Tonight Clara ate her entire dinner by first setting each bit on the right corner of her high chair tray and then bending over and picking it up with her teeth. She would hold out her hand, which served as a kind of transfer station between my plate, the corner of the tray, and her mouth. She is also saying “Awokatat!” at everything that’s either spinning wildly (like ceiling fans at the gym) or brightly colored. “Awokatat,” we’ve decided, is none other than the three-word command: “Look at that!” For days, I’ve been trying to record the most adorable “cock a doodle doo” you’d ever want to hear in your life. It’s all “k” and “oodle.” Similar to “cock a doodle doo,” her twentieth word or so is “arugula.”
So, someone obviously replaced my little baby with a little girl either last night or the night before. All of a sudden, she’s all kid, all quirk. From among our pile of wet shoes and boots at the front door, she picks out the matching pair and tries to slip them on and walk them back to our bedroom. She loves to find the smallest, most insignificant piece of orzo pasta on the floor and through it in the trash. When Dakota and Delilah come in from a run, she grabs the towel to wipe the frozen snow off their legs. She knows that empty coffee mugs (and other mugs) belong to Mom and Dad so anytime she finds one unattended on a window ledge or coffee table, she holds it steady with a concentration you only see in two-year-olds and walks it to us.
With a slightly jesting homage to Aaron’s studies in “Conscious Discipline,” we would tell Clara after bringing dad his glasses, “Thanks, Clara! That was helpful.” And, somehow, in the way that things can be named into being, Clara’s most striking quality at this age is her helpfulness.
Clara had one of her two best friends, Anna, over for dinner on Friday. She loved playing hostess all night long. First, she pulled out all the toys she thought would most impress a girl two-months her senior.
“See, the star piece is really hard, Anna. No, no watch me do it first. You can’t rush these things.”
While Dad stir-fried our tofu and broccoli, we read Clara’s favorite book, “Elmo’s Lift and Look Book.” Anna tried to teach Clara how to say “Em-mo”. I like this picture since Clara and I are both in blue and looking like the Mommy and Baby pieces you’d have to match together in games like Memory. Yup, that one definitely goes with that one:)
After Elmo, Clara thought it was time to practice for bell choir. She gave Anna the bell tuned to the note A while she took C and D. (Just a little shout out to Anna’s Mom Kelsey—your Anna is awesome! She played all of Clara’s favorite games and listened and watched Clara so intently. She is such a sweet little friend.)
After bell choir, the girls devised a game of chase. Clara would run jingling to the bedroom—had to keep the bells ringing– and Anna would come jingling right behind. Then, after they had a good laugh face to face on the bed, staring and giggling at each other, Anna would take off to the kitchen. Clara would wait the requisite three seconds and, to the tune of C and D, come running right after.
After her big night of big girl fun, Clara woke up at the usual 5:30 a.m. to read books and join Mom, Dad, Delilah, and Dakota in a singalong to all the tunes Aaron has learned for school. She is enthralled by Aaron and the guitar.
Here’s a clip of the jam session. Clara’s pop artist boyfriend is Jack Johnson, but she also likes Coldplay, especially when that’s what Dad has learned in order to teach his guitar students at the school. (Try not to mind Aaron’s ratty pajama sweatpants:) We hadn’t hit 6:30 a.m. yet).
Later that day, after naps and leftover bean soup, we tried to sled down our sewage mound. I’ve always wondered about sledding myself. For me, the payoff never quite measures up to the slogging climb up to the top. Clara loves it though, so slog I will.
Finally, it was time to help Mom get her new favorite lunch, Tabouli salad, ready for the week. Oh yeah, you know you want a forkful of that:)