I wish that I had the means to get a film crew to follow Bean around to capture her expressions and sounds. I'm not going to go all Dina Lohan on her and make her into the next Kardashian, but there are countless moments where Bean is just toddling around saying "Coo Coo" or "Bahhh" and no matter how quickly I get to my IPhone, the moment is gone. It passes and she is on to the next moment. Sure, she'll do something else cute again. There are no shortage of adorable Bean moments and I suppose I'm constantly on stand-by to film her.
Whenever we go into the park, Bean shouts with glee. She squirms in the stroller pointing excitedly at the swings, then at the playground. She shouts "Mama" repeatedly, not whining, but more like she needs me to understand how unbelievably amazing the slide is. Then she starts laughing. Her laughs are these little bursts of high pitched merriment. If a dog is walking by, that dog is immediately startled and comes to attention. She is joyful and that is what I wish I could capture and save.
After I get her out of the stroller, Bean will start exploring. It's the park we go to all the time, but she makes the same exploratory circles, looping around the playground three or four times before she hobbles up the steps that are far too big for her. She will always try to walk up on her own, and then she just raises up one hand because she knows that I will be the one to envelop it into my own. We walk up the steps together, with me slightly bent over and Bean concentrating on each step. When we get to the top, she assesses the situation: slide or bridge? She will always walk first to the slide and then immediately turn around to cross the bridge, which she then crosses once, twice, three times pausing to play with a giant wheel and pretending to honk the horn. Then she waddles to the slide, sits down about two feet from the top of the slide and waits until I climb back down to catch her. Bean then scoots on her tush to the top of the slide, stretches her hand out to me that I grab and she goes down the slide laughing and smiling.
Several slides later, Bean finds a leaf and begins her task of collecting. She walks with her belly out and her feet splayed apart, toddling about and picking up leaves. I walk next to her holding her tiny hand in my own, but her grip is different now. It's much more self-assured than it was two months ago; I'm following her now, not the other way around. When she spots a particularly colorful one, she shouts "Oh" and bends at her knees to pick it up. Whenever she does this, she grunts and it finally dawned on me today that Bean is mimicking me cleaning up her toys.
Bean spots a pigeon and the always popular game of "Catch the Pigeon" will ensue, which makes me grateful for two things; that we don't have a pet and that New York City pigeons know how to dodge traffic and babies. Bean quickly darts after a pigeon screeching her own excited bird call that understandably frightens the birds away. Ever resilient, she hobbles after them waving her version of "Hi,"which looks more like "Come and get me" because her palm is facing her. Maybe that is what she is actually trying to say.
With fall here, it's gets darker earlier and our evening park trips are getting cut. I get her into the stroller amidst tears and we walk home. I distract her by pointing out dogs and buses and she forgets why she was crying in the first place. Bean gives our doorman a high five and in the elevator she says "Up" and points up. When I get to the door, she looks at me and says "ho." The "o" is drawn out and nasally. She's trying to say home, but like so many of her words, she only says the first sound of the word.
I look at her and say "Yes, we are ho."