She was such a water baby! From the very start, she was happiest when floating in a pool, swimming in a river, or just splashing in water. Her nonstop smile and squealing when she first discovered the wading pool is one of the best things I've ever seen. The child's favorite pastime is filling up a pitcher in the sink and playing in it with all of her dolls. She'll stand on a chair and play for hours with all of her little dolls and littlest pet shop creatures floating around in the pitcher.
When she was still an infant, even, like 3 months old, my NaNo project was The Dragon Alliance, and she became obsessed with dragons. I used to set up slideshow screensavers during NaNo where I would choose pictures that reminded me of my novel or that inspired the subject. 2011 and 2012 were all dragons. Maya was positively enthralled. She seriously learned the sign for 'dragon' at three months. She would tell me by signing “Dragon! Dragon!”, and I would have to hook my computer up to the TV and let her watch the slide show again and again.
Dragons were not the only thing she was obsessed with as a baby. Remember Dave Canterbury from the original Dual Survival show? Turns out he's not such a dick as he played on TV. Dave's actually pretty darn cool, and he runs an awesome survival tutorial channel on Youtube. Josh still watches this all the time. That used to be the only thing Maya would sleep to. Not just Dave, but specifically his blacksmithing videos. Something about them and the ting...ting of metals would just put her right to sleep. As an infant! Such a weird but wonderful baby.
We do a 'Naked-butt Dance' every time we find ourselves naked at the same time. She's pretty much always naked, and I spend a fair amount of time (especially in summer) naked myself, so this is pretty often. I hope I never, ever forget our naked-butt dance. It's brings her such pure joy.
I have little songs I've made up for her. The most common is: “Yes, Mom loves her bitty, bitty baby...bitty, bitty baby...bitty, bitty BAAAAAAA---BYYY! Yes, Mom loves her bitty, bitty baby...bitty, bitty baby BUMP-A-ROO!” Then repeat and end on “I LOVE YOU!” Maya will sing this to me when she's in a lovey mood, only she changes it to “bitty, bitty Mommy.”
And stories! Ah, the stories. As you may know about me already, I love a good story. I tell stories to my children often, and they usually star whatever kiddo(s) I'm telling the story to. So Maya does the same thing when she tells stories, only she starts hers with, “Once upon a time, there was a little girl named Bamanda.” She can't say my name at all, even after all these years. She always says “Bamanda.”
Like my other two (although, sadly, this has stopped for them -sniffle-), we start every day with cuddle time. She ends up in my bed at some point every single night. Can't break her of it. So if I don't wake up with Josh at 4am, Maya wakes me up whenever she gets up...with kisses. She'll smootch me, then pull away and fake snore. If that doesn't rouse me, she repeats until I come to – always pulling away, even sitting straight up, to fake snore and let me “wake” her up.
But my favorite memories from right now are probably watching her run with the dogs. It started with the whole pack, until we lost Gus and finally finished our pen for Shmirtzy. Now it's usually only with Chi-chi, who is our inside dog and who goes outside with me every time I do. Chi-chi adopted me rather than the other way around. Anyway, Maya is totally their puppy-sister. They run as fast as their little legs will carry them, squealing and nipping at each other. Well, Chi-chi 'nips' (gently, as with a puppy), and Maya just drops to all fours with her butt in the air and wiggles before jumping right back at Chi-chi, and then they run circles around the yard, both smiling, neither one sure who is chasing whom.
I'm so lucky to be blessed with such fantastic kids. I'm sorry to have forgotten so much of Eden and Ivy's youth. I hope I can get some of those memories back, and I hope I don't lose anymore.