Natalia is obsessed with babies. There is always a baby in her arms, a baby in her tummy, a baby sleeping, and often a baby pooping. (Why do her babies poop so much? I think she likes changing their diapers and cloths. Clearly she has not encountered real baby poop.)
Not only does she love to be the mommy of her own baby dolls, but she enjoys, from time to time, pretending to be a baby herself. (She has, in fact, started asking me if she can go back in my tummy). Sometimes this Baby Natalia is adorable and sweet. More frequently though, Baby Natalia communicates with a whiny, high pitched cry that makes my skin crawl. A couple weeks ago I was about ready to explode, so I took a deep breath and told her that when Baby Natalia cries it makes my heart hurt. She looked very upset, so I quickly added that when she used her big girl voice it made my heart sing. The idea of making Mommy's heart sing seems to have made quite an impression because now, when she does something that she thinks is good, she asks me if my heart is singing.
After I ask her to do something: "Look Mommy. I listened. Did I make your heart sing?"
Upon waking up: "Good morning Mommy. I'm happy. Does that make your heart sing?"
After a melt down: "I calmed down Mommy. Is your heart singing?"
Yesterday she asked if she could put her ear on my chest. She held it there for a moment, looked up at me with those big eyes of hers, and smiled. "I heard your heart singing Mommy."
I cannot believe how much we have done this year. The first six months were a whirlwind of travel. Missouri, Tahoe, Connecticut, Portland, and CHINA. Yup...the baby girl and I went to China with Nana, Opa, Ama, Sissi and Tia. It was amazing (though I definitely want to go back again when the Bug is a bit older). The people were wonderful and were totally in awe of Natalia. They were obsessed. Crowds would gather. People would take pictures. Many times a hand would shoot out from the crowd to try and caress her face or feel her hair. I kind of felt like a movie star (even though they were only interested in my daughter) and then I became very protective of her. She did sooooo well. I think I would have snapped after the first day, but Natalia didn't throw a fit until day 9. After than she would start to cry and run to me if someone began to get close. But even so, it was amazing!!!
Ama, Natalia and I on the Yangtze River Cruise
Natalia got really good at the squat potties and came to prefer them
Pensive at a Temple
Practicing Tai Chi in a Tea Garden
Pensive at a Temple
The people on the street of Shanghai thought this was hilarious. Natalia was sitting on this little stool thumbing through Mao's Little Red Book. She really looked like she was reading it. At least 10 people stopped and took pictures.