Monday, May 09, 2011

Sponge

Lucia has entered her Sponge stage. For weeks it’s seemed her learning has accelerated—she’s been picking up new words, doing new things, just acting like a baby who’s moving up in the world. But in the past week or so, ever since we went to Connellsville, Lucia’s learning has sped up to warp-speed. I trust her sudden acceleration is not because, for the first time ever, I was not with her all day. I trust I haven’t been holding her back. I’ll credit it to the exciting new world of Connellsville (a front porch! a completely empty sidewalk! Grandma’s undivided adoration and attention!).

In any case, she has gained so many new words just in the past few days, including toast and walk, and her second two-word combination: Mama car; Papa (Grandpa) car; Pam car. Pam is a neighbor, and Lucia for some reason instantly said, and remembered, Pam’s name. She seems to be struck by the idea of someone getting in a car and driving away, something she doesn’t ordinarily see in New York, when, on the rare occasions we’re in a car, she’s with us. She’s saying other names now too, recognizing cousins and friends in pictures around the house and accurately naming them.

She was on her best cute behavior all last week—napping well, playing heartily. Eating was a challenge, as it has been here at home. Mom made the mistake of suggesting she and Lucia have a picnic one day on the front porch—an idea that thrilled Lucia, who then insisted on a “picnic” for every meal, even on days when it was much, much too chilly to eat outside. Lucia also left Cville with a new arsenal of toys, thanks to a couple of stellar yard sales we went to. A baby-sized shopping cart full of play food was the highlight ($2!), as well as a selection of balls and a 50-cent push toy that’s identical to one a little girl always brings to the playground, which Lucia has long coveted .

It was strange and wonderful to have so much time to myself last week—working at the library for hours every day, stepping outside for lunch at a picnic table under a dogwood tree—while Mom and Lucia nurtured their mutual adoration at home. The only difficulty was each afternoon when Mom started teaching her piano lessons, which meant she was in sight but not available for playing. Lucia couldn’t stand it and spent many of the lessons in Mom’s lap, making Mom put endless stickers on her hands and trying to play the piano with her feet. Dad and I tried to keep her occupied, but it was like her mind shut down to one crucial signal: Must. Get. To. Grandma.

Molly came in for Mother’s Day, so we all had a nice brunch together; Lucia wore a pretty new dress and sparkly new sandals and barrettes in her “hair.” She was super cute. I’m such a lucky mama.

As for me—thanks to last week, I have a 203-page draft of my book. So, success. I mean disaster. I mean success. I mean disaster. I’m at the stage where I read it and am happy with it, then two seconds later hate every word. In any case, I have a draft that I can now refine. We got back late last night and feel like zombies, but it was a good week all around.

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