Expecto patronum

Remember that thing I told you about the other day, the really horrible thing? I am choosing not to speak of it at this time. It is even more horrible than I thought, and I don’t want to talk about it right now. Nonetheless, I appreciate the wishes of love and light more than you know.

What I would really like to talk about today is this little person with whom I now share a life, this little person who, in the weeks and weeks when I was not blogging, turned 6 and then 7 months old. I know I am biased, but she is truly amazing, and while the rapid passing of time is a little bothersome to me, I don’t really have time to be sad about her growing up right before my eyes, because watching her grow up right before my eyes is entertainment at its finest. With this to watch on a daily basis, who has time to pine about the past?

When she was brand new and just starting to grow into herself, I worried about milestones and development; I worry less about those things now. Who am I to pass judgement on when my daughter sits up when I, after almost 33* years of living, still walk full speed into door frames and trip over hairline cracks in the sidewalk? No, it is better to focus on her special skills and talents. For example:

  • She can trill–roll her tongue–like a proper Spanish or Italian speaker, something many adults I know cannot do. Not only does she possess this skill, but she also has the ability to add different sounds to the trill. Sometimes she sounds like an exotic jungle bird, and sometimes she sounds like a motor, and sometimes she sounds like Cujo preparing to chew through a chain-link fence.
  • One of her favorite foods is the Cheerio, slightly dampened and in large quantities. I have watched her pick up a Cheerio in a delicate manner, with her thumb and index finger, her tiny pinky extented. However, this is not her preferred mode of eating Cheerios. Mostly she picks up handfuls with both fists and shoves her hands into her mouth while making a hungry, enthusiastic chomping sound to rival Cookie Monster.
  • She is an accomplished kicker. There is never a time when her feet are not moving. Even when she is on her belly doing her version of crawling (or The Worm, which is a much more accurate label) she is tapping the top of her right foot on the ground. It is cute, the kicking, until it gets all up close and personal with your stomach or an unprotected boob. Case in point: every morning this summer, instead of putting her back into her bed after the 6 a.m. bottle, I have put her in bed with me and enjoyed some snuggle time. But lately I have abandoned this practice because even in her sleep she is capable of a well-placed kick. It was all fine and good when I was awake: we would both go back to sleep after the early bottle, and then we would wake and lie in my bed and play until it was time for breakfast, and even though it was like being in bed with a tiny part-camel (she likes to blow raspberries), part-lobster (she also likes to pinch little pieces of skin with her vice-like thumb and index finger), part-donkey, it was a good time for both of us. But being jolted out of sleep by a tiny soccer kick to the chest–not a good time.

And then there are those “normal” things, the baby book milestones:

  • She sits up completely unassisted. If she starts to topple she steadies herself with her hands, or sometimes just by balancing herself with her own core strength. Yesterday she went from her stomach to a sitting position all by herself for the first time.
  • She babbles. Her favorite syllables are “babababa” and “dadadada.” Whenever she says the latter I ask dramatically, “Who IS this Dada you speak of?” and she laughs impishly.
  • She moves rapidly from point A to point B. It can’t be called crawling–like I said, it’s more like The Worm of Disco fame–but it’s fast and quite effective nonetheless.
  • She waves, but mainly at things that aren’t there, or at herself in the mirror.
  • She has started trying to pull herself up on things. Yesterday my mom put her in a round and fairly deep laundry tub, and by pressing her butt into the back and pulling up with her arms, she stood up by herself. It was a scary sight for me. Already I am considering tethering her to something so she cannot climb into the fireplace or escape out the front door.
  • She is an accomplished peek-a-boo player and prefers the “cloth over face” method to the “hands over face” method. At first she would only pull the cloth from her own face, but now she pulls it from whatever face it is concealing, up to and including the Wee Hairy Beastie’s.
  • She still has no teeth, but every day I am convinced all of them are going to emerge all at once based on the vehemence with which she chews on everything in sight.

I have wished in the past few days that I had the ability to cast a patronus and ward off the “dementors” (because I’m sure this is what they feel like, this cureless, constant ache), and I have wondered what my patronus would be if I had one. And then I see her, and I realize I don’t need a patronus, or perhaps I already have one.

*GASP.


3 thoughts on “Expecto patronum

  1. Oh, I am so, so, sorry that you are facing another heartbreaking loss. I, too, am speechless, but my arms know what to do and are sending you a big deep hug.

    As for your cherub/imp/sprite – she’s fabulous as always. Hug her a little tighter when you’re feeling blue and she’ll help you get through it.

    We’ll be keeping you in our thoughts.

  2. Dementors are real. (It’s one of my favorite ideas from the books…we Muggles can’t see them, but we sure can sense them.) Fortunately, your patronus couldn’t be cuter. She shines brightly.

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