Tuesday, June 9, 2015


We're back from a long weekend visiting FlapJilly and her parents.

We ate and watched the baby and ate and watched the baby and took the baby on walks and watched her there and in the grocery store and out for breakfast and each and every memory puts a wider and wider grin on my face.

We saw the in-laws and the new neighbors and played along with the contestants on all 7 of the Wheel of Fortune episodes on the DVR.  But mostly, we watched the baby.

And, it seems, she was watching us, as well.... and has been from the moment she joined the party.

That's obvious. Of course she watches the movements around her.  We knew that when she began imitating her furry brother, Thomas the Wonder Dog.  His toys and bones are her favorite playthings, and why not? He lives there, too.

He seems to enjoy rawhide bones; why shouldn't she? 

She's learning that sharing is the better part of valor, and that respecting personal space when another is chewing is the safest course to follow.  Her parents are right there, with a firm and loving "No, honey, that's Thomas's bone," and that, combined with a mini-growl from the furry sibling is enough.

She frowns, but doesn't fuss.  She processes the process, and it's fascinating to watch.

When she first began to shake her head from side to side, it was accompanied by a snuffling noise and a shoulder shake and it usually followed similar behavior from Thomas.  It was very funny for all concerned; parents and child alike were enthralled.  

FlapJilly was learning that communication is a two way street.  She could do more than absorb.  She could put things out there, too. And, slowly and surely, she has done so.  

She's figured out Hi!, which she sings out as she crawls into the open bathroom door to find a not-so-very-private-moment for her Mama. 

She is most helpful as she moves her arms out of the restraining straps of the car seat and the high chair.... right... left... launch! and she leans up and forward and gently but firmly into the outstretched arms of a waiting grown up.

And she shakes her head from side to side.  This garners the most attention, because it happens most often.  "No No No No No?" coo the grown-ups, imitating her motions, staring into her eyes, smiling and responding "Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes!" 

This routine is repeated over and over and over again, all day, every day.  It's amusing, but we've been getting it wrong all this time.  I had an epiphany in the airport last night, and it changes everything.

I was looking at video of FlapJilly pushing her lean-on-me-bright-plastic-slanted-learning-to-stand-and-walk toy (it must have a shorter name, but I can't think of one).  She had just said MAMA for the first time, and everyone was quite proud of the accomplishment.  As I was watching her cruise across the living room, mouthing syllables which had been longed for by the woman who loves her most, I found myself telling TBG how much I loved our girls, and SIR, and our visit.... and I realized that I was shaking my head from side to side.

I wasn't saying No.  I was saying I love you.

It was the I can't believe she is so wonderful head shake.  It's the look at what she's doing now drop of the shoulders and the jaw head shake.

There's not a negative feeling to be found.  There's just the overflowing of emotion that cannot be contained, that is so wonderful it cannot be real.

I do it all the time.  So do Little Cuter and SIR and MOTG and Big Bob and TBG and every other grown up who smiled at her all weekend long.

Think of it.... you're watching a cat video or an X-Games feat or LeBron win a game in spectacular fashion. Aren't you shaking your head in wonder and awe?

You have a smile on your face and there's an opening to your heart right there in your head as you grin and bask in the moment move your head from side to side..... don't you?

I just can't believe how wonderful this is. I have no words.

And that, I think, is what FlapJilly is doing.  She's not disagreeing with us.  She's telling us she loves us in the only way she can.

Yes, I agree.  She's pretty wonderful.


Talk back to me! Word Verification is gone!