Wednesday, September 14, 2011


"Thank you Mama for Chloë eat mac and cheese," Chloë told me yesterday. "Thank you" has been a long road with her, but suddenly, she's not only saying it spontaneously, she's elaborating. "Thank you for give Chloë napkin." "Thank you for going to Memaw house." "Thank you for singing a song." (This last was to the Care Bears movie, not me.) She's full of gratitude. Though never for things like M&Ms or popsicles, but I suppose that's because her mouth is full.

I'm finding myself grateful these days, too. I'm grateful I have my two wonderful girls, and we have no worries about them other than that Maia's tear ducts are still exuding muck. (The pediatrician says she isn't prepared to be concerned until about nine months.) I'm so happy that they love each other, as much as they can at their respective ages. I'm waiting to hear about a possible opportunity at work, and it's making me anxious, but I'm glad that regardless of how it turns out, I've got a secure job and it's allowing us to have this life. I'm grateful that the Care Bears songs aren't always stuck in my head.

And I'm grateful that I get to watch Chloë, and later Maia, learn so fast and become so much. It is amazing how she grows, and absorbs, and understands, and remembers. There was a morning a few weeks ago when Chloë was unhappy, with some crying and wanting to be held off and on. When I was about to leave for work, I picked her up again, and she looked at my hair, which was wet, and said, "Maia try to eat Mama hair?" I told her gently that no, my hair was wet from her tears, and marveled that she was able to look at an effect and try to deduce its cause.

Eric's been telling Chloë "Say 'I love you Mama,'" since she was about three weeks old, but recently she's actually started doing it. Since she still doesn't use a personal pronoun it's clear she doesn't totally understand this, but we've talked about what love means, and we say it to her often, and when prompted she'll say "I ove hoo Mama" obediently. The other day when Eric was leaving for work, he kissed her and said, "I love you Chloë," and she responded spontaneously, "I ove hoo Daddy," and he nearly didn't get to work because he melted all over the floor.

And I’m grateful for the moon, which Chloë continues to love. Last weekend we spotted it waxing in the sky as we were coming home from Borders (our last trip ever) and Chloë was delighted. A few days later, we saw it on the way home from Joann. Or rather, I did, and pointed it out, but Chloë could never quite manage to see it, and when we got home it was too low on the horizon. She nevertheless talked about it for the rest of the week, asking if the moon was "gassy" (we haven't figured that one out) and dwelling on how she saw it, or didn't see it, in the car. A few days ago she woke at 4:30 to talk to me about a firetruck we saw the other day. I told her to go back to sleep and used the bathroom before I returned to my own bed, and spotted the nearly-full moon out the window. I went back and took Chloë to see it. She pointed, and stared, and said, "The moon is not gassy? The moon is full?" I said yes, it was full, and took her back to bed.

Last night Chloë had a hard time getting to sleep. She wanted to see the moon, but it was too early. She woke not long after Eric got home, and since it had risen by then then he took her to a window to see it. She was pleased, and chattered perplexingly about "Chloë like black moon," and went back to bed without protest. She woke again just before I went to bed. I went in and tucked her in again, then brushed my teeth and said good-night to Eric, and then, as I always do, checked on both girls, Chloë first. She looked asleep, and I whispered, "I love you, sweetie." She didn't open her eyes, but she murmured, "Ove hoo."

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