Can i describe for you a scene from my house last week, one that I am recalling on this Thanksgiving with absolute joy?
The first morning light is barely blushing behind our curtains. B pads down the hallway with her white knitted blanket trailing behind her and Mr. Bunny tucked under her armpit. Her pants are missing, which means she's already been to the potty...Either that, or she wet the bed. She announces, "it's morning time, Mommy!" and crawls onto the bed and over my body (kneeing me in the stomach) so that she can snuggle squarely between Kris and I.
It's her new favorite routine.
"Mommy, you awake?" she whispers in my face, her toddler morning breath stinging my nose.
"No," I mumble. "It's still very early."
"OK, Mommy. You still sleeping. I snuggle with you." She burrows into my body, tucking her head beneath my chin.
For about 30 seconds, she lays there quietly. I can still smell her breath in my face.
Then, I feel her little fingertips tracing my lips, touching my nose ever so lightly, and then running across my eyelids and eyebrows. It's like she's drawing a picture so that she can remember what Mommy's "asleep" face looks like.
"Mommy, you have eyelashes?"
"mmmhmmm" I grunt.
"I have eyelashes too! Look Mommy!"
"Honey, Mommy's still sleeping," I say. "It's still very early."
It's quiet again for about a minute. Then I feel B lean in and kiss me on my eyelids. One kiss for each eye.
"Mommy, I love you sooooooooo much. You're my favorite Mommy."
I open my eyes and smile at her. She then grabs my face with both hands and rubs her nose against my nose.
We just laid there nose to nose for several minutes, and I got this bittersweet flash: How much longer will she want to snuggle with me? Will she remember these moments the way I do?! And how old will she be when she starts sleeping in?
The next moment, we hear Miles crying from his room down the hall.
"Miles is awake!" B shouts. "Daddy! Go get Miles!"
This is the plan. Kris goes down to Miles' room and B watches on the video monitor. She thinks it's hilarious, seeing Daddy on the itty bitty screen, scooping Miles out of his crib.
Kris grumbles and then rolls out of bed and leaves. B bounces on the bed excitedly.
He returns with a smiling, bouncy, footie-pajama-clad Miles, who is saying "Uh-Oh Uh-Oh Uh-Oooooh" repeatedly, his pink lips forming a perfect "O." ...not because there's anything wrong. There's no Uh-Oh to speak of. It's just that he really likes saying Uh-Oh. Aside from "Mama" and "Dada," it's the only real "word" he has spoken.
He's just as excited to see B as she is to see him. Kris plops Miles down in the middle of the bed next to her and crawls back into his spot. Both kids are now sandwiched between us, and we adults try to doze, try to steal a few more precious minutes of stillness. But of course, it's nearly impossible. The kids are laughing hysterically at one another and bouncing up and down.
What's so funny? I'll never know.
Miles grabs Mr. Bunny from Bronwynn, and she squeals. "NO MILES! That's MY toy. Give it back!!" Miles gives it back and B says "thank you."
At this point, my eyes are open because I anticipate having to break up a fight soon. The blissful morning snuggle session has ended. I watch them both carefully. Miles reaches for Mr. Bunny again, and I say, "B, I think Miles just wants to hold Bunny for a minute. He wants a turn."
"Nooo," B says, clutching Bunny a little tighter. "Miles can have my blanket instead," and she hands it to Miles.
Miles mumbles something that sounds like "do do."
Shocked, I ask, "Miles, did you say 'thank you'?" and he says it again:
A few minutes later, we pile into the kitchen and I serve the kids their breakfast.
He drops his spoon. I pick it up for him.
He says "do do" all day long in response to every kind gesture. In context, he thanks me over and over and over again. And best of all, B notices it too, and she thinks it's hilarious, so she thanks me all day long too. "Do do, Mommy! Thank you!"
Mama, Dada, Uh-Oh, Do Do
Four words at 13 months...plus a few more he says in sign language, like "milk" and "more" and "all done"
But then there are so many more undecipherable words between him and B. So many secrets being shared already. And I realized that's what I'm most thankful for at the moment. My kids adore one another.
They can't even wait until 7AM to see one another and start new adventures.