I find it really incredible how she just came out so Maya right from the start. So bright and communicative, even before she could talk. From that first day, you could sit down and have a deep conversation with her – and totally know what she said back. She was a grown-up just waiting to get on with things. And now she's mobile, vocal, and not waiting around quite so much anymore.
All of my girls have seemed early in certain areas as they developed, but Maya really seems exceptionally ahead of the game. I thought maybe I was giving her too much credit until my friend & her hubby came to visit, and they both really wowed over how advanced she seemed. And she was being kind of shy with them, so she was dialed back.
Maya often reminds me of Stewie from Family Guy, just without the extensive vocabulary. She conveys with exactly as much clarity though, and what she's conveying is often along the lines of “Woman, I am going to list many reasons for my displeasure and then end you” and “Victory is mine!”
She signs and says a great many things though. She's said some short sentences said before she turned 1, and she began signing short sentences on her own just after turning 1. Her common signs: Please, thank you, milk, more, all done, dog, chicken, rooster, giraffe, baby, cat, dragon, rabbit, & applause. Signs I've seen her do but not quite so often: mom, dad, up, drink, food, out, kiss, car, pig, hot, fish, truck, cookie, cake. Maybe more I'm forgetting. She understands a lot more, and she speaks even more than she signs.
Maya's favorite music is still Rusted Root (here, have a song of theirs that is not 'Send Me on My Way'), but her favorite song is Run, Baby, Run by Caspar Babypants. She's started listening to kid cds (courtesy of a wonderful FB friend who sent us a fun kid package). She really enjoys dancing. She learned the Run, Baby, Run & Hokey Pokey moves within like one or two times of listening to the song, doing the moves herself without having to see sisters do it. She loves to break it down. Her signature move is what we've dubbed 'the chicken wing', because she'll get going and bend to the side, cock her elbow way up in the air by her head, and start shaking it around. She also quickly picked up on the girls' favorite move, the “Litterbox” from Puss in Boots.
In addition to her previous favorites of cheese, avocado, and ramen noodles with mixed veggies (three separate favorites, not one weird meal), Maya's new favorite food is red bell pepper. She will devour some red pepper, raw or cooked. She also eats cheese its and goldfishy type snacks way too much, so I try to give her the healthier cheeses & veggies that she loves. She's less picky than Josh and the big girls put together. Maya will eat. She'll eat the food before you have it all set down on her high chair table, and then she'll eat the seconds before you sit down with your meal, and then she'll eat your meal.
Maya's days revolve around Daddy. When he works, she gets up early, gets some love and attention, and then sees him off to work. We all wave bye-bye from the storm door, and daddy blinks his lights at us. Then we shut the door, because it's cold nowadays, and try to have fun & keep her from destroying the house until Daddy comes home for lunch. She's been helping the girls feed all the farm critters for a while now. Josh will usually share half of his lunch, so I have to give him more now for him to eat on his breaks where he doesn't come home. Sometimes Maya gets too sleepy and goes down for a nap, missing his lunch break, and that throws her off for the whole day. She's glued to the window or door every day by 2:30, even though Josh doesn't get home until 3:30. Sometimes if she's too antsy, I'll dress her up and take her outside to get some energy out before Josh gets home (although that's starting to become the only time I'll take her out, because his arrival will draw her into the house without a fuss. She loves outside time and will fight me to stay out).
Her favorite toys right now are the magna-doodles, but she's also mesmerized by the doll who closes her eyes when you lay her down. And Soft Kitty! She carries Soft Kitty, a Christmas gift from Grandpa-monster, around everywhere. She loves reading, but we have to keep paper books away from her because she's too overzealous & passionate with them. She needs more board books, because keeping our papery books & magazines away from her is hard. Glad she's a book lover though. She's recently started paying attention to some of the girls' cartoons, which kind of makes me sad at her young age but is also helpful sometimes when I just can't redirect her from her favorite mischief. She particularly seems to like Dora. Even more, she loves Dave Canterbury's blacksmithing tutorials. She'll fall asleep at night to the sounds of the blower and chinking metal while rocking with dad in his recliner.
Maya's favorite mischief right now is attacking the computer. Of course. She particularly enjoys turning it off while I'm trying to let shows buffer or pushing it over in a huge huff if you piss her off. Unless we're extra diligent, she'll come and start pushing buttons the minute you step away from it if you don't close it down when you leave. Sucks at buffering time. Also, our computers break too freaking much, so she needs to just stop. She has a kid laptop she plays with sometimes, but she knows the difference. She's also been playing with my cell phone a lot. I can't get it to charge (not sure if it's my charger or the phone...we have this problem with electronics a lot, oddly), so I've let Maya have my cell phone for now. She LOVES talking on the phone, real or imagined. She'll also tell me that she's talking to papa, and twice she said it was Boo Boo, which was really weird. That's what the girls called my mom.
Maya is my best helper around the house. I give her laundry that I take off the line, and she'll take them to the basket in my bedroom for me. She'll hold wet stuff while I hang it. She likes to help cook, but that's a balance between trying to let her learn & feel helpful and trying to teach her that you don't just grab at everything hot and sharp when people are cooking. She'll also pick up her toys and put them in the box if you encourage her to...for now. I'm basking in that. She's a 'stacker' like Ivy, and she loves playing with and then reorganizing the cans in my cupboards or stock room. She'll bring me a jar of babyfood or any snacks she wants to have.
She's scribbling and figuring out pens right now. I let her use the pens because she's so diligent about eating crayons and erasers, but mostly we try to get her to stick to the magnadoodles. She won't leave cds & dvds alone if she can find them. She still loves dressing up, and now she enjoys wearing Josh's hat when he's not around. She'll put his hat on, sit up in his chair, and totally pretend she's daddy for a while when he's at work. She's enjoying playing with her sisters. She'll pick up her rag and start washing anything that needs washed. She is currently finding fart and butt humor hilarious, and she's still wiping her own bottom at changing time, but I still can't get her to pee in the potty. Sometimes she'll let me do her hair up fancy, but not often. She's pleasant and fairly talkative to people whenever we go out these days, except at the DG where I used to work. She's always rude and off-puttish to any of the ladies there, which I actually find kind of amusing. Perhaps she remembers what it was like when I was working there & pregnant with her. She does not like anyone at DG. Workers, not other customers. She'll flirt all day when a guy comes up.
At night, when she's super-duper sleepy but fighting it, nursing but looking around and doing everything to keep her eyes open, all I have to do is smile at her. Hold the smile, so any time she meets my eyes, she sees my smiling face, and then her eyelids will start to flitter closed. As long as I don't stop smiling until they stay closed, it's the sure fire way to get oversleepy Maya to nap. It's so, so adorable.
She's started saying “No, no. no” while shaking her head a lot, and if someone gets hurt, she'll run up and go, “Shhhhhh”, while petting or hugging them. Sometimes she'll hurt someone just so she can Shhhh and kiss on them, but we're working on that. She enjoys blowing kisses and making animal noises. She used to like roosters best (not counting dragons), but now she's really excited about goats.
That's life with Maya.