It’s 9:10am and Moira is still asleep, which is a bit surprising for a kid who goes from asleep and drooling to popping out of her crib like a jack-in-the-box in less than 10 seconds. Maggie, prematurely teenage in her sleep habits, often sleeps until 9 or 10am if there are no morning obligations to be met. Tom bemoans the fact that they NEVER do that on the weekend when he has morning duty, and I’m surprised it’s taken him almost 8 years of living with me to figure it out: his home-cooked breakfasts are awesome and Pinterest-worthy, whereas mine (strawberry smoothies aside) are not worth the time it takes to sit up and put on pants.
I digress. Moira is still asleep. I’ve said this before, but that sleepy, lazy newborn who fell asleep on whoever was holding her? No more. God forbid that there is a party to which Moira is not invited or something she might be missing. In a house of two extreme introverts and a dad who straddles the fence, Moira is a standout super-extrovert. On our recent cruise it took us forever to leave the dining room because Moira had to stop at each table and say goodbye to everyone. There are no strangers in Moira’s world–just new friends.
She has maybe two dozen words and loves to play games. Specifically, she likes to wrestle and jump on people and ride them like ponies. She also will happily scale any furniture to get what she wants. Her tenacity and utter unwillingness to acknowledge reprimands have made our lives very interesting indeed. Moira’s a clever one and while she cannot quite speak yet, she has no trouble making her opinion known.
Tom experienced this on the cruise while Maggie was napping. He had taken Moira to the stage area where the performers were rehearsing. Moira decided something wasn’t right and led Tom by the hand to the buffet area next door. She then pointed to the hand sanitizer at the entrance while grunting “Dis! Dis!” Tom sanitized. Moira again took him by the hand to the tea station, where biscuits and scones were waiting.
“Up!” she brayed. He lifted.
“Dis! Dis!” she pointed. He fixed her a plate of biscuits. She nodded and led him back out (asking him to sanitize on his way out too) to the rehearsal area, whereupon she made herself comfortable with her afternoon tea and entertainment.
That’s Moira. Utterly determined, noisier than an angry donkey. She doesn’t yell. She brays in this deep booming voice that sounds hilarious coming from a little redheaded elfin face and spends all day humming “Ummmm um ummmm um!” like a revving car engine. Her smile comes in three modes: “Is this gonna be worth the trouble I get into?” “WORTH IT” and “Oh, don’t be like that. You know you love me.”
I’ve read this adage about boys, but it holds truer for Moira than any kid I’ve known: Moira is noise covered in dirt. Nothing that is worth doing is worthwhile if you can’t roll in it and rub it in your hair. We went to a messy play session sponsored by the town children’s centre and she not only was the first to run up and down the “Paint with your feet” station, but she then rolled in the paint and then rolled in Jell-O twice with some cornstarch for good measure. I routinely marvel at so-called “washable” paints and markers and the unwillingness of their ink to come off her fine skin. The most common thought I have when picking her up is “OMG STICKY.”
Moira is a life force. She’s a way of living. She demands that you love her, that you go along with whatever scheme she has planned, and digs her hands in deep into whatever she does and gets dirty. She’s that friend with the wild ideas who gets out of trouble every time because she’s such a charming little con artist. It’s hard to be mad at her for combing her hair with a fork covered in pancetta-tomato sauce because five seconds later she’ll pop a piece of pasta in her mouth and roll her eyes up with theatrical affect, clasping her hands to her chest and grinning like “This. THIS. This is the BEST PASTA IN THE HISTORY OF PASTA.” You just can’t help but be excited along with her. And she’s like that ALL THE TIME. Everything, every new experience (save swimming) and new person, is the best thing in the history of things.
That’s a-Moira. And oh, God, I hope she never changes.