Aria the Stubborn – who won’t let me help her get dressed, unless I’ve just woken her up and she hasn’t found her spunk and vigor yet. She gets it from her stubborn father, who asks why it’s taking so long for me to get her shoes on, and I explain because she has to do it herself, and he shows me how I’m so wrong by taking her and putting her shoes on her within seconds, only to step back and fail to gloat as she’s ripping them off with a “ooh” (no) and putting them on again By Herself.

Aria the Imitator – the other night I was sitting on the couch across from Aria who had pulled up a seat at the coffee table to enjoy her bowl of blueberries, and I made some faces at her. I held up my hands like moose antlers, and stuck out my tongue. And for the first time, she reciprocated instead of just giggling. It was so funny, her daddy got in on it and we were all making faces and cracking up. She was just so darn cute.

Aria the Water Baby – if it were up to her she’d have 24 hour access to water. No really, she loves the swim “lessons” (exposure to deep water), she loves to “wash” dishes (get water on every surface of the kitchen), she likes running through the neighbor’s sprinkler, she likes to try to open her sippy cups and pour them out or at least hold them upside down and sprinkle water onto stuff, she could spend hours in the bath, and the other night I learned that if she keeps waking up hot and I try bringing her a sippy cup of cold water, instead of taking the proffered drink and handing it back and going back to sleep, she instead snuggles the sippy cup with her under her blanket, with absolutely no intention of giving it back to me. That turned into a fight.. I wasn’t about to let her sleep holding a sippy cup full of water that could easily spill open and ruin her night and her bed. I finally caved and poured out all but a little bit and gave it back to her to stop her wails and she was content to bury it under her blanket with herself. (She is VERY attached to her blanket, which is why she’ll sleep under it even when she’s hot).

Aria the Bossy Pants – this is probably typical of most a) little girls and b) oldest or only children, but man is she bossy. To me, to her daddy, to her younger cousins, to her aunt.. she just demands something, like, oh say, the food her Aunt Crystal was trying to eat or the muffin her grandma was having for breakfast, and expects to be shared with. Or she demands that we play with “dis!” right Now!

Aria the Fashionista – she likes to create her own looks

Aria the Grownup – one day when Aria had managed to rearrange furniture and drag “her” chair up to the sink and started playing with the dishes before either Eric or I had realized what she was up to, she found one of Eric’s thermoses in the sink with some left over coffee. She decided to try it. Fortunately for her, Eric likes lots of cream and sugar in his coffee (me too!). We had a seriously hyper baby for the rest of the afternoon…

Aria the Outdoorsy – I feel awful when I can’t just let her spend her entire life outside, which is clearly what she would prefer, but I do have to get work done. Fortunately when she’s with her grandparents and cousins they spend a great deal of the day outside. How do I know? Because she comes home smelling of sunscreen and her legs are covered in scratches and bruises. And she’s a very happy tot. When at home, she plasters herself to the front door or a window and yells, “side!! side!” until we go outside for a bit. We have to go outside every day for at least a little while, unless it’s pouring down rain. And any time I start to put on shoes or anything it’s, “walk?? walk?? bye bye??” It doesn’t really matter what we’re actually doing outside, whether it’s just hanging out in the back yard or exploring the park, as long as she’s outside she’s content.

Aria the Incredibly Perceptive – we were having a snack one evening, and she had refused strawberries in favor of blueberries. I decided to have one of my favorite treats, and sprinkled a little mound of sugar in my ring of strawberries when she wasn’t looking. However, she was watching me from her perch at the coffee table and somehow noticed I was dipping my strawberries into something. She came over and demanded I share. I told her she had not wanted strawberries but she took one and pointed to my plate and made a big deal until I relented, barely touched the berry to sugar, and handed it over muttering how she doesn’t miss a thing.

Aria the Animal Lover – I believe most toddlers probably love animals, with wild hand gestures and animal sounds emitted when any bird, squirrel, bunny, dog, cat, chipmunk, etc. is seen. However, I heard stories how Kayla, Aria’s older cousin, had tormented the grandparents’ dog with a bit too much affection, but apparently Aria takes it a lot further. Not only does she want to pet, feed, grab handfuls of hair, and cling to the poor dog, she also likes to snuggle. She does this with our cat, too. She lies down next to the target object, and rests first hear head on the poor animal. Then more of her starts to end up on said poor beast. She has to say goodnight to our cat every night before going to bed, and wants to give him treats. We have an entire routine now revolving around saying goodnight to the kitty. “Hi Kitty” came months and months before “mom”, and Cody, the dog, was the first name she learned after Aria. Oh, and feeding the dog is her job. She even took away the food scoop from her younger cousin with an, “Aria!” letting him know that she was the only one allowed to do that task.

Aria the Problem Solver – Eric and I are both amazed at how she thinks through things anymore. She moves furniture around quickly and efficiently to get at whatever it is she’s decided she must have or do. One night it was a goal to turn off her bedroom light by herself, so she dragged over a large toy and kept climbing on top of it, attempting to reach the light and failing, until she finally figured it out. I was actually surprised when she did manage to reach it, because I really didn’t think she was going to be able to. Eric was telling everyone how he handed her something and told her it was garbage, and without any hesitation she walked over to a little ottoman in the living room, pushed it through the dining room, kitchen and kitchenette, lifting it over doorways as needed, adjusted it against the baby gate blocking the door, climbed on top and leaned over to reach the trash can.

Aria the Sneaky Pooper – I think this is common in most toddlers, but the way she tries to make herself disappear when she needs to poop cracks me up.