Things are pretty amazing with the kids right now. Oliver’s in a happy place—still karate-chopping, banging, and leaping through life as he does, and yet … unusually mellow and level (he’s normally a heart-on-the-sleeve kind of guy). He’s found his stride at school, having lost some self-consciousness that was making him both overly bossy and quick to feel hurt.
And Georgia. Oh, Georgia. My sweet little pea got restless and has turned into a ferocious, wobbly, adorable, loud tyrant. “Mein, mein!” she shouts, or “Nein, nein!” for anything within reach or sight (it’s definitely German the way she says it, hence the spelling). We can give her a whole counter-full of objects and still she will holler for more. She has suddenly become very aware, at 16 months, that she is part of a family—and by hook or by crook, she’s going to carve some space for herself in it and make us all know where she stands.
Oliver, for his part, finds this hilarious. She can whack him, poke at his eyes, stick her finger up his nostril … whatever, and he will succumb to a fit of giggles. Last night, when he, Georgia, and I were rolling around on the floor (this is what became of my attempt to show him how to do a sit-up), he said—as much to himself as anyone else—“She’s perfect.” It was one of those moments you just don’t forget.
Georgia’s assertiveness coincides with a new period of heightened separation anxiety, which is awful when we’re trying to work and having to leave her screaming with her poor, lovely nanny, but wonderful when we get to reconnect at the end of the day. Just this week, she began insisting on kissing and hugging both Craig and Oliver before I put her down. Last night, Oliver had fallen asleep early on Craig after a vigorous swimming lesson, and this was unacceptable to G: kissing him on the cheek wasn’t going to do it for her. We eventually cranked O’s head round enough so she could peck him on the lips. She smiled with utter satisfaction, then called it a night. “Nigh' nigh',” she cooed, and waved her royal wave.