Clara was 15 months last week. I know it doesn't seem like much of a milestone, and this post is going to be the epitome of self-indulgence. Long and picturey. But I feel the need to stop and record exactly the way she is right now, because it seems like she is different every day and her babyness is slipping away.
Clara really wants to communicate with us now. She will nod her head vehemently "yes" or "no" to a question, and if she doesn't understand the answer is always "yes". The kind of yes that would give anyone over age 3 whiplash. She knows about 15 words (or word-like-sounds) and a couple basic signs like "more" and "up" and "bye". I think sometimes this bit of knowledge is even more frustrating than before. She will often make the sign for "more food" when I have nothing to offer, or for "I want up" when she is in the car-seat. And when we can't comply, boy does she get mad. She has a temper that girl and has already started yelling and hitting when she doesn't get her way.
It is already clear to us all how different she is than the rest of our children. For starters, her favorite foods are fruits and vegetables. Honestly, she eats like a rabbit. Cucumbers, tomatoes, broccoli, green beans, peas, carrots and tons and tons of fruit. Shane and I just stare in amazement. Also, she has this schizophrenic personality where she is cuddling you one moment and smacking you in the face the next. She's can really be a bruiser and takes be tackled by her brothers without a whimper. She has none of the fear or sensitivity of her siblings.
She is still not walking although she can stand alone now and she took her first independent steps last week. However, she is not letting her lack of upright mobility keep her from being more determined and mischievous than I remember any of our other children being.
Oh, and she drives her brother, Ben, crazy. The sound of "Cwara-NO!" rings out dozens of times throughout the day. She's always messing up his toys, turning off his television shows and grabbing his hair, clothes and face. Ben loves his sister though, and really wants to include her in his play. He just becomes frustrated with her more bulldozer like qualities.
I can't help but wonder what kind of child and eventually adult she will become. As much as I would love her to be girly, the signs of a rough-and-tumble personality are already there. We are already fighting the battle of the hair bows. I put them in, and just as quickly she rips them back out with a determined grin. Then she hands them back to me with a look that says "Go ahead. Give it your best shot." And I do.
I have found this hairstyle to be particularly successful though. So much in fact that I almost changed her Halloween costume to "Pebbles".
She has 9 teeth now and I must say that first molar made her a tyrant for a month straight. We got her back to her sweet self for a few weeks and then started in on the next one. It's almost through now. When she's not teething though, she has a mostly very sweet temperament. (ya know, when she's not beating people up). She loves music and the people in her Gymboree class call her "The Dancing Queen" because even though she can't walk, she boogies all the way through class. She also attempts to sing a handful of songs. She is particularly adept at our bedtime song where she sings "Night-Night" to the different members of our family.
It melts my heart every time.
Over all, I have to say...She's a blessing beyond measure.
And if you are still here, reading this til the end, you deserve a gold star, or a chocolate cookie, or something.
Because this was mostly for me. To help me remember.