Capturing BabyHope in words is complicated.

As I type, she’s playing on our front porch – one of her favorite activities on a rainy day. The rain acts as a barrier – she won’t go out in it, so she thrills in bringing toys in and out, opening and closing the door, and just generally being a busy toddler. She doesn’t really want my intervention, so I’m free to type – a rare moment.

I love her curls – in this humidity they spring up and spiral into ringlets. Her eyes have changed and are still changing. Pictures at the beginning of this year show clear (but dark) blue eyes. They’re now a gray-green-blue that I don’t have words for.

Her spirit is so sweet. She is joyful. She loves to do things on her own.

She’s still shy and reticent in new situations. She even plays coy – she makes this funny long face and turns away when someone talks to her and she’s not prepared to answer. She can run her music class from memory, but when we go, she’ll rarely leave my side and almost never participate in the singing or hand movements. She is a watcher, observer, and mental note-taker.

In play group, she’s generally the most passive. While she’ll tell me or Mr. Hope in no uncertain terms what she wants right this very moment, she is much quieter at playgroup. She usually lets her toys go, even though I know she doesn’t want to. She loves to play with her friends, but she’ll also choose to play alone – I think to avoid some of the natural toddler chaos.

Her memory is astounding. She remembers people’s houses, what we ate there, and things there are to play with in each place. If we return to a store where we saw Elmo even just once, she’ll remember the location and start asking the second we near it. She can recite most of her favorite books.

Language is her strength. I don’t know if anyone besides Mr. Hope and I have experienced the full scope of it. She labels and commands, demands and requests. She learns new words and phrases each day. She loves letters, numbers, and words. She can read many words, but she doesn’t quite grasp that the words in the books are the same as the ones mommy and daddy write for her. She recognizes logos – HEB for locals, Costco, Target. It’s pretty funny.

She is a good sleeper at this point. Thank goodness. Her afternoon naps have gotten shorter, but she goes down at both bedtime and naptime without a struggle. She still uses a pacifier, which I’m not thrilled about, but I also have not gotten up the courage to take away just yet.

She loves it when daddy comes home from work. Right now, she immediately demands that he go play piano with her (even if we’ve played earlier that day). She loves to have “pillow fights” in the guest bedroom with him.

She loves for me to take pitcures of her. Only she won’t stay still long enough to get one in focus – she runs around to see “picture BabyHope” as I snap. So I have many, many blurred images of her in motion. Somehow appropriate.

I’m startled on a regular basis with how she’s changed. Sometimes it sneaks up on me – a photo that I’ll think is recent is suddenly 3 months old and full of a BabyHope that is so much younger than she is today.

It’s gone so fast. I’ve tried so hard to remember all of it, but I know I can’t.

My battery died in my camera, so you get some pics from about 10 days ago.

~ by Larisa on November 20, 2009.

7 Responses to “capture”

  1. Don’t you just wish you could bottle that moment? They change so fast.

  2. This is a gorgeous post. I know too well the inability to capture your toddler in words. It’s so hard for me, too.


  3. Um, that was a perfect capture of BabyHope. Perfect. I’d go so far as to say most mothers know their toddlers better than anyone, but hardly a mother can write their toddler like you just wrote Baby Hope. I hope she can read this someday, and know that you noticed all the details.

  4. She sounds like such a sweet, smart girl. And beautiful too, love her little piggytails.

  5. She’s beautiful. Yes, they do grow up so fast. I can’t believe how big A gets each day, either.

  6. This is a great post that serves to dog-ear a little bit of time and so eloquently captures BabyHope in both writing and photos. That toothy grin and pigtails are just too cute for words.

  7. Madelyn has the same exact outfit. 🙂

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