Oh, Claire…

We say “Oh, Claire” a lot… Partly because it’s a pun on Eau Claire, the city where Paul and I met, but mostly because we can hardly believe how quickly our daughter has grown from a sweet, trusting little baby to a strong-willed, independent little mighty-might of a 19 month old.

The last few weeks have had many “Oh, Claire” moments, moments where we look at each other and wonder how on earth to get her to stop screaming… or wonder what on earth she is trying to communicate to us through her babbling… or wonder where on earth our tiny, helpless, squirmy little baby went and who on earth brought us this willful, funny, eager-to-grow-up-way-too-fast toddler?

We’ve moved into our own place this week and Claire has very quickly made it her home. She knows which room is hers, which room is ours, where her toys are, and how to get outside (usually, by yelling “Dide! Dide!”) She knows several songs with actions, all of her body parts (including elbows!), and how to eat with a spoon. She knows how to say “No, no, no, no!” when she’s doing something naughty and she knows how to get right to the edge of naughty and hover there while she waits for our reaction. She knows how to charm an entire room (or an entire grocery store!) full of people by waving “Hi,” offering hugs, and blowing kisses. She knows how to stop a conversation dead in its tracks with an ear-piercing screech. She knows how to escape a diaper change and how to put pants on her head to make us laugh.

She’s wearing me out with her tantrums and dramatic crying fits. She’s delighting me with her enthusiasm for trying to do everything herself. She’s amazing me with her patience during a hectic week.

It feels so cliche to say that I’m simultaneously in love with my toddler and completely worn out by her daily antics. But, it is nonetheless true. And, if I haven’t done a good enough job of showing it with previous posts, part of my intention for this blog is that it will be a place where I try to bring new life (or at least appreciate the usefulness of) time-worn cliches.

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