Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Little voices and sticky hands

Even when freshly washed and relieved of all obvious confections, children tend to be sticky. - Fran Lebowitz

My seventeen-month-old niece can easily become the highlight of my day. Without fail, I manage a call in to my sister, or she to me, every single day. Living a few hundred miles apart, we are kept close by the daily calls. And always, in the background, is the tinkling (albeit loud tinkling) voice of my little niece.

Her grandmother gave her the perfect little upholstered rocking chair - perfect height, perfect size, and perfectly cute. Lily uses it as a step-stool onto the other furniture. She'll drag it to wherever she needs it and without thinking, steps right up onto the couch or the taller, adult-sized recliner.

Phone calls can be interesting in that we are sometimes lucky to even hear each other. Lily puts in her two cents, and makes sudden demands, like "Piggies! Piggies!" - a session of "This little piggy" ensues, despite being on the phone.

My poor sister. As a part-time nanny, and full-time mom, most of her day is filled with conversations with people who haven't quite mastered grammar, or phonics, or (in a lot of cases) words. She's come to know what every little inaudible sound means - a whole new language. It's possible that the phone calls to friends and family are what keep her sane (and using adult language). Any parent of little ones can tell you how refreshing an adult conversation is, especially those that don't include breaks for diaper changing and insistent questioning.

And yet, the moment she's away from that little girl, Lily is all she can think about. Little mentions come up in every discussion. Searches for little toys or clothing or books, are made on independent trips to the mall.

The moment they are back in the same room together, she's immediately hugging her, fixing boo-boos with gentle kisses, wiping her hands, offering tickles and love.

Despite any complaints on motherhood, I think she's stuck with that kid. And I don't think she'd have it any other way.


Joanne walked barefoot on the milky way said...

My friend just became a mom three months ago. She also got a few complaints yet she's loving it. Love truly does conquer all.

Samantha Betts said...

There's just something about those little ones that grabs your heart and doesn't let go.

Joanne, thanks for visiting!