This month you perfected both your wave and your clap, on alternate days. Your wave is particularly adorable. With arm outstretched, you wave up and down, curling your hand as if grabbing and pulling something toward you. When you have waved enough, you close your fist and hold it out, either a queen waiting for an obedient kiss on the ring or a buddy waiting for a friendly fist bump. Both kisses and bumps cause you to break out in peals of laughter. Other things that cause uncontrollable giggling include tickling your legs, kissing your neck, and dragging your feet over my face. That last one is a particular favorite of yours.
You have entered a phase of compulsive standing, pulling yourself up on anything: chairs, benches, toys. If I stand still for long enough near you, I will feel your little fingers grasping the backs of my legs, using my pants as a rope ladder. Sometimes we can walk together like this a few steps, or with you holding onto my fingers.
This month we have been dropping Ezra off at school a few days a week, leaving us with a few hours just for the two of us. Usually I bundle you off on errands, but sometimes we luxuriously play and cuddle and nurse and pace the empty upper floor of the synagogue together until you nod off for a well-deserved, but infrequently planned for, morning nap. You are one of just three baby siblings of Ezra’s classmates, and the only one who comes along every week, which makes you quite popular with the other moms. With so many willing arms to hold you, I count myself lucky that, like Ezra, you aren’t terribly worried about being left with strangers. As long as you are fed and rested and I’m out of eyeshot, you’re quite pleased to flash your big grin at all your new friends.
This came in quite handy when we found out your Grandpa Peter was going to be in Indianapolis for the weekend. We bundled into the car and drove out to see him and his whole family. You took the whole thing in stride, letting your young uncles, your doting Poppa Pete, his wife, her mother, some family friends, and a few cousins pass you from arm to arm. After the party was over, we visited the gravesite of your namesake, Sandy’s grandmother Gisela, where you gamely endured the chill so we could snap photos and remark on how enamored of you Gizi would have been.
You have to do more than your fair share of enduring, second baby of mine. This month it was Halloween, a holiday that Ezra is finally old enough to enjoy. Into his old Max costume you went, rolling along in a stroller as Ezra learned about candy. Perhaps next year I can interest you in a fluffy brown monkey suit?
On the other hand, there is one thing you will not endure, and that thing is being fed with a spoon. It’s all finger foods for you and your two shiny little teeth. Chunks of cheese, peas, apple slices, and crackers, anything that you can grab with your newly dextrous fingers and insert into your newly toothy mouth.
It is an adorable mouth and so frequently glowing with a giant smile. You light up every room, baby girl.
Kisses and fist bumps,