Olivia’s near-permanent scowl is slowing being replaced by a semi-permanent smile.
Because her parents stopped treating her like a sack of potatoes to be hauled from one location to the next – bed-to-table, table-to-sink-, sink-to-car, car-to-school, school-to-car, car-to-table, table-to-sink, sink-to-bed…
Repeat until independent.
Well it turns out little Olivia made her emancipation proclamation loud and clear. She has transformed from a pale preemie who communicated via mewing to a forceful 1 ½ year old who knows exactly what she wants and how to say it.
But it’s up to us to decipher “it”.
Emphatic head shake accompanied by sippy cup throw.
Grab a towel. Take a deep breath. Try again.
Frantic hand clapping. Good job, Nana!
“Yes, the cat does say meow.”
Death glare. Do you see a freakin’ cat anywhere in this house?
“Yeah! Yeah! Miow! Miow!”
I have to admit, I thought Lori was going to take the linguistic lead in the translation department since Olivia’s cryptic words sound similar to some Cantonese I’ve heard Lori speak with her mom. Alas, she’s as stumped as I am.
Perhaps Olivia is speaking Mandarin…
As our third child, I used to call her my plug-and-play kid, but she has made it clear that she is so much more than that. She is a force of nature, completely present and fully engaged. She has thrown down the gauntlet, demanding the same level of attention, interaction and of course, respect as her siblings.
Her parents can no longer make assumptions about what she’ll wear to school or what she wants for breakfast. And when we make choices without involving her, we do her a disservice, robbing her of the voice she is so eager to use.
“Um…take Skippy out for a walk?”
Laugh and point to leash.
I smile, pick her up and hug her tight.
“I love you too, Olivia.”
She snuggles into my chest.