Aria does some amazing things. I sometimes question her just to see what will happen, and she surprises me so much of the time.

Yesterday she was “organizing” the pantry, and I let her because I was trying to get dinner out of the oven and didn’t want her to discover that dangerous and new territory. So she played, I got dinner ready, and then when I came over to see what she’d done, I found that she’d added items to the shelves. Some of her dishes were stacked neatly.

I said, “Why are your bowl and sippy cups in there? Let’s go put those away.” She looked at me. “Go put your dishes back in the drawer.”

And would you believe she did? She picked them up carefully, walked over to her drawer, and threw them in not so gently. Then closed the drawer and wiped her hands on her pants and looked at me again. I told her what a great job she did and she “helped” me put the pantry back in order.

I’ve also started quizzing her on where body parts are, and she seems to know where pretty much everything is, including all parts of the face and head, toes, hands, feet, teeth and of course her belly button which she loves to show us. I was totally surprised at some of them because we hadn’t directly worked on them, like teeth and toes, but I guess when you’re brushing those pearly whites each night, and singing the Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes song almost daily, you’re bound to pick up on things.

Sometimes Eric and I will be talking about some errands we need to run, and we’ll find Aria already sitting in her carseat, waiting patiently. Then we have to tell her it’s the wrong one, because she has a big girl carseat in daddy’s car.

Or her grandmother Denise was talking about Aria’s teeth, that the one molar coming in must be bothering her, and Aria stuck her finger in her mouth. Denise said, “no, the other side” which prompted Aria to take her finger out and stick it on the other side of her mouth.

What mystified me today, though, was her incredible mischief. I was trying to put Halloween stuff away, and was separating out the toys (bat and spider rings, rubbery snakes, jumping frogs, tops, etc.) from the candy, and she wanted to see them. I gave her the bowl of toys and she took it into the living room and “sorted” them. I thought it was the perfect time to get some work done, so sat on the couch with my computer and listened to her babble while I worked on a report.

I admit, I became slightly engrossed in my work, so a couple minutes later when she tugged on me and I shook off my tunnel vision, I found that my toddler had a dum-dum in her mouth. What? Where did she get that?? There wasn’t any candy in the toy bowl…

I immediately pulled it out of her mouth, assuming that the wrapper was now a soggy, decomposing mess, but lo and behold it was unwrapped! She had the wrapper crumpled up in her other fist.

I was utterly baffled… where had she found it, how did she unwrap it..

She proceeded to go around touching everything in an obvious effort to make the whole house sticky, so I locked us both in the kitchen until she was finished. So of course she thought it would be fun to run and play hide and seek under the kitchen table.. I kept telling her not to run with that stick protruding from her face, to sit. No dice. And in an effort to unsettle me even more she thought it would be a good idea to climb through the chairs and continually almost fall flat on her face but catch herself at the last minute. I thought I was going to develop a nervous tick.

I kept pulling it out of her mouth to see if it was finished, but she would fuss and demand it back, and I gave it to her with the thought that clearly she earned it by whatever means she managed to acquire it.

Fortunately for me, the stick was also a soggy mess, so probably wouldn’t have done much damage if she had fallen on it, but thank goodness she eventually tired of it and handed it over to me.

And we both got a good hand, face, arm, and front of shirt washing to remove as much sticky as possible.

Whoever invented dum-dums deserves the name for themselves..

(sure, she looks sweet and innocent and docile here, but you try catching her!)