My Little Sunshine

by Kristi Van Dyk in

My toddler believes she is the queen. I think her grammy helps her believe that, but I also think that she's somehow learned exactly how to get people to laugh (thus getting the attention she wants). Acting like the queen sure brings a smile to people's faces, therefore, the behavior persists. Her biggest "queen" trait - the Miss America wave. She has nailed the elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist without ever being taught. She uses it frequently and with great success. Kayleigh's Miss America wave scenarios: ~ Steve said they were walking in the parking lot and nearly got hit by a driver who wasn't paying attention. Steve's response: violent internal anger. Kayleigh's response: elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist ... and a big smile (probably followed by HI CAR!!)

~ We're still training in the toddler bed. The first few nights were incredible, now we've turned into a normal toddler (trying to get out all of the time). Last night Steve decided to let her keep the door open, just a crack, figuring that if she could get out, she would. Then we'd know she was up and about rather than letting her play quietly in her room unbeknown to us all night. The first few trips took just a few seconds. Lay her down, kiss her, walk out ... within 2 minutes ... here she comes, toddling into the living room elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist (HI MOMMY, HI DADDY!) ... Off to bed again, only to more of the same. (When we threatened with the spanking after the 3rd try she did finally stay in bed.) But each time she entered the room, she did so, as the queen.

~ When we're driving down the highway, or in the Meijers parking lot, riding in a stroller, or really anywhere Kayleigh has a chance to make eye contact with people, she pulls out the wave. Elbow, elbow, wrist, wrist .. followed by Hi _______. Very rarely are her efforts ignored ... and most often she gets a laugh.

All of these little idiosyncracies remind me of the baby she was. As soon as she could hold up her head and smile (with intent), she was doing so at everyone who came across her path. My dad used to say it was "just gas." But it wasn't ... the pattern was always clear ... when she caught your eyes she'd brighten and smile. She's a social butterfly, and my sunshine :) ... I can't help but burst into a smile when she hits me in a leg hugging tackle at full speed, or, when she pulls my arms away from her diaper and hugs them to her chest (forcing me to stop moving for just a minute to say I love you), or, when she's really tired (or really jealous) and deposits herself in my lap (or on top of her brother) and just says, "Mmmm Momma..."

Well, I'm about to get one of my favorite greetings of all time (since it's nearing 8:00 a.m.) ... the one where she waits by her bedroom door ... willing it to open ... and greets me with the light up the world smile.

Here's to a sunshiney day (even with the dreary forecast) :)