For the last year or so we've become accustomed to asking our daughter rhetorical questions, for example "Ready for your dinner?!" or "Have you got a poopie diaper?!" There is usually some kind of physical response from Syd: a squeal or a smile and the occasional fart. She has been mimicking us for months; she can say a lot of things in the appropriate context and also in, well, an inappropriate context sometimes. Hey! Cut her a break! Her vocabulary is limited! Most of the time (scarily) when she did speak, she got things right. She has been a good communicator from early on. When she was a baby she only fussed when there was a purpose (wet or soiled, hungry or tired).
Over the weekend as I was getting her ready for breakfast I asked her the usual battery of rhetoricals … "Are you hungry?" and "Do you want some milk?" and each time there was a response: Sydney nodded her head and threw in a grunted "YA!" just to shock me. This continued and the plot thickened: when the answer to the question was "no"? SHE SAID NO. Actually it was a little more like "NAW!" (which would make total sense because John and I both talk like the biggest hybrid weirdies ever).
The REAL question here, however, is WHERE IS MY BABY AND WHO REPLACED HER WITH THIS CHILD?
On the same day she started answering complex questions? She also learned how to vault herself over the ottoman which had earlier contained her into the now famous – and defunct, as it were – Baby Corral. I have caught her sitting on the couch reading a book like it was NO BIG DEAL. She plays the games that we play back to us when it strikes her fancy. She walks up to our feet and takes a sniff and then screws up her face and says "OOOOOH!" (We sniff her feet about one billion times a day and say "Eeewww! Stinky!" and it makes her laugh so hard!). She has favorite books and when we try to read her one she doesn't want to read? It gets a disapproving shove until it goes away (and now? It gets shouted down with "NAW!"). She prefers to walk everywhere and rarely, if ever, crawls anymore. She is mastering eating with a spoon off a plate. She says "MMMM" and leans in for kisses and hugs. She chases the haggled dogs all over the house, giggling all the way, petting them "nicely" when they are finally cornered. I am finding out very quickly where all the childproofing holes are in my home. And by 9 pm each evening? I'm totally exhausted.
But I love it. I love hearing her little voice humming along when I sing her "Old Macdonald" and "Twinkle Twinkle." I love hearing her call out for "Mama" or "DA!" I love how she gestures along with "All done!" and "Bye bye!!" This new era of communication is blowing all of our minds.
But perhaps my favorite new communication tool?
The blowing of kisses.
It. Is. Awesome.
Fourteen months is AWESOME.