Growing up so fast…

Today it struck me how much more grown-up Hula Girl has become, even in the past few weeks!

Linguistically, she’s gaining almost by the hour. I just can’t get over her amazing sentences and how they include articles now. Even though she still copies most of what we say, she’s also making up really long, detailed, and often hilarious, sentences of her own. She’s distinguishing whose is whose using possessives. And her vocabulary is growing tremendously.

She’s SMART. I frequently (every time we go anywhere) get comments on how smart she is. I fully attribute that to two main things: genes and me. Let me clarify (so that you don’t think I’m being egotistical):

  • Jonathan’s side of the family is full of brainiacs. Just look at their credentials- you’ll notice that they value education far too much for it to be something that’s really hard for any of them. My side of the family ain’t exactly full o’ dummies, either. Eleven teachers in the family might give you the idea that we also value education and we’re not afraid to use it. So yeah, Hula Girl was pretty much guaranteed to have some natural aptitude.
  • I spend pretty much every waking moment (hers, not mine), with her. The only exceptions to this rule are roomtime, times when she wakes early in the mornings or from naps, and times when she’s with other family members. And I don’t exactly sit with her and watch TV all day. It’s not like I push her to learn new things, but I do encourage her to explore, and I am always on the lookout for things she is interested in at the time. Recently she’s been interested in letters. So we’ve done a lot of letter identification, spelling, and “pre-reading” activities. This is why, when we are at the storytime rug, my 22-month-old can walk around the rug and correctly identify every one of the letters. No, other moms, we’re not showing off… she just really likes letters. Because I am able to maintain a very consistent focus on her and her interests, she learns things quickly and efficiently. I always tell others who comment on how smart she is, “It’s because I am with her all the time, and we talk all the time, about everything. She really likes to learn!”

Her look is becoming far less “baby” and far more “girl”… this is the one that really makes me sad. I realize that kids do have to grow up. But she’s losing a lot of that precious baby/early toddler roundness. Her tummy is still a little sticky-out froggy tummy (as all toddler tummies should be!), but her chest and shoulders are thinning and her leg muscles are starting to show through the chubs. In fact, I even noticed last night that her little thighs aren’t quite so pudgy anymore… sigh. But the thing that really set in her “little girl” look today was this…

Her very first "hairdo"... two tiny butterfly clips, a "Mohmee-teel," and a flower clip. Tear.

Yes, she let me do her hair for the first time. And… her hair was long enough for me to do something with it. It’s not quite so wispy-fine as it used to be. No more candyfloss light blondie-blonde, either. (For those of you who are wondering, there is NO hint of red on that head! Just blonde as can be.) And of course, she’s reading. Oh, and see that white speck on her back? “Wuzz?” Yep, she still loves her “wuzz”… and now she can say the end of the word! Ha!

FYI- I’d like to take a moment to recognize that I have never ever posted a picture of Hula Girl on my blog before… and I will never post a picture of her face. Same for Gelato, when he arrives. Jonathan and I do not wish to open our kids to risk in this way. If you’re my facebook friend, you’ve seen her cutie patootie face plenty of times, anyway. I just really needed to share this picture to give you the scope of what my emotions are dealing with today. 

So there you have it. My growing-up girl. I can’t believe how fast it’s going, especially now that she’s past the 18-21 month developmental leap. To quote one of my smartest (though not by blood) relatives: “Yipe.


  1. kristypowers said,

    April 30, 2012 at 9:55 am

    This reminds me of an article I read recently about ordinary mothers who are ready to be martyrs. Not in the sense of dying for something, necessarily, but in the sense of being a witness. You are witnessing to the world that spending that waking time with your child is important and beneficial and hard and wonderful. And, not to mix meanings or anything, but you are also witnessing the magic of her childhood!

    You know what makes me a little sad? It is hard for me to remember my oldest as a baby or toddler now. I kind of need the reminder of photographs to have that sense of him again. On the other hand, I will never forget delivering my first child and exactly how that felt.

    • April 30, 2012 at 2:25 pm

      Oh, that is so sad. I find myself looking back at Hula Girl’s photos and thinking, “Where did the time go?!” I can still see her little garden gnome self nursing in my mind’s eye, though… and that was the sweetest thing for me. I hope that image doesn’t go away soon after Gelato makes his entrance.

      • kristypowers said,

        April 30, 2012 at 2:51 pm

        Nursing memories don’t go away as quickly, either…I think. Xander always looked me in the eyes when he was nursing or, later, drinking from a sippy cup. It was such an intent look – very cute. He did this if anyone ever gave him a bottle as well.

      • April 30, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        So perceptive even then!

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