Today, Sophie actually colored in the lines of a picture. It was probably a coincidence, and I don’t expect her to repeat it anytime soon, but she is consistently drawing full circles. I am impressed with my own baby, nearly bewildered by how fast she is changing.
Then, at bathtime, she almost managed to take off her sweater and shirt by herself. She told me quite politely that she’d like me to sit farther from the bathtub, tonight, since she’s starting to perceive bathtime as her own independent quiet-time. So I was sitting farther from the tub, enjoying my own independent-time to read an old New Yorker. I’m still on the issue after John Updike died, still digesting each of those gem-like excerpts of Updike’s brilliant lifetime of writing.
After a while, I looked up from one of Updike’s late-in-life meditations on mortality and I caught Sophie’s eye. “Duck water,” she told me. She had placed a small rubber-duckie in a large cup and was pouring water on top the cupped duck, delighting in watching the duck dance around in the swirling water. She has mastered the art of keeping water inside the tub (hooray!) and was deeply involved in her experimental observations of how the duck would stay afloat under the waterfall that she was creating.
“Oh, your duck is bobbing in the water,” I said.
“Yes,” she agreed. “Duck bobbing. Bobbing bobbing bobbing.” She bobbed her hand to emphasize this, reinforcing her new vocabulary word.
My baby knows the word bobbing.
Pretty soon she’s going to reach three-word sentences. Then I’m going to blink and she’s going to be reading John Updike herself. And then she’s going to be as old as her great-grand-parents, and I won’t be around to see it, and that will actually be okay, because she’ll be carrying on whatever I’ve passed on to her, and changing still.
Watching her tell me about her bobbing duck felt like just one momentous link in what I hope will be her incredibly long life, unspooling now in a way that feels like it’s going faster and faster. She’s developing really quite wonderfully. She is bossy but empathetic, independent but adventurous, shy in crowds of new people but devoted to the friends she knows, quick to apologize whenever necessary and very quick to laugh. And she likes the word bobbing.