Last March, Justin and I stood in the pediatrician’s office with Sophie. She was a mere 6 or 7 days old. I remember so clearly Justin expressing concern over the fact that Sophie cried all the time. She didn’t really cry all the time, but when she did cry it was so intense, so full of fury that hearing 30 seconds of this ear piercing stomach clenching screaming was akin to about 10 minutes of your typical newborn cries.
Our pediatrician smiled in her laid back way, shrugged her shoulders and said (as much to us as to the writhing, kicking, purple ball of rage that was Sophie, naked on the weight scale) that she was just “feisty”.
Justin and I smiled at each other. We liked that, feisty. A year later Sophie has proved herself to be just that. Feisty. Or to borrow a term from Tyra Banks: she’s fierce.
Sophie is not afraid to stand up to Jude. We went through a phase where Jude wouldn’t let Sophie play with any of his toys. He’s still not much for sharing, but Miss Sophie girl can more than take care of herself.
(As I type this, they are bickering over Mr. Potato Head. Sophie as usual, is wining).
In a rare move last night, I made us a dessert to eat for after dinner. I made cherry Jell-O with grapes inside. Justin fed Sophie her Jell-O and he literally could not scoop the Jell-O in to her mouth fast enough. He would give her a spoonful, and then try to take one from his own dish. Before he could get his spoon to his mouth, Sophie was hollering at him. She’s not talking yet, but does she ever know what she’s saying. And we’d better figure it out fast, if we know what’s good for us.
Sophie has moments when absolutely nothing or no one will substitute for mummy. Sometimes I am just not able to take her at these times and Justin will have to do until I finish whatever it is I am doing. During these times, Sophie will scream and scream and then when I become available she will get over to me as fast as she can and more often than not she will stop to turn around and yell at her father a few times. The tears are gone, the sobbing has stopped but this girl is still angry. And she is not afraid to let it be known.
Now, I don’t want to paint a negative picture of Sophie.
She is the sweetest, most cuddly baby you’ll ever meet. She smiles at anyone who smiles at her. She flirts with people in restaurants; she will rest her head on your shoulder if you pick her up. She will wave hello when she hears the front door open regardless of where she is in the house. She will share her last bite of cookie with you and give you a wet kiss on the nose, cheek and chin.
She plays peek-a-boo with strangers and laughs at all her brother’s knock knock jokes. She is so proud of herself when she accomplishes things and when she is allowed to do things she sees her brother doing. She gets up and dances at the first sound of music – whether it’s on the radio, TV or if she’s hearing one of us singing. She will blow on any exposed bit of belly she sees.
She is my pretty baby girl, the prettiest baby in the world and it breaks my heart that I have to leave her (and her brother) in a week and a half to go back to work. I know I should just be thankful I got to spend this year with her, to get to know her and watch her develop into this distinctive little personality that she is but I can’t help being selfish. I don’t want to leave either of them.