There is so much to love about Maya. As an infant she was unafraid to communicate her demands, often crying for the last hour Sandi was at work because she wanted no more of the bottle, damnit, she wanted to nurse. I would hold her against my shoulder, with Ella on my opposite hip and bounce/dance them around as we sang "The Rainbow Connection" on repeat awaiting the headlights pulling into our driveway.
Maya has always had the ability to make faces and has an inordinate amount of control over her eyebrows.
As an older baby/toddler, Maya was on the mercurial side and I was often afraid to take her places alone for fear of the unexpected wailing and screaming protest. She was a bomb with an unexpected hour of detonation. She was a willful two-year-old who had to be fireman-carried out of Target on more than one occasion. She was the child that would sing and scream in the car and no amount of, "Maya you REALLY need to stop that now," would have any effect on her behavior. We used to have to pull over and get out of the car to effect any real change.
Maya came into the world within four minutes of Sandi's productive pushes. It was almost as though she came flying into her life and announced, "Hello world!! Here I am!!"
But she has grown into an incredibly generous and loving child. She is flexible and easy going (unless you want her to wear her winter coat instead of a fleece on a cold day and she yells, "YOU ARE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!") She rolls with the punches and can often be found on her own entertaining herself with a deck of cards or a fistful of markers. She is the child who wrote on the walls (we knew because she wrote her own name) and figured out how to climb on the counter to get her own cereal. She is enterprising and fully certain of her place in the world.
Some funny, quirky things about Maya:
When she likes what I've made for supper, she growls at us.
She refuses to take off her winter coat inside.
She loves healthy food and often passes up dessert. You cannot bribe her with ice cream or cake.
Maya is a peanut built just like Sandi with narrow hips and a strong, lean body. She is in the 11th percentile for height and the 20th for weight. At 5, she still can't fit into many of her 4T pants because they pool at her ankles. She is freakishly strong and has actual muscle definition. But maybe that is just because you can also see her ribs since she has no meat on her bones.
The more tired she gets the more crazy she gets. She does accents, amazing sound effects and voices and is, in many ways, like a cartoon character. Because of her antics, we think there is a strong possibility that she may grow up and join the circus, stand-up comedy or do character voices. Who knows, she might be the next Kevin Clash(the guy who does Elmo). Because of her willful determination, I can also see her running the UN, being a Supreme Court Justice or being the first to land on Mars.
When we are alone together she plays quietly. When everyone is home she sings loudly, carries on and provides constant stimulation to our house. We think it is partly to annoy and aggravate, but also, ironically, to destimulate herself. Noise can be very self-soothing for our wiggly, active girl.
When Maya wakes up, she is ready to go. She barely has her eyes open and she asking to play Go-fish or "I spy." She cares not if you need a minute to adjust to being upright. If a game is not to be had, she can just talk to you non-stop monologe, asking questions she herself provides the answers to and pausing only to get in some oxygen. Then as soon as we get in the car, she wants to play her made-up game, the "two garage game" wherein you must search for garages and point to them and yell how many bays it contains. It is a BIG deal if you can find a four garage.
|Quirky and wonderful.|
-Every night before bed, Maya says this to Sandi or me: "You go but come back and check on me. If I'm asleep GO. If I'm awake snuggle with me." And she says it fast so that all the words bleed together.
- "My heart just burped." (She says this often and I have no idea what it means. Hopefully not a heart murmur.)
-"No I amn't!" (Instead of "No, I'm not.")
-"I had lost it but then my brain told me where it was."
-We were doing math with Ella the other night at dinner and said, "What is 8+5?" and while Ella gave it some thought, Maya shouted, "13!"
-"I love you way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way,way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way bigger than the world!"
-"Can we listen to 'Santa Baby' again? That song is SO funny because Santa is NOT a baby."
-"Did you see this Mom? Can you BELIEVE it?"
-"Wow, that is SO Captain America." (I honetly have no idea what that means.)
-"We were playing 'house' at school and Casey was the dad and I was the mom and the jungle gym was my work. And every time I left to go to work Casey would just HAVE to kiss me goodbye. I don't even know why but I kept leaving and he kept kissing me!"
-The other day we were playing "I spy" in the car and she gave me this clue: "I spy something beautiful that I love." I said, "Is it me?" She paused and answered: "You AND Princess Zueka" (her fairy figureine). This let me know she was trying not to hurt my feelings.
|A mermaid, knitting her special "blue" blankie with two pencils.|
|An early morning game of Go-fish. (Note the bed head.)|
As a youngest child myself, I can say that I understand how the baby of the family can often provide the comedic tenor of the system. Maya is the one to keep things light and bright (and maddeningly frustrating at times) and it is easy to see how parents can be easier on the youngest. Not that we ever are, of course.
We have often said about Maya: we don't always know where we got her, but for surely, we will keep her. I cannot imagine our family without this curly-headed spark of life humming in a tiny, spring-loaded body.