“Mommy! Where are my bunnies and my puppies?!” Lo wails.
She carries around some small treasure at all times, and the baby bunnies and the puppies are her favorite ‘little’ toys of the moment.
My Little Lo.
The baby of the family, perhaps that’s why she has a ton of nicknames. Lo Lo, Loey Bear, Lo Lo Bear, Loey, Lo Lo Baby…it goes on and on. I was so particular not to baby talk to my first child, but the second requires a bit more will power. Just knowing that she’s the last baby (and rest assured…she IS) makes me want to savor every little ‘baby’ thing that she does. Even things that I considered ‘terrible two’ behaviors for my older daughter, I consider explosively cute coming from Miss Lo.
Cracking up at Lo when I know I need to discipline her for something makes me acutely sympathetic towards Brianne, that’s for sure! She’ll be 5 in a couple of weeks, and I have to remind myself to tone it down a notch on disciplining her for things the first time. Her ‘stages’ that she goes through, though frustrating as all get out right now…will most likely be the very things that crack me up when Lo goes through them. Frustrating still, but on a different…much more adorable…level. Not that one child is cuter than the other…oh, boy…can you see where this vicious cycle goes?
Back to the point at hand, it takes a lot of will power not to baby my baby. With Brianne, it was easier. She talked early, loved animals…collected and drug them around the house…loved to run with me…a really independent child. Lo, is a total princess. It’s all babies and dollies and mommies and daddies and princesses and princes and fairies and fairy godmothers with her. Brianne skipped walking and took off running. Lo is still content to walk around on her tippy toes. Seriously, I don’t even know how it’s physically possible for her to walk on the very tips of her toes like that!
Lo tip toes around the house, my dainty little princess, sipping tea (no exaggeration) while careful to hold it over a saucer in case of a spill. In her dollhouse, which is bigger than she is, every baby is tucked in with a blanket. Every pet puppy or kitty or bunny has a pillow and a blanket. Every dolly’s name is “Honey,” and they usually all have some sort of ailment than needs immediate attention.
So, not only is she the baby, but she’s into everything little and small…mothering every toy and tiny collectible treasure that she has. Naming them all “Honey.” It’s too cute to resist!
But maybe that’s the point. Perhaps, my baby needs to be babied just a little bit. No worries, you don’t need a translator to decipher our conversations. I”m all for leaving English words spoken the way they are supposed to be. But the tone of play…jumping into her imaginary world…that, I”m discovering, is just as fun as sneaking into her room and playing with her dollhouse when she’s not looking.
“Lo Lo,” I say in a high voice layered with fret, “is Honey going to be OK?”
“Uh-Huh,” she mutters and she looks at me with a concerned sigh.
Then I realize…she’s mimicking me. That’s how I am when she’s sick. I stay by her side until she can sleep peacefully on her own…doting on her in complete concern and worry- because I am. (I HATE when my babies are sick. It’s terrible. Rips my heart out.) When she falls (which for Lo happens quite a bit..little bit of trouble with gravity…), I rush to the scene and scoop her up in my arms whispering in her ear, “It’s OK…Mommy’s got ya.” And, my heart just melts.
Observing how my extra sensitivity to my baby Lo has affected her mannerisms, I’ve learned to turn back and apply that to Brianne, too. In doing this, I’ve found that she, too, mimics that behavior. Illustrating it’s never too late to show compassion. They pour out the same compassion that is shown to them. I witness it when they play with their toys in their imaginary play-lands, and to their friends.
It’s plain to see that my daughters know they are loved and cherished, even in times of dispute and disobedience. They have faith that I will always be there for them. To “scoop” them up and tell them , “It’s OK, Mommy’s got ya.” Knowing it’s not just me, but God, too, that puts His arms around them with unconditional love.
“I’ll Always Be Here for You.” It’s Brianne’s favorite book. It’s mine, too, because I mean every word. I will always…in my own imperfect way, attempt to pay forward the love and grace given to me. Why encourage my girls to be ‘tough’ and rush them to act ‘grown up.’ Seems a little backwards when we’re instructed to have a “child like faith.”
Happy “Baby” Talk,
“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ” Matthew 18:3-4