This is it. I have to somehow write an ode that is worthy of the anniversary of Ellie’s birth. It’s so wonderful to have these chronicles of Ellie’s development, but every time I sit down to write one, I wonder how I can possibly try to get my clumsy words to capture her essence. Here goes.
She has become quite a handful. She makes her opinion known with a loud squawk, whether she’s mad about going inside, sitting still for a diaper change, or being told not to investigate the garbage. She’s perfected the limp noodle body to keep from being picked up, and the fast retreat when we’re trying to take away an item she shouldn’t be playing with.
But as increasingly opinionated as she is, she is even more increasingly sweet. She now hugs us with as much of a reach as her little arms have and rests her head on our shoulder. She reaches up to be held and holds on like a monkey when she doesn’t want to go down. She loves to sit in my arms and watch me baking, refusing to go down until I’m done. She hates it when either of us leaves the house or goes in a room and closes the door.
She loves peek-a-boo and (as Jesse said a few days ago) will play it as a dog plays fetch, basically until we’ve had enough. She still loves to play with books best of all, but as a second favorite past-time, she can take everything out of the cupboards. She has started dancing anytime she hears music. It’s a dainty, arrhythmic knee bounce with her arms bent at the elbow and her hands flopping up and down. It’s quite possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen. The other cutest thing is her little pointer finger, now extended in every direction. She especially loves pointing at noses.
She can run on her little feet, though they sometimes still get a little ahead or behind her. She can climb up on the couch and occasionally get back down safely. Her talking has changed from repetitive babbling (dadada) to what is obviously her own little language. Jesse’s pretty sure she calls him Dada, Dad is certain he was called Grandpa (anda) and I think she may be saying “that” (dah), but I’m not sure about any of it yet. She seems to learn everything so quickly now. She sees Grandpa comb his hair, then when handed the comb, reaches up to comb the hair as well.
She is only ever more beautiful. Her hair is long enough to start curling in back and still golden blond. Her eyes are a deep emerald green, a seemingly impossible color for eyes. She has three teeth and seems in no hurry to get any more. She still has a delicate double chin that I would hate to see go. She is longer and leaner the older she gets and I’m stunned sometimes to see the length of her now, though it’s still a length that is small for her age.
She hates to be told “no” and scrinches up her eyes and whines. We’ve decided to stop using “no” and instead save it for situations where we really mean it. I find myself saying “oops” and “uh oh” (don’t get into that, don’t eat that, please don’t climb that, etc).
She loves to be chased and tickled and hugged and danced around the room. She loves to go outside and watch the big kids. She’s stopped trying to eat the bark chips and instead carries them around in her fists. She loves meeting new people and charms them with her shy smile. She has so much personality for such a little thing.