The girls' newest achievement is learning how to give kisses. I have thought for a couple weeks now that Katherine was trying to give kisses, but Greg insisted she was just chewing on my face. Yesterday morning, though, it was unmistakable -- I was lying in bed with her, having just finished the morning nurse, and she leaned in and put her mouth right on mine for a second, and I dissolved into a big pile of mushy motherly bliss. She did it again several times last night at a wedding, in full view of Greg and several others, and it was universally agreed that they were, in fact, kisses. Claire, not to be outdone, gave me kisses this morning.
Is there anything on earth better than getting kisses from your babies? I think not.
Aside from the awwww-sweet-baby-kisses thing, I find this really fascinating, because it's the first thing I have deliberately taught them. Sure, they know tons of things -- who Grandmama is, how to turn the pages of books, what buttons to push to get toys to make noise. They recognize, and are fascinated by, cell phones and remote controls, and Katherine licks back when the dogs lick her. They have demonstrated object permanence this week by repeatedly fishing out Grandmama's necklace from under her shirt, and by making a break for the kitchen when I put them down to crawl around the living room. They also understand when we're about to nurse, both the lifting-shirt motion and, I think, the word "nurse". I have even thought lately that they know their names, though not necessarily which one is theirs.
These things, though, have all been picked up from their environment. I say and do certain things repetitively and deliberately, it's true, like saying "nurse" when we feed. "Gimme kiss", though, is the first trick I have actually taught them to do. Peekaboo is inconsistent, pattycake they don't grasp at all, but they can give kisses, and they learned it because I showed them how to do it. I am so proud of them!