Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I don't get out much with just Charlotte these days. If I'm out of the house, it's either with the whole family or just by myself. Today I had a meeting at school I had forgotten about, and to give Jeff a break, I brought Charlotte with me. It was a lunch meeting, pretty low-key, so I knew she wouldn't cause much of a disturbance.

I need to set up more mom-and-daughter dates because I had the best time. When we're all together as a family, I have to admit that I probably don't pay the most careful attention to Charlotte at all times. I certainly don't catch everything she says, and I most likely miss her first (and second, and, let's face it, third) request that I read a book to her, put together a puzzle with her, get her a snack, take care of this huge booger on her finger, etc.

But in the car on the way to lunch, I got to give Charlotte (and driving, of course) my full attention. I think it took her a minute or two to realize that it was just me and her in the car. Then she launched into a long-running commentary/story/song that lasted the entire ride. I don't think she took a breath. Occasionally I was called upon to respond (a simple "wow" or "really" or "cool" would suffice) but then she was off on the next tangent. Subjects covered included: books, and why they are amazing; birdies, and how they get up there in the trees and the sky; why there was a picture of a pig on that restaurant and why we should go eat there sometime; the library, and why it is the best place in town; poopy diapers in the context of Sam and others; why Charlotte's original songs are better than covers (her terms, I'm serious); how she's growing to be so big that soon she won't fit in the car. And that list is by no means exhaustive.

The last one, about how she's growing so big, is true in a way that makes my throat catch sometimes. Just seven months ago she was still sleeping in a crib. She still wore diapers. She ate in her high chair. We still had to put her to sleep via an intensive, hands-on process every night. (Every. Single. Night. HORRORS!) She was too short for most of her 2t clothing.

In the six months we've lived in Lawrence, she's transformed into a little girl, a baby no longer. She sleeps in her big-girl bed, wears underpants, eats at the table in a booster seat, and goes to sleep on her own with nary a complaint. She's still a little on the short side for her age, but she now wears most 2t pants without us having to cuff up the bottoms, and is even wearing a few 3t pants. She's outgrown most of her 2t shirts. Her size-six shoes are starting to pinch.

But in addition to all those things are the less tangible signs of her growth. She's just...bigger and older and less baby-like. She interacts like a child, not a toddler. She asks insightful questions and observes things I wouldn't expect her to notice. It's all amazing to me, and yet so commonplace.

3 comments:

Dale Deur said...

Won't be the last time you get that catch in your throat, I guarantee...

Kristen said...

I'm so glad she came to lunch. . .I think all meetings would benefit from the presence of Charlotte.

momdadtig said...

......one season following another........

they go way too fast.....