We had several house guests over the past few days. Three, in fact, occupied our various beds and couches last night. As much fun as it is to entertain, there’s something about the quiet that descends upon a home after all the guests have left and the kids are in bed.

We took M. on her first real walk tonight. By ream walk, I mean she walked rather than rode in a stroller or wagon or some other device that was parent powered. It went about as well as could be expected for a 23 month old. Every 15 feet, she had to stop, squat, and remind us that there was grass in the yards we were strolling by. She only tripped and landed on her knees once, with only brief tears. And of course there was anger anytime we told her to stop or hold S.’s hand. She was fine if those were her choices, but when they were forced upon her, she wasn’t so down with them.

She keeps surprising us with her verbal skills. Monday night, my step-dad was reading her some books before bedtime. When it got to be about 10 after eight, I asked, “M., are you ready for bed?”
“No,” she said, which is her usual response. However, after a couple beats she added, “Not yet.” I love it when she busts out some phrase she’s never used with us in the proper context. Just for that, she got ten extra minutes before bedtime.

Her other funny verbal trick these days is how she greets me after naps or in the morning, if she wakes up in a good mood. I’ll open the door to her room, walk in, and greet her. She’ll smile, then just launch into a conversation. I’m not sure if it’s what she was thinking about when she left her dreams, or if it was the last thing she thought about before she went to sleep. Here are a few of her first words to me in recent days:
“Hi daddy! Daddy eyes blue! M. eyes blue! BabyC. eyes blue! Mommy eyes greeeeeen!” She was pretty proud of that one.
“Ampa and Mimi bye bye?” This was on Monday morning, after the in-laws had visited on Father’s Day for dinner.
“Go pooooool, yeah! Go bye bye in car to pool?” When I told her she was just going to get in her pool on the deck, she decided to throw a tantrum for awhile. Fun stuff.
Finally, one morning I went in and she pointed to the rails on each side of her bed. To the right, “No.” To the left, “No.” Then, towards the end of the bed where we have a footstool so she can climb down, “Yeeees!” Just showing off she knows the right way to go, I guess.

You can just feel the toddler questioning phase bubbling up inside her, waiting to explode in an orgy of “whys” and “how comes”.

Also, potty training is coming soon. My loyal readers are going to love those updates!

M.’s been watching a lot of World Cup action with me. She calls it “kickball,” which is funny in many ways.

C. just keeps eating and sleeping and growing. We were going to weigh her tonight, but she’s in the midst of an epic meltdown that we have no idea how to stop. Luckily, she still just has one bad patch a day, normally, so this may mean a pleasant evening of sleep for us. She’s also started smiling at us more, which is always a great time. Those first smiles that aren’t gas related are some of the finest moments in any parent’s life.