Lately I've been thinking two thoughts: (1) Man, Garry and I have a lot of kids; and (2) Kate is really growing up! These thoughts primarily occur as we all sit around the dinner table, talking and passing food. I am overwhelmed at the sheer volume of people (I realize it's only seven, not thirty), not only because we eat that much spaghetti, or because they produce so much laundry, but because I am responsible for teaching and raising and watching over so many tender souls.
And then there's Kate. I marvel at the Kate clearly communicates what she wants and doesn't want. She pulls faces and bangs on the table and often chuckles at just the right moment...and that's just at dinner time. Her vocabulary is expanding to include [her version of] quite a host of words. Most are pretty darn accurate, too:
No, mine, outside, spoon, bowl, cereal, socks, shoes, bunny, mine, no, 'kay, mom/mommy, dad/daddy, haha, valve, dip, jacket, coat, boo, I love you, knee, thank you, help, hi, bye, morning, night-night, see ya. And there are probably others. Having a semi-conversant vocabulary is incredibly helpful!
Kate's favorite activity is playing with shoes. Notice I didn't say "putting shoes on." No, she prefers to pluck them out of closets (generally only one per pair) and carry them around the house. Her shoes and my shoes are generally the ones she prefers to use in this manner, so both of us have a hard time finding the correct matches at the correct times.
Kate has become quite clingy and opinionated about who can mediate her grumpiness. She is struggling at the YMCA child watch again (which is additional motivation for me to go early) and hates the church nursery. Some kind souls have taken her during the last two church hours, partly so that Garry and I can have some peace, and partly because we both have responsibilities during the last hour. Today we were both teaching classes, so it was a relief to know she was relatively happy during that time. Sometimes I wish a kind soul would move in with me during the day so Kate would leave my hip or my lap or just not wail when I leave the room without her. Or maybe I should just hire someone to tackle my to-do list so I can sit on the floor and play with my baby all day.
Kate loves books, and listening to many books of her choosing. A current favorite is "Brown Bear, Brown Bear." Sometimes she'll listen to Dr. Seuss. She loves any book with a touch-and-feel option. She likes puppet books and finger puppets in general. But everything we read or play with or do has to be HER idea. She is a girl with many opinions.
Kate reminds me so much of Gavin. She cannot sit still. Never ever ever ever. She just has so much energy. We are back to locking pantries and closets because her curiosity and propensity for large messes is significant. She can almost turn a door knob. During Sacrament Meeting, doctor appointments, and the grocery store (I don't take her anywhere else) she is all over the place. She can stand up in the grocery cart no matter how tightly I strap her in. She mightily resists being in a car seat (thankfully she cannot yet get out). She is trying to climb out of her crib, since climbing on tables and stools and the counter and the stove and the back yard play structure don't provide the thrill she needs.
Kate seems to need fresh air daily. She loves to run and play outside, and gets especially angry when I keep her in but the older kids can go out (that's usually when it's under 40 degrees). Kate loves to swing, but going down slides--especially the big ones at the park--is probably a close second. She loves riding in the wagon. She loves jumping on the trampoline. The other day I asked if she wanted to be a certain something when she grows up. Garry interjected with, "a tomboy." Ha! He's probably right. She is my daughter, after all.
Having said that, Kate loves to dress up, both with princess garb and fireman's hats and regular clothes. She's actually quite obsessed with taking off and putting on her own clothes, especially when she's already wearing clothes. I'm mostly annoyed with this practice, but also recognize that being able to dress herself means we are one step closer to potty training!
Kate is just her own little person, a ball of fire just waiting to grow up and express her personality. Sometimes I can sense her frustration at having a small, awkward body that holds her back from the things she wants to do. She wants to be big and she wants to do things NOW. I know exactly how she feels. She's my girl.