There are no words to describe our love for Aliya, or “Babe-in” as we affectionately call her—a name Maia came up with for her based on their Cousin Olivia calling her dad, “dad-in”. If we call her anything else besides Babe-in or Aliya, she ferociously corrects you, saying, “I’M NOT [insert other name], I’M BABE-IN!” She also refers to herself as “Aweeya” which is, of course, heart-melting. In fact, there are many, many things that she does on a daily basis that remind us how lucky we are to have her on Team Hokama.
She makes us laugh. I mean, she is genuinely funny. She has great timing, but also has some depth to her humor. She makes hilarious faces and knows exactly when to pull them out—sometimes in defiance, sometimes to lighten the mood. She also uses her whole body and voice as well, mimicking someone else’s voice, but higher or lower, or distorting or muffling it as if she had a mouth full of grapes while trying to talk. One of her favorites is burping (or pretending to), and with a very demure face and high pitched voice say, “Escuse me.” She’ll do the same thing in her deepest voice the next time, just to switch it up. Where does she get this stuff?
Despite her amazing sense of humor though, she is fierce. It may be just because she’s the third sister, but it may just also be her temperament. She will shout and throw elbows if you interfere with her process or crowd her. She and Maia play really well together 90% of the time, and other 10%…watch out. They’ll be spitting and yelling at each other at the drop of a hat. There’s not too much hitting going on, but I’ve seen Maia drop her fist on Aliya’s head like a hammer and Aliya was more heartbroken than hurt. She’ll also be reduced to a crumpled, crying heap at the slightest sternness in your voice. See, that’s the thing, she’s fierce but has thin skin. Maia’s like that too, but because Aliya is more open and generally happy-go-lucky, her ferocity and sensitivity is more striking. We have yet to see a more burning “mad-dog” in the under 3 age category.
Today I took all of them to drop off Keana at school, and while Maia was sort of hiding behind my arm, almost reluctantly walking even though it was her idea to go, Aliya was skipping and trotting along in her “fwip-fwops”, waving, smiling, and saying, “Hi! I’m Aweeya!” to whoever would make eye contact. A lot like Keana was at almost three.
As her comprehension and communication skills develop—not to mention how tall and physically capable she’s becoming—it’s easy to see that she won’t be our Babe-in for long. When will the “wollipops” and “ban-bades” transition to “lollipops” and “band-aids?” Or when will she just be jumping out of the car instead of gingerly placing her hands and feet in just the right places? Right now, tonight—and maybe it’s me just being hopeful—I hope she’ll always just be “The Babe-in.”