Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Overheard at Our House: Retro-Edition {No. 1}

Heavy weeks beg for something airy and refreshing.  Like a squeeze from a toddler, full laughter and easy giggles lift poundage from the heart.  Last week I found giggles in the little pink spiral that used to sit by my phone in our home on Pershing.  I hadn’t flipped through it in years.   Julia was around 9 months old when we moved into that old house and that’s when Julia’s words started coming.  I noticed that as darling as I thought they were, minutes would tick on and I would forget.  And so, the notebook.  While the kids took in their summer reading the other day, I wasted a good hour flipping through sloppy pages, reading EVERY word scratched down.  I am sure I thought that in the quiet evenings I would go back and re-write the illegible-to-anyone-else-but-me handwriting, just like I thought I could write one word, leave a big blank, come back to it in the next day or so and pen down the cute little story.  There are lots of one word entries followed by a big blank and now, my this-is-how-I-write-when-I-think-only-I-am-going-to-see-it” is spiral bound for all forthcoming generations to stare upon in disbelief.  Sigh.

Okay-- airy and refreshing.  I know she is my first born but she really did talk early.  And when I say “talk”, I don’t mean hard to decipher babbling, I mean, like, TALK,  like how I talk to my friends talk.  She spoke clearly, so much of what she said made sense. The only thing that made it funny is that it was coming out of such a small body.  Well, some of it was clever and cute, but maybe only to me.  For my memories sake, here are a few. {I wrote to her in the notebook so I will record it the same here.}

A few months before turning two....

You were coming down the stairs into the kitchen navigating someone’s coat.  You were talking to yourself, as you often did.  “Oopsie.  I stepped on Mommy’s coat.”  You looked again.  “Actually, Daddy’s coat.”

 When we prayed together before bedtime, you would always be the one to say, “Amen”.  One night while we were waiting on Brighton to be added to our family, I was praying with you and paused so you could say your normal ending.  I waited...and waited.  I finally looked at you and with a crinkled brow under those brown curls, you said, “Brighton?”  I then prayed for Brighton and only then did your “amen”  come out.

Your were tasting some Chinese salad that was chock full of chow mein noodles.  You lifted your fork and said, “Look Mommy!  I am eating baby Cheerios!”

Every nap time you would ask for certain CD’s.  Some of your favorites were simple Bible stories followed by songs.  You would say, “Please turn on my Bible Study.”  Sometimes I would ask you questions to see if you were really listening so one night I asked you, “What did Hannah ask God for?”  “A baby,” you answered.  “What was the baby’s name?”  You could not remember so I reminded you, “Samuel”.  Your eyes got really big and you said, “Samuel.  He went back to bed.”

After your second birthday, I felt I was carrying on an adult conversation ALL DAY LONG.  Nothing you said could be ignored and waved away as gibberish.  Your words commanded interaction.  If you didn’t like the reality in our home, something crazy like a mommy who had run out of words, you had no trouble imagining something else.  You would make up long journeys, talk about the “crazy traffic”, what all you saw and then talk on the “telephone” to who knows who, but I do remember, you sounded just like me.  I often heard you say, “Where’s my charger?”  One of your favorite trips was to the grocery store.  One morning I was working upstairs and that is where I wanted you to stay but you had an errand to run.  “Mommy, I am going to the grocery store for milk and grapes.”  You started for the stairs with your purse and bucket of chalk.  I suggested you pretend my closet was the grocery store.  You looked at me as if you were worried about the sanity of your mother, “No, Mommy.  It’s your closet, not the grocery store.  It’s just full of clothes.”

Your mission in life at two years old was to take care of Brighton and I remember you loved to tell me and anyone else who dropped by, “He’s snoozin’.”  And your comforting words to him were always, “It’s okay, Mr. Brighton,” with lots of pats on the head.  One of my favorite prayers you prayed a few months after we brought him home was, “Dear God, Thank you for Brighton.  Make him a strong man and grow him up.  Amen”  You were quite the caretaker because you missed nothing I did or said.  One morning, Jeff was having trouble feeding Brighton and you told him plainly, “Brighton drinks between 4 and 6 ounces every time.”  No wonder until he could say “Julia”, he called you “Mommy” and me “Momma”.

You had an entertaining vocabulary at this age blurting out words like incorrigible and annihilated but every now and then you got your words mixed up or just tried on a word that was just a bit too much for you.  One afternoon I was helping you take off your Sunday Mary Janes.  Once they were off, you studied your feet and the markings where the straps had been and said, “Look Mommy, I’ve got Indians on my feet.”

One morning, your Daddy walked through the kitchen in a hurry to get out the door and he said, “I didn’t get to have my coffee this morning.”.  I saw your wheels turning and you looked at me and said, “I need to have my milk this morning.”

Finding that notebook made me happy this week, remembering the absolute delight you brought to your Daddy and me.  I read somewhere in there before you were 18 months old where your Daddy said, “She is the most fun thing that I have ever experienced.”   And I believe ~ adding Big B, of course ~ you could still over hear that at our house.


Tori said...

What precious memories, Krista. This reminds me that I need to pick up a notebook of my own, as Allie is just beginning to really talk. What Bible Stories and songs did you play for Julia at bedtime? I remember listening to some as a child, too, but I want to find some good ones for Allie. Send me an email if you get a chance. Miss seeing you and your sweet family! Tell sweet Julia hello for me!

Sarah said...

I clearly remember watching Julia about this time and her completely taking off her wet swimsuit and putting on her clothes... Buttons, zippers, and all. Graham, in the meantime, had barely spoken a word in in his whole life and I hadn't even attempted to teach him these things. She's a special girl, that Julia :)

Alyssa said...

I echo Sarah; Julia is such a special gal! I'm always amazed at how well she joins in conversations and have to remind myself that she's much, much younger than she sounds!