However, lately my father has been in a very good mood and the reason why, my darling Elena. At just over 18 months, I'd have to say the Iceman would have to cometh to resist the charms of my little one. From birth, people have asked me, is she a good baby and I've had to answer a humble, very grateful and very emphatic "yes." When other people with a new baby would complain about the strain of a new little one I would nod understandably and say, "yes, so hard."
Like anyone, Elena has her moments but for the most part, this is a great, great, great kid. She loves to sleep, she loves to nap, she can spend a long time entertaining herself and she's happy pretty much anywhere. Sure, she gets fussy when she's not getting her own way, she can really wail when she really wants more milk. But then her thumb finds its way into her mouth and she's quiet, observant, adorable. I've never seen a kid with a better ability to entertain and comfort herself.
Last night, we went to dinner with my father and stepmother to celebrate my birthday. It was later than I like it to be, especially with my kids still on daylight savings time. I had to wait 15 minutes with my father which felt like a disaster waiting to happen. So I waited, and waited for that disaster but it never happened.
Elena happily stood in the doorway, greeting new entrants like a maitre D. She quieted herself with her thumb when I cut short her maitre -D act so people could get by. She sat happily in her high chair and didn't wail when I took away that oh so fun fork, that oh so shiny knife. I'd brought nothing for her to entertain herself with, no toy, no crayons, just a bottle. As long as that bottle was full of milk, and it was, she was happy.
It took a long time for our meals to come but Elena stayed happy. When I took the dipping sauce for her chicken fingers away(food allergy issues), she cried sadly, all for about two minutes. Then she turned to the ketchup and happied herself by dipping her finger in the ketchup and glossing her lips with it. When she lost interest in her meal and they'd just delivered ours, she turned around in her high chair and made goo goo eyes at the other patrons. When her sister, bored by the length of this dinner, chose to unbore herself by lavishing a little too much pinching and squeezing love on Elena, Elena grinned and gnawed on her own thumb. When the night's guitar playing folk singer, started his set, my happy toddler clapped excitedly and swayed back and forth in her high chair.
Finally, it was time to go and Elena came out of her high chair. Free to move around, she chose to stay where she was and slowly draw in the eye of every nearby patron with her smooth dance moves. A round of peekaboo followed, with Elena and patrons never tiring of her covering her face with her hands, then grinning with delight when she revealed herself. She looked so cute dancing with her tiny little body, pink flowered dress and sparkly pink sneakers. There are no words to describe how dear this little one truly is. My father and stepmother laughed at her dance moves, then my father scooped her up and bathed her with kisses. She is that kind of kid, you just can't help but love her with every cell on your body.
She is the quintessential youngest child, a comedian, an entertain, a beacon of light in an otherwise dark night. She is my love, my little darling, my baby, my sweet, my beloved, so beloved Lena Loo.
How did I get this lucky all over again?