My little sweetness has entered a new phase, the ability to reciprocate the idea of love. It's pretty much the cutest thing that she's done, and it seems like every time she does something new, Ben and I say that to each other (and always agree that it is, indeed, the cutest thing that she's done yet!). But this one, ahhhh....this one is pretty delectably sweet.
For quite a while now, if you ask her, "Do you love me?" or "Do you love Mommy?" she'll respond "Yes." And if, when we're going through the bedtime or leaving routine, I say "Alright, now I need a hug and say 'Love you Mommy,'" she'll do both. But up until this past week or two, she hasn't spontaneously started to verbalize love without being prompted. And we both know that like so many things she does, she is mimicking what she hears us say with her. But it's still REALLY cool to witness. And the awesome little toddler voice just makes it all the more irresistible. She always says the same thing: "Oh, I LOVE you...sooo much!" And it comes across every single time as if the feeling of love has just snuck up to her and surprised her. It's so heartfelt in a glad/surprised kind of way. Some things that she apparently absolutely adores:
*Ben. She randomly turned to him while they were sitting on the floor in our room yesterday morning, gave him a gigant-o hug and made this declaration of affection.
*A picture of a kitten on a magazine in the library today. Funny, she doesn't share the same affection for our 2 cats. If she sees them, she wholeheartedly chastises them and tells them to "go back to your office" where they hide much of the day when she's awake. She must think that they're in a time-out because they're back there so much, though we have certainly never spoken to the cats like that in front of her. Ah well. I surmise that these three will never bond but live in unspoken tolerance of each other.
*Her stuffed ________________. It rotates every few days, though lately it's been between her kitty and her monkey. Often it's a teddy bear. Sometimes it's a penguin. It just depends on the mood and her varying need of softness.
*Her pants, the ubiquitous lovey that seems to be lost in our house about twice a day lately. I've written about her pants before, now they're just raggedier and more faded.
*Curious George. The love for this literary monkey knows no bounds right now. I could write a paper on the formulaic qualities of children's literature based solely upon this series (which, good grief, whoever has continued the series after the passing, I assume, of the original creators needs to let it go...way too many of these at the library and she knows right where this section is).
Who she hasn't uttered this little sweetness-ism to is: ME. No surprise. I'm the lesser parent preference, for sure, though she has been a touch more into me lately. She actually *wanted* me to put her coat on as we were leaving the house the other morning instead of Ben. Whoa. She doesn't realize that I'll gladly do whatever she wants (you know, within reason) if she prefers me over Ben ever. She's got some kind of 2-year old manipulative control! Until she bestows the golden words upon me, I'll just have to reiterate the message to her as much as I can, and that's no sacrifice on my part.