That's the only single word I can think of to describe the wee one these days. I guess it's a combination of her growing vocabulary and blossoming personality.
Zoe's new Cooshie Booster chair came in the mail finally, and she loves it. She likes to sit at the table sometimes and on the stools at the counter bar sometimes. The other day she was sitting at the table in her new booster chair eating dinner and decided she was done and ready to get down long before her Daddy and I had had enough time to finish our own dinners. So I said something like, "You're ready to get down already? I guess that means you don't want any ice cream then, huh?" Her little face lit up, her eyes got big, a grin spread across her entire face, and she exclaimed, "Oh yes!" Then she settled herself squarely back in her seat and agreed to eat two more bites of pears and wait patiently a few more minutes before it was time for ice cream. As soon as she realized I was ready to get out the ice cream, she began handing me her plate and silverware to clear room for the "good stuff." Then she sat perfectly still and patient (except for the dangling feet that were swinging in anticipation) and clasped her little hands together in front of her as she waited. It was beyond endearing.
She has also begun to repeat little phrases that her Daddy and I have said to her for months. Remember how I said she absorbs everything and then when you least expect it she pulls something out and throws it on you? She was sitting at the counter bar the other day and had finished her lunch and was waiting patiently while I fininshed a phone call. There she sat drumming her little fingers on the counter and then she looked up at me and grinned and said, "What do ya think, Puddle Muff, Momma?" Puddle Muff is one of the silly little pet names we've called her for months, and "What do ya think, Puddle Muff?" is a phrase I'm sure I've said to her countless times. This is the first time I've heard her say it back, and I was amused that she turned it around on me.
Last night was Daddy's night to watch her alone while I was at work. He was charmed by her mannerisms and vocabulary when she approached him two different times, once to ask, "Have you seen my keys, Daddy?" and once to ask, "Do you know where my mail is, Daddy?"
Several months ago I wrote a long dialogue about how great it is to be a Mommy and the seemingly endless string of moments of thinking, "It just can't get any better than this!" Every day I hug and kiss my daughter hundrends of times and recognize that my list of those moments continues to grow longer. It's bittersweet at times, as I also realize how fast she is growing up. I often linger with my hugs, holding her close as long as she will allow, trying desperately to burn the moments deeply into my soul where I pray they will live long beyond the days when all the little girl "lasts" have gone, so that I can somehow hang onto her forever and in some sense of the term...never have to let her go.