The Beloved Baby

I love what a baby does for a family. The first baby turns a couple into a family, but each successive baby binds the family tighter together as the older siblings dote on and care for "the baby," learning to put other people's needs ahead of their own - and loving it! Not quite sure how that works out for the final baby, but I guess we'll find out.

Our baby, Elena, is 17 months old. Hard to believe! She's definitely "the baby" and the darling of the family.

Though Monica and Ezra were talking a lot by this time, Elena doesn't speak much. She CAN say several words when she wants to, but she doesn't like to perform. She can say, "Judah," clear as a bell, but seldom deigns to. Recently she has become quite the little song-bird, regaling us with babbling songs in the car or halfway up the stairs while she waits to be rescued. Now that she can nod and shake her head at the appropriate times, we have some real communication!! She walks and runs, started climbing stairs in the last month, and is on the cusp of that great achievement - opening doors.  Just recently she discovered a little stool from the bathroom which she carries around and uses to climb up to previously unreachable vistas , the couch and hearth for instance. She enjoys her triumph for a few minutes and then calls for someone to get her down.

She has all sorts of little games she plays with her big brothers and sister - different games with each one. For instance, with Phinehas she has a (short) game where she hits him on the arm and they both giggle. Ezra puts her in the alcove behind the couch on the window sill, then spots her while she tips over the edge and falls down onto the seat. Judah gives her piggy back rides, and Monica pulls her around on blankets. She is a lucky little girl!

Oh, and glory be, she's started sleeping through the night occasionally!

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