“Thank youuu, Mama.”

She’s almost two. Unbelievable. Aliya our littlest, budding communicator. It’s been amazing witnessing her speech and communication develop. I’ve written about this many times with Keana and Maia, and it is still one of the best parenting experiences to watch and hear your child’s speech and communication develop. All their stylized words and adoptions of gestures are so adorable that you can hardly stand it.

Aliya started out a while ago with “Mama” and calling just about everything “samy”. Then, seemingly overnight, she was saying, “Thank youuu, Mama” holding on to the “u” sound a little longer and pausing slightly before “Mama”. She says this still with just about anything you do, from handing her something, to feeding her, to opening a door—everything. And up until just two weeks ago, everyone was “Mama”. She knew who her mama was, of course, but she had gotten so used to using “mama” in her speech, that even when someone else did things for her, it was still, “Thank youuu, Mama”. Now she says “papa” and “sissy” but still sometimes corrects herself, immediately, by saying, “Thank youuu, Mama, thank youuu, Papa”.

Her vocabulary grows daily, literally. The last two weeks she’s really been into saying “Um on! Um on!” for “C’mon! C’mon!” and waving towards herself. Aliya loves company. Even months ago she would sit down and pat the seat next to her to invite you to sit. Just last night she said, “G’night e(v)erybo(d)y” with a soft “v” and “d” sound that made it just the right about of “baby” to melt your heart. She also still says, “Otay!” for “Okay!”, often with much enthusiasm. Of course she says “bye-bye” but also blows kisses, and will always greet you with a hug, even people she rarely sees. She’ll ask about people too, so when Keana goes off to school, Aliya will often roam around the house asking, “Where’s Sissy? Where’s Sissy?” When she asks about something, “Wha(t)’s that?” and you tell her, she exclaims, “Wowww!” even for the most mundane things, and she’s also started to determine if things are gross by saying, “Ewwwww.”

In Other News

The girl loves her outside time, often asking first thing in the morning, “Ou(t)side Papa? Ou(t)side?” She’s’ gotten into playing chase and throwing the ball and now that it’s getting warmer, she’s really been enjoying our water table and small pool, being fearless of the cold water, and often trying to climb up into the water table to use it as a little pool. Thankfully she doesn’t climb on the kitchen table as much, but she still gets her climbing where she can.

Aliya wants to be included in everything and wants to be doing what everyone else is doing. This mostly applies to whatever Keana and Maia are doing, but watches us carefully too. She’ll wipe up the floor if something spills and insists on clearing her own plate most of the time too, even though she can’t reach the counter. She loves to brush her teeth and expects to have you cup a hand with water in it to rinse, though not knowing how to suck it up, just laps it up like a kitty. She’s getting better and better at potty training and goes long stretches in the day without a diaper, being sure to let us know when she has to pee. After taking care of business, she’ll often fill in whoever missed out by running up to them and exclaiming, “I peed Papa!!!” and whisks a finger in the direction of the toilet. Or, if she has an accident, she’ll say the same thing and bring you to it to help her clean it up. And yes, she likes to get in on cleaning up her own mess, which I can respect even though it can sometimes make the task more difficult.

A couple other incidents to give you an idea of our amazing Aliya:

  • Aliya’s very interested in opening the toilet, using it, putting toilet paper in (thankfully not too much…most of the time), and flushing. She sometimes repeats these steps more times than necessary, but hey, practice makes perfect, right?
  • Tonight, I was asking Sarah if she knew where my phone was and while were talking about it, Aliya ran off, found it, and handed it to me. I didn’t even know she was listening.
  • She loves to walk up to her sisters, especially Maia since they spend the day together, and give her hugs, kisses, or snuggles her stomach when they’re lying down. Maia gets very excited and whispers (as if not to ruin the moment), “Look Mama, she’s snuggling me!”

There are so many things that I haven’t mentioned or can’t even put into words. We have photos and videos, but a lot of the stuff I just wrote down just can’t be captured in those mediums for one reason or another. I’m hoping that by at least getting this much down it will help us remember this magical time even better, months and years down the road, because it really is too special to let slip away completely.