Ta-daaa – 180 Days of Magic

Sleights of moment, waving the family wand

It’s the Big ONE for Nellie

Posted by PlayGroundology on November 10, 2008

dsc00143_2Saturday was number one day for Nellie-Rose. She’s marking 365 days of survival with her family – extended and immediate. For this alone she deserves a medal. Then there’s the cross continent, time and climate zone gallivanting with 12 and 14 hour travel days and 20° temperature variations. Finally there is all the nonsense, discord and chaos sweeping past and through us every day. Thankfully there’s dreaming too inspired by hope that little fingers will be able to touch magic and sculpt tomorrows cradled in sound and sense.

It’s been a big week for our girl. There’s a surprise every which way we look because la petite cocotte is an inquisitive, hands on, everything in the mouth, how can I take it apart kind of gal. Add 3 portions of imp, 2 dashes of darling and a touch of tomboy and it’s not hard to imagine the merry chase that she leads us on some days.

A few days ago our lady of laughter scampered up two flights of stairs. The length of a hallway separated us from the action as the sounds of the one man cheering section made it to our ears. Noah’s chant, “go Nellie go” was a surprisingly effective motivator. La cocotte made it all the way to the top – 14 steps in all. The first volley was carpeted providing a little traction, the second leg she had to contend with some pseudo-wood that could have a small one unsure on her climbing knees just slip sliding away. So far there has been no reattempt at this Everest type escapade.

dsc00225Now there is some debate about the Nellie’s first word. I’m talking here about something that goes beyond the classic ‘mama’, ‘papa’ and ‘hiya, hiya’. On the same day as the staircase adventure, Mélanie reported the utterance of ‘caca’. It seems to be in the one time occurrence category at this point. I know that I repeat it every time we do the diaper thing. It’s a bit of a game with us. I repeat “caca, pipi” numerous times with the poor child stretched out on her back captive on her changing table looking up at me. She smiles throughout so apparently it’s some kind of funny. In a moving moment of bravado I rip back the diaper tabs and pull down the diaper to reveal the gift and talk it out loud. It’s the game that’s important because regardless of the answer I give her smile pushes wide and large.

It’s been a tough week too with maman sick – let’s just call it indisposed – and not up to her usual shenanigans with the children. Nellie had some recurring problems of her own that finally required medical attention. Talk about butt rash, the poor little girl was in pain from a red, sore and blistered bum that was being kept as bad as it was or perhaps even made worse by frequent excremental activity.

The night before the doctor’s I went down to our pharmacy in search of a special compound created by the local children’s hospital. The existence of such formula had been passed on to Mélanie by a close friend. I was a little dubious but promised to ask the pharmacist. She recognized it at once and agreed to provide a small phial of buttocks paste as it’s called as long as I was seeking medical attention the next day. It was at this point that my alter ego eedjit boy – “the not too bright” – was let loose on an unsuspecting public blurting out, “so what, they have a factory in the basement of the hospital pumping out this stuff?” As it turns out, eedjit boy learned that the hospital provided all the pharmacies with the magic recipe. I’m thinking of introducing eedjjit boy’s further adventures in an upcoming blog, stay tuned…

dsc00281So here is our Nell alive and well and joying up our lives for a whole year. She’s the wee babe of love at home and out in the wide world. Wherever she looks a smile grows. She is developing her own tastes and takes on the world. Shoes are a favourite. Anyone’s will do. She is not really discerning re style, size or material. As soon as she grabs one it’s right into the mouth much as it is with any miniscule mote that is within reach of her quick little fingers.

In these last 6 months we’ve truly got to know each other. The first 4 months of her life she was a card carrying member of colics anonymous and it was so hard to get through the veil of pain. Now she’s been in my arms soft and silent, eyes heavy with dream. I’ve held her tight as she wriggled and rolled seeking freedom from my grasp. The sweet sounds of her nascent singing voice playing with pitch, tone and cadence has tickled my ears as she’s shared a dance with me. Her raucous shouts have filled the house making me jump, wince, or snap out of a reverie. She is constantly on the move – a crawl, a roll, a push, a rock, a jump and now steps like those 5 unaided ones she took last week. Asleep she drifts about her bed cycling the 2 soothers that are always with her in her crib from hand to mouth, mouth to hand in an unbroken circle of comfort and security.

On the changing table she arches her back, twists and turns, pretzels herself confounding our best efforts to get some clothes back on her. When we finally are able to contain her energy and have her flat on her back, the rapid drumroll of her feet on my abdomen is the new best game that provides her with miles of smiles. In the bath she slips, slides, giggles and splashes able to withstand the cooling temperature until her fingers and toes are pruned and wrinkled. On all fours races we’ve sprinted down hallways with peals of laughter all the way to the finish line. It’s the perfect vantage point to understand why all the CDs and DVDs are strewn about the floor. They’re there, they’re accessible, let’s do it.

dsc00378Now there is her new found love affair with books. She’s got lots of titles to choose from – upside down, or downside up doesn’t seem to make much difference. It’s the turning of pages, the narrating out loud and the dramatic exclamations that seem to be the thing. Her talking is constantly developing though I am hard pressed to replicate any of her multi-syllabic, tongue twisters. It is a language unto herself and her fluency is uncontested.

More and more with each day Noah is our Nell’s hero. She watches his every move – good and bad – and develops her own little riffs on his imaginative play. She is now bringing us bowls of food, racing cars and trucks across the floor with her hands and occasionally plays with dolls or buddies. Just as she looks up to Noah, she now recognizes the smaller set. She saw a little baby on the weekend and went bonkers talking and laughing up a storm trying to communicate with this new one. I’m sure she had a few tips to pass along.

It’s been a big year – a lot of oops food on the floor jettisoned over the side of the high chair in a ‘done with that’ kind of sentiment, an extended raspberry blowing fixation and an incalculable number of smiles each one a sun ray on its way to a rainbow.

Thanks Nellie-Rose.

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