Mali goes Subcontinental

The Most Excellent Baby Ever

We are having the best time ever with Mali right now as she teeters on that knife edge between babyhood and personhood. The gusto with which 14-month-olds exist in those twin states makes this (in my limited experience) one of the most unabashedly joyous periods of parenting.

Unless, of course, like Leelo she stalls in the next six weeks or so, which I am trying not to contemplate. Even though in hindsight Leelo slipped further and further behind rather than regressing, I cannot discount all the parents who've testified that their perfectly normal toddlers retreated into autism at or around Mali's age.

I find it difficult to believe, however, that this amazing little girl, this personality explosion, could possibly follow her brother down the rabbit hole. She is so intensely social that she fights me with every bit of strength in her tiny body if I dare to change her diaper while she "plays" with her big sister and friends. If she manages to wiggle away from me, she will make a desperate combat crawl for her mates.

The big kids don't have to be in the play area for her to have a good time. She will happily set her self in all the ride-in cars and start tootling around, will climb up the SIX FOOT ladder of the kids' playset and then put herself down the slide, will be the first one to start jumping on the mini-trampoline. She is one of those wee tykes who may never understand that her abilities are supposed to be several years behind those of her siblings.

She has finally taken up walking as a valid means of locomotion, rather than the applause-generating parlor trick of the past two months. I was both thrilled and saddened when she walked across the driveway while holding onto only one of my hands. Another chunk of babyhood gone forever.

Her talking and chatting go on non-stop. She doesn't articulate all that many words clearly (preferring to stick to her basics: dog, Pat, Mama, ball, yogurt, juice, Up!, hi, bye-bye, yayaya, and NO!), but if you listen closely you will hear phrases that she's picked up from us. Used correctly, if not clearly.

She and her brother are starting to get along much better, as long as she is not crying. Look!

Sweet! I am so excited that they are starting to interact without howling or walloping. (He is about to give her a kiss.)

One of our friends thought we'd named her "Pakistan," and so sent her this outfit from that country.

I found Mali in this position while she was watching B00hbah with her brother and I was desperately trying to sort and fold five week's worth of five peoples' clean socks (Purgatory defined). This picture is proof positive that B00hbah puts children into an altered state of consciousness. Or has some sort of subliminal yoga message.

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