This post may seem a little upbeat since right before I put you to bed just now, you kissed me back for the first time. I’m not talking about the open mouth sloppy stamp you’ve been leaving on my cheek since month 6 but a full on pucker to my lips. It’s seriously these swoon worthy moments that make me realize all self doubt I’ve had is foolish. This is actually a pretty fun time because you’re starting to understand words and you try to mimic things we do – which has made the whole earmuffs trick possible. Seriously, I never thought about the whole “teaching your child tricks” phase – way more awesome than a dog! For a brief moment you tried to say “hi walrus” which you translated as “ha walra.” I swear to you it happened and I have your Grandmother Sparks as a witness. You defiantly say “mama” when dad says “dada” – love that by the way. Tonight was also the first night you climbed up onto the couch. Sure, you can’t go down stairs yet so it seems logical to continue to climb on to higher places. Next time, I’m not catching you. Ok, I’m bluffing but one of these days you’ll have to learn to get down yourself.
You’ve become a regular at the neighborhood Starbucks. There is actually one employee that will stop a customer midsentence who is trying to order their drink to have them turn around and see the customer that puts a smile on her face everyday. You look up with your big quad-tooth grin and walk toward the counter with my check card in hand, happy to pay, even though it’s still not quite your turn yet and the customer ahead of me is still trying to order their drink. It’s a bit of a production getting coffee but obviously we have learned to cope because we go twice a day. You may have a love-hate relationship with coffee shops or caffeine for that matter, later in life. It’s really a disease Olivia and you shouldn’t judge people i.e. your mother and father.
We had an interesting visit to the neighborhood sushi restaurant this week. Our overly friendly waitress was smiling at you from a distance during our entire stay. Every time she would walk by our table, she would wave or smile or clap – anything to get your attention. Towards the end of the meal, she motioned to pick you up from your high chair but neither your father or I thought much about it. She then proceeded to pick you up and hold you. Your father and I looked at each other with inquisitive stares but didn’t say or do anything. Next thing we know, she begins to walk away while still holding you. She walks clear across the restaurant to show you the Christmas tree and then she walks back towards our table. Instead of handing her back to the rightful owners, she continues to walk past our table and walks straight into the kitchen. You’re gone, out of our line of sight and at this point both your father and I have a complete look of panic and shock. It took every ounce of motherly instinct not to run to the back entrance and grab you from a fleeing asian woman in a 4-door tinted window sedan who found you to be a completely perfect cracker child. Obviously my patience paid out because you shortly returned with the waitress, grinning ear to ear with a lemon lollipop. I feel like a horrible parent because I feel a part of me should have jumped up and grabbed the woman by the shoulders and screamed, “what are you doing with my child! you don’t walk off with someone else’s child!” We may not go back there until you can scream the code word for abduction *HINT* “I’M BEING ABDUCTED!” I’m not quite sure how many other parents out there have experienced something like this but it’s another item to cross off our list.
Your second Thanksgiving was also the first Thanksgiving that we hosted at our own house and Grandma O’Donnell was quite helpful in keeping you out of the kitchen – it appears you love to sit on the floor right between my feet which is also in front of the stove where typically there is something boiling or frying. You seemed to have a grand time trying to sneek tastes of wine from Uncle Timmy and feeding pieces of turkey to Maddy. Thank you for not having a meltdown in the middle of dinner because the last thing I wanted to deal with after a day of cooking was a toddler having an attitude. You presented yourself like a lady to the best of your ability and that’s all I could ask for – well, you didn’t spit out the food I made so that actually makes me feel better.
Christmas is upon us and that means your father and I will compete to get the most awesome outrageous gift for you. All I can say is bring it. I think I know you pretty darn well and my gifts are going to blow your father’s gifts out of the house. You can pretend to like them with your courtesy smile and forced laugh but I’ll know what you’re thinking.
I love you O-bear. You are more awesome than I could ever imagine and you bring out the best in me and your father. You have brought out a passion in me to provide you with a limitless plethora of opportunities. I have a laundry list of items I want to learn so that I can turn around and teach them to you. I want you to discover a passion for something one day and my only hope is that I provide you with that opportunity. I also yearn for those memory-making moments – perhaps that’s what’s really driving my passion to learn all sorts of things. Merry Christmas O – let’s hope we can come up with a super awesome holiday card to one-up last years.