshine and joy and you make me giggle incessantly.  This little family is blessed to have you and your sister as its two stars.  Two wonderful, incredible, amazing, magical little lights.  I adore you, and there are truly so many moments throughout my day that I look at either you or your sister, and the amount I love you takes my breath away.   I never knew a heart could feel so big, so full of love until the two of you came into my life. 

I truly, truly could not have designed a more perfect little girl to be my second-born.  To make this little family "four."    I love you my littlest lady.  Everything about you. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Love this. Nothing else to be said, just... LOVE THIS :)