Sometime in the nights before Christmas, someone invaded our house.
Does she look familiar to you? She should. As my friend T observed, “It looks like Cindy Lou Who defected and joined ranks with the Grinch.” Then my friend A provided a helpful graphic:
I spy Grinchy plotting.
This child. Oh my goodness. Moira may be the first 13-month-old ever who learned “Yes!” before “No!” except she uses it to thwart us. Example: Moira climbs onto the couch and starts to ascend the bookshelf. “Moira, no no, don’t climb the bookshelf!” Moira squeals “Yes! Yes” and nods her head vigorously…and keeps climbing. Her enthusiasm for life is infectious; all of our friends and relatives have completely given up any pretense of trying not to laugh when she gets up to mischief.
Like Tabby Wheelwright in A Prayer for Owen Meany, Moira does not appear to be manipulative. She just does what she wants to do, but is so charming and funny and loving that you forget why you were angry. How can you be angry at a face like the one above when you find her in a cabinet you told her not to touch, or when right after she does the opposite of what you want her to do–nodding and shouting “Yes! Yes!” the whole time–she throws herself on you in a gigantic bear hug? You can’t. It’s impossible.
Moira also inherited the super-extrovert gene from her grandfather. In a family of introverts, Moira is a standout. Today she skipped her nap until 2:30 and took a truncated car version because of Maggie’s playgroup, and I’m here to tell you that she was fine. Awesome. Life of the party, and she ate sand and snacks and giggled and danced with the other playgroup kids like someone put Pixie Stix in her water bottle. She’s just that kind of a kid.
Unfortunately, she does not enjoy being alone and is a really light sleeper. She usually wakes at the end of a REM cycle and immediately starts wailing like she’s being cut with razor blades. Then…this is what I see when I open my eyes enough to check, except in her bed wearing a blanket as a hat:
She’s just so HAPPY to see me! I can’t be mad. Well, at 3am I often am irritated, but it doesn’t last. That smile just kills me.
Moira says things other than “Yes! Yes!” now, too. She’ll point and ask “What dis? What dis? Nuz [nose]? Bubble? Up! Up! UP MUM-MUM.” She calls me “Mum-Mum.” It’s so charming and British. Moira can also put away close to half of a roasted chicken with singular determination and efficiency, and if your fingers get too close to her mouth while she’s enjoying her meal she will bite you.
Not kidding, either. This one? She’s got a temper.
This one has been suffering from teething since five months old, when she broke two teeth, and then the lead-up to age 9 months when she cut six teeth in ten days. If that last sentence didn’t scare you into celibacy, you didn’t read it carefully enough. She’s popping four new teeth again and her first instinct when hurting or exhausted is to bite. It’s rough, but it’s really her only flaw–that, and the sleeping, but that’s getting better.
Moira’s just so FUN. She’s a gregarious, extroverted, mischievous ball of energy and she’s on the go constantly. She’s into everything. If Moira wants you to be her friend, she sits on you until you pay attention. If you rub her belly, she literally purrs! Like a kitten! A giant ginger kitty!
Do I just love and adore her madly?