Ginger is at such a sweet age. I know every age is precious...I know that. Right now just seems especially sweet with this little one. She is wild and happy, energetic, fun, and also just still a baby in so many ways.
It is crazy for me to think that eight months ago she was the baby of our family still, and how quickly all that changed when Violet was born. I know becoming a big sister turned her world upside down...for the better (because she got a great sister in the deal)!
Anyhoo, Ginger is just such a fireplug of energy, but then will surprise me by being the most cuddly, sweet girl ever.
She's a girl who knows her mind and her boundaries. If an adult she doesn't know well approaches her and tries to touch her, she will yell at the top of her lungs, "Get your hands off me! Don't touch me!!!" This usually happens when I'm carrying her on my back in the Ergo and someone approaches her to tell her what a cute little girl she is. Ha! I have to secretly confess that I love that about Ginger. She knows how to stand up for herself, and even though she has this itty bitty body, she is not afraid to speak her mind.
At the same time she is so determined and strong, she is also so incredibly loving and sweet. Ginger thrives on one-on-one attention. She adores it when she gets to do something special just with me. I took her to Target by herself the other night, and you would have thought I'd taken her to Disneyland. She loves that special time with just me more than any of the others, I think.
I have been making it a point to connect with her individually at many points during the day, but especially when she first wakes up, at transition times (changing activities), mealtimes, and before bed. That extra connection with just her (letting her know how important she is as an individual) has gone a long way in making her feel happy, secure, and loved.
I connect with all the kids in that way, but I find when I am intentional about it, it really makes such a huge difference. Violet naturally gets a huge amount of 1 on 1 time because she is attached to me 24/7. Paprika also gets a lot of 1 on 1 because of all the homeschooling stuff I do with her every day, her enrichment activities, and all her activities that I get her ready for each day.
It would be easy for me to lump Ginger in with Paprika, since they are always doing things together. But, I have made a conscious effort to celebrate Ginger individually and make sure she knows that I SEE her as her own person. Every day, I feel like I learn something new about each of my kids, and Ginger is no exception.
I did a little question/answer with Ginger the other night at bedtime, just to see what she thinks about things. Here is what she said:
Favorite food: Ice cream with cookies
Best friend: Mama
Favorite part of the day: Falling asleep in mama's bed
Other favorite part of the day: Snuggling wish (with) mama
If I ask her what I'm thinking about, she will put her hands on my head and say: You're thinking...I love you with all my heart. You are a precious little baby girl.
Probably because that's what I say to her all the time.
One other fun thing we have that's "just us" is that I'll say something like: I love your heart. And then she will say, I love your eyes. And then I'll say I love your smile. And it goes on and on and on with us telling eachother something we love about the other.
Another funny thing she does is that she is always making me food from her little play kitchen. Every day, she makes me these enormous pretend meals. She is always wanting to take care of me. She'll say to me: Okay, mama. I'm going to be the mama and you are going to be the sweetheart baby gurl.
Another little bedtime thing we do is that she will ask me to tell her the story of the Two Angels (Vivian and Annemarie) who sent her to me. I don't know how she came up with that, but she just did. And so most nights, I tell her that her twin sisters in Heaven sent her to me as a gift after they searched the Heavens for the most perfect and special baby girl to add to our family.
I can't tell you how happy that story makes her. She is always smiling when I tell it to her - especially the parts where I say that they searched all over for the smartest, sweetest, funniest, most wonderful baby girl they could find. Then when I'm done telling her the story, she will say, "Please tell me again!" :-)
Can you see why I am loving this stage with my sweet Ginger so much? In her words: I want to stay wish (with) you forever and ever, Mama. Wherever you go, that is where I want to be because you are my mama and I am your sweetheart.