Devi is changing so much lately, I find myself afraid to blink, for fear of missing something. Currently, she has developed all kinds of new facial expressions. Yesterday I noticed her first furrowed brow which daddy accuses me of teaching her. It is the look I apparently give when daddy is doing something that makes me feel like I am a single parent of two children :) In any case, it is quite cute and when coupled with hands on hips, I must admit, I do see a mini me with brown skin standing before me. (So that is what I look like? Yikes!) She also has started to give her dolls, and stuffed animals their own voices. A deep voice for her monkey, Alex, and a high pitched voice for her Kangaroo. Pretending to have her dollies cry is a reaccurring theme too. I'm not totally sure what this means, but she is quick to pick them up and rock them for soothing. Not a shy bone in her body, it is not uncommon to enter a restaurant, or any room full of people, and have her wave and announce, "Hi Ebbey body" and true to form they all get a wave and "Bye Ebbey body" when we leave. What can I say, but the girl makes me smile and warms my heart.
In an attempt to encapsulate these two year old moments so they won't be forgotten, here is my list of our angel's innocence at Christmas time.
1. Christmas Tree
The "elves" decorated the tree long after Devi had given up the day, so when she awoke in the morning, Pat stood her, still dressed in her footed piggy jammies, in front of the grand Nobal Fir which dwarfed her with it's enormous room-filling boughs. The family room, still darkened by the reluctant sun, barely revealed the tree's silhouette. At just the right moment, Pat lit the tree bringing the multitude of colored lights to life, splashing their jewel toned reflections all around the room. With her mouth drawn up forming the perfect "O" shape, Devi exclaimed, "Ooooooo, prrreeetttty!...Neat!"
2. Gingerbread man
The other day I was silently eavesdropping on Devi's conversation with her gingerbread man cookie she was taking an hour to eat. He was apparently shopping and she was bounce walking him along the table top as he shopped. She paused and slowly ate both the legs, all the while still chattering to herself and holding him, admiring his features. Suddenly, I heard an "Uh-oh" and looked up to capture her furrowed brow. Devi was staring at the gingerbread man and was looking very confused. How was he was going to walk and continue his shopping without his legs? The fine line between pretend and real life momentarily melded into one and became hilarious for me to witness.
Gladly accepting a kiss anytime I can get one, we hang Mistletoe year round at our house. I love it when Devi runs under the door jam where it dangles and yells "Mistle Toad" waiting for one of us to jump up and give her a kiss. Who could resist? Sometimes she puckers up and when we get close to getting a smacker, she tricks us and pulls away saying the cutest "Nahoooooo"! loving that she has fooled us.
4. Happy Holidays
The other day I was cooking dinner and Devi rounded the corner into the kitchen, waved at me and said, "Happy Holidays, Momma!". I had no idea she knew the phrase, but she said it like such a grown up being politically correct it cracked me up. I also love her sweet mumbled "Melry Kissmos" too!
5. Blowing the Lights On
At dusk every night we have Devi stand at the window where our outdoor Christmas lights are in full view. We tell her to count to three and blow...miraculously the lights become illuminated with a single blow every time! Devi thinks she is performing pure magic and is thrilled with herself every time. We wish it were true, but sadly, we know it is really daddy pressing the "on" button on the remote, concealed behind his back.
6. I Spy
This is our favorite game at the moment."I Spy" on the Christmas tree!
7. Advent Calendar
After dinner Devi chants, " Number 4 treat!" This means it is time to open another box on our advent calendar revealing a new square of the Christmas scene we are creating, which also houses 3 Hershey kisses; one for each of us. I think it took her the first 4 days to understand what was going to happen and this is why she says "number four treat". I've tried to get her to say the appropriate number but so far she is quite content to have 24 number 4s. To a grown up, the foil on a Hershey kiss is a nuisance and just slows the gobbling process, but to her, learning to carefully peel the foil wrapper all by herself is almost as fun as eating the treat. One Hershey kiss, more than fills her tiny mouth, but somehow she manages to shove the whole thing in at once and asks for more.
After passing by our Nativity about one hundred times, it suddenly has become of particular interest to our sweet one who likes to sing Happy Birthday to baby Jesus and herself as she walks past. Although we know otherwise, she feels they were both born on the same day. She also has other legitimate concerns that she voices repeatedly. One, Devi has strong feelings that our off white china baby Jesus is not properly covered with a blanket. I've assured her that there is one on him, but she is still not convinced and can debate it with you until the subject has been beat into the ground. Two, she knows he has a mommy and daddy, but when we ask her to point to the ceramic piece representing them, she points to Pat and I. While it is kind of her to think this, we all know this is not possible. She does know Joseph, but gets confused with the name Mary, so always calls her mommy. As far as the kings go, she can point them out, but when we ask her to count she starts out, "one, two, three..." but ends somewhere between 7 and 11 kings, depending on the day. She loves all the animals, but does not think a camel can lay down, so the lying camel, according to her, is a puppy :)
Pointing out Christmas lights, followed by ooohs and aaahhhs is a favorite past time while riding in the car for all of us. Devi loves to be the first to point them out on every outing. "Right there, mommy...right there!" she squeals. She isn't quite able to decipher "Christmas" lights from any other neon light, so consequently we are ooohhhing and aaahhhing for every fast food sign, tail light or street sign we pass. It is still dear and she loves the hunt so we comply....ooohhh Burger King and aaahhhh Subway :)
10. Small Acts of Kindness
This is our favorite book right now. Devi requests the Andrew book all the time because it was a gift from the Welser family last year at Christmas. Inside is a note explaining that it was Andrew's favorite book when he was little and it was read often. That is all it takes to convince her...it will always be known as the Andrew book and she loves the story.
Last Saturday we hired sitters for Devi so we could attend a friend's holiday party for a little grown up time. The twin girls from two doors down arrived carrying bags of books and activities to keep Devi entertained. Usually, she cries for a few minutes when we leave, reaffirming our special parental bond and making Pat and I feel, with a slightly stuffed shirt, so very important in her world. Soon after we drive away she'll announce, "I go nigh nigh, right now!" and head for her bed room pouting. This time, however, once the girls arrived, it was all about play time and Pat and I simply faded from view. She looked up briefly to say "Bye, mommy" as if to help push me out the door. Wait, wait, I love that she had such a good time, but I don't know if this mommy was quiet ready to be dissed just yet :)
12. Santa Claus
Recently we attended a party with Santa Claus. It surprised me that Devi was frightened of him this year, as last year she would have gladly ditched Pat and I and followed him home to the North Pole. After the wailing and with coaxing, she warmed up to jolly old St. Nick as she took her turn describing her good deeds for the year. She happily concluded her “good girl” interview with a toy cookie monster tightly clutched in her arms. From the darkness of the back seat driving home from the party, came this tired little girl voice, “Thank you, Santa Claus. Santa is a good man!” It is these unexpected tender moments that continue to put a smile on my face. We still have two more opportunities to interact with Santa before he hopefully squeezes down our chimney ...I hope she still thinks he is a good man!
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