Monday, September 8, 2008

Caroline's 11 Things

Caroline and I were lying in her bed this afternoon for rest time. I had told her I would cuddle her for a little bit before she had to rest. She wiggled and squirmed and seemed to have other things on her mind. Lying on her back, she brought both hands up to where she could see them and began to snap--her newest trick. When she first started trying to snap about a month ago, her fingers barely made a sound together. Now when she does it, she will occasionally get them to make a little pop and she's so excited.

Today she did several legitimate snaps in a row and let out a little squeal. Apparently, this series of snaps was confirmation that she could, indeed, now snap. "There are so many things I can do now!" she said. [Beginning to count on fingers] "I can snap, I can whistle, do cartwheels, do handstands . . . four things!" She put her four fingers right in front of my face to show me.

"Wow," I said. It was all I could do not to squeeze her guts out. I reminded her that she also knows how to swim. She let out a little gasp--"FIVE things!" she shrieked.

She lay there beaming up at her five fingers. "And now I need to learn two more things--do a headstand and do a head-and-hand-stand. And then I will have this many [holding up seven fingers] things!" (I am not sure what a head-and-hand-stand is, but I'll give her that one. When you're listing all the things you can now [or will someday be able to] do, it doesn't hurt to throw in a few extras.)

"Then I will be able to do seven things good!" Her eyes were wide in amazement.

"And--you can count to ten in Spanish," I reminded her. Another finger popped up. "EIGHT things!" The excitement was too much. "What else should I learn how to do?" she asked eagerly.

"Maybe . . . blow a bubble (something she's been asking me to demonstrate lately) and . . . read (because she asked to learn how) and . . . tie your shoes (isn't that an important kid milestone?)."

"Um, can I you use your fingers? I'm running out of fingers to count," she said, since she was maxed out at ten. She wanted us to start all over. She took a deep breath and stared at the two tiny fists in front of her face. She looked over at my hand to see if it was ready and began reciting her list.

"[1]Snap fingers, [2]whistle, [3]do cartwheel, [4]do handstand, [5]swim, [6]do headstand, [7]do head-and-hand-stand, [8]count in Spanish, [9]blow a bubble, [10]read, [11] tie shoes (she looked at me to see if I was following along with my one counter). THIS MANY THINGS!!" she proclaimed, putting her ten next to my one.

I did almost squeeze her guts out. It's hard not to sometimes.

This go-getter personality of hers has been evident from birth, when she was straining to hold her head up the day she was born and continued bobbing it around until she really could, way earlier than you would have felt comfortable letting her do so. Every nurse that handled her seemed almost baffled by how strong she was.

It's like in her little baby mind she already had a list and she wanted to get through it as quickly as possible. Hold head up (check), roll over (two months), sit up, scoot, crawl, walk a little bit (eight months), walk all over the place (9 months). She was not very cuddly during her first year of life--she had to be moving and doing.

She does cuddle now, much to my delight. But she's still moving and doing. There's just so much she wants to do, and right now she has five things to check off her list.


  1. that's a good mom--you make me want to squeeze her guts out, too!