Thursday also marked Ella's twenty-three month birthday. Every parent we talk to with kids tells us how great this age is. Their words fall far short of the mark.
She's an absolute delight. She's talking constantly about whatever crosses her mind. And she comes up with phrases from I don't know where -- this weekend's is a worried "What happened?" when something's slightly out of kilter, sometimes with her hands at her sides, palms up. (Example video from today at the bottom, about 45 sec in.)
Just about every day when I come home she runs into the kitchen with a huge smile, then up into my arms for a big hug. And when I sleep in on Sundays she sometimes comes in and taps me on the arm and says, "Dada wake" with such fun in her voice it's impossible to keep my eyes closed.
There are a couple trade-offs to this. First is the repetition. Barb got from the library a Sesame Street adaptation of "Peter and the Wolf", and there's a scene where the wolf tries to jump at catch Zoe, who's a bird. Zoe gets away, but it really upset Ella. And for the last few days she's been saying, "Wolf.. BAD" and "Zho-zho fwy way" (for "Zoe flies away"). Again, and again, and again. She mixed it up with "Wolf back" since we returned the video today, and hopefully that'll put an end to it. Eventually.
More seriously, she's now aware of when I'm not there. Every day during the week before I'm off for the day she says "Dada work" in a downward lilt. And more than once when I'm putting her to sleep she repeats it, disappointed that I won't be there all day when she gets up. It kills me, and I wonder how parents who have to travel a lot bear it. Sure, you do what you gotta do. But you really will never get that time back.