Before Sophie becomes the forgotten middle child, here’s a quick update.
Sophie’s first trip to the dentist at 16 months was pointless. She refused to open her mouth to have all eleven of her teeth examined. She did, however, enjoy carrying around the stuffed animals and rearranging the furniture in the waiting room.
When she’s not avoiding the dentist, Sophie works out by carrying pineapples around the house, doing her part to tenderize them by gleefully dropping them on the floor.
Other things she likes to drop on the floor: food scraps. When she eats, she picks her food apart and eats tiny crumb size bites, one at a time. Or she shovels handfuls into her mouth until she gags. Often, she’ll play the game where she pretends to be hungry and asks for more. After you give her more and turn your attention to some other task that requires immediate attention, she swipes the food all over her highchair tray as fast as she can with both hands, hurling as many tidbits onto the floor as possible before you turn around to check on her. On another food related note: she has a minimalist approach to sign language and will only perform signs for “eat,” “please,” and “more,” which she seems to think are all the same sign. All three result in food materializing out of nowhere, so I understand the confusion.
I remember when Stella was Sophie’s age. I should rephrase. I remember nothing when Stella was Sophie’s age, except that Sacrament meetings were spent policing the aisles in pursuit of our child who was about to steal another kid’s toys and snacks. This is why we’re impressed with Sophie’s ability to sit still at church. I get a lot more out of Sacrament meeting now. I can even tell you what the speakers talked about last week. But the freedom to focus on anything other than what Sophie’s doing comes at a cost, of course. Sophie doesn’t sit still just because she can. I can imagine the voice in her head: “Oh, you thought I would sit still just because I can?! HA. I demand the enticements of tactile sensory objects!” She’ll sit still only if she can raid my Primary bag and litter the pew with flash cards, paperclips, magnets, Craisins, and three boxes of crayons until she’s found something in the bag that will occupy her attention, be it a piece of paper she can tear into confetti-sized shreds, or a glue stick that she can rub all over her face and hair.
Other fun facts:
Favorite body part: tie between head and bellybutton. If she’s in the mood, she’ll tell you where her hands and feet are, and if you ask her about her nose, she’ll look at you, grab your nose, and squeeze it as hard as she can.
Favorite animals: owls, dogs, cats. Stuffed animals are their own category. Her favorite is still a little purple owl, or whatever Stella is carrying around and refusing to share (lately, the large psychedelic-colored Alpaca rescued from Target two weeks after Valentine’s Day. It was only .99)
Favorite hobbies: bird and squirrel watching. She likes to point out any signs of avian or bushy-tailed arboreal wildlife she happens to spot while we’re out walking Stella to school. She also enjoys a good book. She carries books around the house and just when you think you can sit on the floor and enjoy a free moment to yourself, she ambushes you by backing into your lap and shoving a book in your hands, which is how she says, “Read. Now.”
Habits: identifying food sources. If she’s trying to get your attention, she’ll pull on your clothes and push you in the direction she wants you to go. Usually, it’s the kitchen, to the bananas or oranges sitting on the countertops she can’t reach. Or the closet where we keep a Costco size bag of prunes; we put a child lock on said closet so she would stop stealing the prune bag.
Once, while we were at the park, I forgot about her and she imprinted on a nanny who found her so adorable she fed her all the snacks intended for the other children in her charge. One of her kids had a big bag of popcorn; Sophie had her eye on it for a while and as soon as the bag was abandoned in the sandbox, Sophie stealthily toddled over, snatched it, and helped herself. So I didn’t have to feed her lunch that day.
Besides eating, Sophie also loves to snuggle. It’s strange having a snuggly baby. Stella never snuggled, unless she was sick. When she wakes up in the morning or after a nap, Sophie loves to grab all the stuffed animals in her crib and her giant blanket, and lay her head on your shoulder while you hold her. And sometimes throughout the day, she’ll just hug you. It’s the best.