The Little Lady has always been more than capable of expressing herself. From the early, endless nights of colicky screaming to the current days of making faces at people in the store, the Little Lady have never missed sharing an emotion, expectation, or evaluation.
Her special talent these days is mimicry. As I’ve mentioned before, she copies everything I do or say all day long, thinking herself “big enough” to be independent and opinionated. Rarely does she really understand what she’s repeating; her vocabulary (both what she uses and understands) is only around 100 words. There’s no way she yet comprehends “debates,” “saute pan,” or “Rug Doctor” but these are just some of the words she repeated today.
But, yesterday, I learned that she does know one very important phrase.
It was bedtime, albeit a late bedtime as I hadn’t done a very good job sticking to our nighttime routine. When the Little Lady isn’t quite ready to give in to sleep, she can put up a good fight Last night, she tossed and turned as I attempted to rock her, giggled, and pointed out different objects in the room. Eventually, I’m sure thanks to my excellent Mommy skills, she started to calm down, eyes getting heavier and heavier under the drowsy drug of sleep.
In one last half-hearted attempt to stay awake, my Little Lady raised her palm to my face. I lowered my head, letting my lips meet the soft, baby skin. As I kissed that sweet hand, she opened her eyes and said a simple phrase: “Wuv You.”
It was the one phrase, one expression, I have been trying to get the Little Lady to repeat. Every day, from the moment we wake up, I say the words — sometimes slowly, sometimes in a silly voice — attempting to teach her how to say them.
She never repeats me.
Maybe she’s obstinate. Wait, she IS obstinate — that’s already clear at this young age. I guess she can tell how badly I want her to say the words, how excitedly I wait to see if those sweet baby lips will form those beautiful syllables.
She waited until she was ready, until she wanted to say the words. . . just like the rest of us. She waited until it was real and not just an automatic response, which makes it officially my favorite Mommy memory.