Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Gummy the toddler

It's been hard to write, folks. It's not that I've lost my grammar or vocabulary, and I probably could squeeze in a post here and there at work. But I've been struggling personally and it seems inappropriate to share everything I have on my mind in this context. So instead, I thought I would talk about the best part of my days, my weeks and my life: Mademoiselle Gummy.

She is still at the mediocre day care. As soon as I made the potential nanny a job offer, she vanished into thin air. Tells you something about her age and inexperience with the job market. Rule of thumb, little girl, when someone offers you a job, you should say yes or no, but you should say something. She will hopefully learn this lesson, but I am not the one who will teach it to her.

At about the same time that the nanny wasn't materializing, money concerns simmered to a near boiling point.* My motivation to look for a nanny evaporated as Gummy became able to tolerate going to day care. She continues to struggle with drop offs and pick ups (there are tears, sometimes accompanied by horrified, baffled looks in our directions about why the fuck we are leaving her with strangers), but she is reportedly doing fine during the day. The day care centre has done nothing to impress us as parents, and she will be leaving this centre as soon as a spot becomes available in another centre where her name sits on a wait list for now. I am not happy about this situation, but I am trying to just exercise patience.

Meanwhile, she started walking on May 4, a few days after reaching the 14-month mark. She had been walking around assisted for a while, with us holding her hands or holding on to her tiny shopping cart. But one Saturday, her friend Bea came over, and Bea walked around like a champion. Gummy got inspired and the next morning she started walking around unassisted. She was met with our very loud squeals of delight, and took it up as a practice. For a week, whenever she walked unassisted, she emitted a loud squeal, figuring that the two went together.

She also started using words. Ok, it's mainly ONE recognizable word, but I'm optimistic that there are more forming in her sweet noggin. In late April, she suddenly said a very H-y "HI" with a wave of the hand. She did that when her father entered her room, and then did it again when she saw me, and again for the cat. She did it all day long, whenever it seemed appropriate to her, and mostly, it also seemed appropriate to us. She was using a recognizable work in context! I nearly wet myself. Since then, she has also said the word "moo" when looking at the depiction of a cow (is moo a word?).

Gummy seems to understand a thing or two about what's going on around her. She figured out that the owl in one of her books is much like the owl atop her bookshelf so she points to it when we get to that page in her book. She exhibits book preferences, and wants to look at certain ones over and over (rapidly if possible, but on some pages she likes to linger). She makes her wishes known as best as one can without language, and is starting to have the impatience of a toddler. And I guess since she officially toddles, she is now a toddler!

Gummy has also become more cuddly. She likes when I put her to bed (as much as I do? I can't imagine). She likes me to play with her hair, rub her back and read her stories. At some point, she insists on facing me and she just stares and smiles (and sometimes wants to inspect the contents of my mouth, which is uncomfortable, but hard to deny her this moment of pseudo-dentistry). She likes to put her head on my shoulder and tap-tap-tap on my back. "there, there, maman**" she seems to say.

I could gush about my girl for another long while, but it's bedtime. I will leave you with a few pictures instead.

This is at the park, inside a hippopotamus. 

*Being solely responsible for paying for mediocre day care, plus my professional dues, plus my liability insurance, plus a shitload of money to get the car fixed = big freak out for Augusta.