i remember, i remember!
remembering is like walking backward through your mind! (ah, sesame street. wasn't this catchphrase in a segment having to do with an elephant finding something he lost at a picnic?)
eva remembers. she remembers a lot of things, far more than i give her credit for. she somehow indicates some memory, and i sit there with my mouth open, not believing what i'm seeing. my little baby -- how did she learn such tricks?
at night, while i'm nursing her to sleep, i've started recounting to her the story of her day. the idea is that this helps her to process all she's seen and done in the day, but it also helps me to take a moment to see the day from her perspective (and on bad days, i realize how little there is to tell, how i was so busy with my own stuff that there's sadly little to tell her that *she* did that day). so, while telling her this story, nearly every night something will catch her interest, and she'll stop nursing, look up at me, and add her own details to the story. for example, yesterday i told her "then we got in the car with papa..." and she immediately said "lights! star. train." sure enough, we drove around to look at christmas lights, and she loved the stars and especially all the light-up trains (popular this year in our neighborhood). okay, so that's remembering for a few hours, not a huge feat, but still fun. some days, she'll throw in details i'd forgotten or had misjudged as not all that significant. it's such a treat to see what she's thinking about and remembering.
other times, she'll remember something i'd taught her (as in, told her once or twice) weeks or months ago. today's examples: we saw a picture of a dolphin at the doctor's office, and when i asked her what does a dolphin say, she immediately answered with a huge grin "pffft!" we swam on the other side of a chain link fence from dolphins in mexico, and we could hear them clearing out their blowholes (if that's what they're called?), pffft, pffft, over and over. tonight in the bath, she pointed out the hippo by name when i'd only ever mentioned it once before in passing. toddlers have brains like a sponge. which is why i need to stop swearing for real now.
my favorite is when she remembers some experience from a while back. today i showed her a photo from the website of the condo where we stayed in mexico. it showed the courtyard (but not the pool), and she started saying "swimming, swimming!" swimming was her favorite part of the trip, and i did take her swimming in the courtyard on the last morning. i like that -- hey, she enjoyed the trip, you know? she remembers. yesterday she was looking at the books julie made for her, and one tells the story of her trip to alaska last august. there's a page with photos from her "patio walks" with grandpa, and she saw it and immediately said "airplane!"... weird. there aren't any in the photos, but she heard hundreds of airplanes out on the patio, since they're constantly overhead in anchorage. now, maybe i'm reading too much into this, but she had the same response again later. i like the idea of this, that she remembers things from being with my family, even when it's been four months. it makes me feel better that she carries with her something from her experiences with my family, like then they're not so far away.
i keep forgetting that she has this ability now, and it continues to catch me off guard. (i do that will all her new skills, i can't keep up!) larry and i have both been saying all day that she looks really old all of the sudden. so, i can't remember (ha!) all the examples i've been noticing lately, but that was a few just from yesterday and today. it's been a big week for remembering, and for growing up.