I feel as though I’m on a constant search for the next thing to make Ella happy. Partly because I want to avoid all the screaming she does on a daily basis. Mostly though, I just can’t get enough of that smile. Chubby cheeks plumped up from a toothy grin with glints of mischief in her eyes. Seeing her smile is guaranteed to make anyone else around her smile in return. Even Momma, before she’s had her coffee (a true miracle).
She’s not much of a TV watcher. At least, not for more than 5 minutes at a time. This is not a bad thing, except when I’m trying to keep her distracted so that I can get something done. Last week I was mopping the kitchen floor. She wanted to watch but she also wanted to be right where I was cleaning. After she walked through a puddle of cleaner for the third time, I finally blocked her from the kitchen with a couple of chairs. She could still see me, but was that good enough? Oh no! She threw herself on the floor and started flailing her limbs in pure anger amid deafening screams. No amount of reassurance that I would be done in two minutes could soothe her. She also had no interest in watching Sesame Street, a show that has been a successful distraction in the past. Why watch Grover when you could run across a dirty, soapy floor, possibly falling and hurting yourself? Episodes like this are the reason I’m DESPERATE for some laughter in this house.
Recently, with a good amount of the snow finally melting, we ventured outside. Ella has obviously been outside hundreds of times. She has never, however, been able to actually walk outside. She didn’t start walking until January, and until this month, there was too much snow to go exploring on wobbly toddler legs.
Her reaction was priceless. Stunned silence. Bending over to touch the ground. Nervous laughter. Then a breakout happy dance with giggles bubbling out and repairing my previously melted brain (from all the screeching). It was awesome. We sat outside for almost an hour, Ella constantly turning her face towards the sun with a huge grin. Momma, with a contented smile, watching her happy baby.
It’s gotten colder this last week but no new snow that has stuck to the ground, so we are going outside every day now. She especially likes when we go to the park or for a short walk and she can just go, go, go. As we were waiting outside the DMV building for Tom, we walked around the block. She was so excited and so happy, running as fast as her little legs could take her, blonde hair blowing in the wind. Everyone who saw her either smiled or laughed softly. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such happiness at a government office. That, my friends, is a true miracle.
(Click on Ella’s picture to see more outdoor fun.)