Miss Maia knows when I say "Lie down for diaper change" to drop down onto the changing table and wriggle around until she's on her back. She raises her arms when told "Arms up!" and can pull loose pants off when told. Of course, she can do it when she hasn't been told, too.
Miss Maia has started screaming at night when we put her down. Bedtime used to be this lovely soft ritual: pajamas, nursing, a couple of books, tooth brushing, night-nights, and being put down in her crib with her aquarium on. Now she's cooperative right until we get through the night-nights. Then, suddenly, she's wriggling and pointing at the glider (which means either "milk" or "books") and squealing, and instead of lying down and looking up at her aquarium she sits up and screams in rage. I've been a little worried that I haven't had enough milk for her at bedtime, but we've offered bottles and sippies and water and it isn't that. She just doesn't want to sleep because there's too much other fun stuff to do instead. Apparently Chloë is already a bad influence.
She's still not quite walking, but she takes three or four steps at a time now, sometimes. We've been out in the backyard a lot the past couple of weeks to do yardwork, and Maia gets put in the (sandless) crab sandbox she got for her birthday, with a blanket and the singing refrigerator she also got for her birthday (not from us, be assured) and some other toys. Aside from eating the grass, she does quite well. I know she'd rather be out with us, but she seems content with her lot.
I call her "baby" more often than "Maia," the same way I call her sister "sweetie" and "Miss Girl" and "Miss Bear" more than "Chloë." Of course Maia also gets called Sweetie and Miss Girl and Miss Baby. Chloë has taken to saying, "Maia or me?" when we say things that might be ambiguous...or things that really aren't, like "Use two hands to hold your cup." But I wonder how long I'll be able to call her baby. I want to, even though I know the toddler phase will be better, partly because I don't feel like I've had enough of her at this stage yet. What a lovely, sweet, giddy, smart, funny baby she is. How much she knows. And how much her mama loves her. Miss Maia knows that too.