Nora asked if she could have privacy. I offered to take Owen out to the front room. She corrected me, she wanted me to leave Owen and her alone in their room.

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I did, and watched from the video monitor while she read to him, played peekaboo, and then showed him how to jump on her bed. I’m glad we put her mattress on the floor…

Owen is her avid fan and student. Unfortunately for Nora, he’s giving up all of her secrets. He stands on the bed, climbs the couch, shoves unwanted vegetables down the heat registers, feeds Simone scraps from the table, and sneaks food out of the kitchen.

She’s also taught him to twirl and dance, drink out of a sippy cup, hold hands, use Legos, and sing. He still loves to say “yeah”, “up”, “hiya”, “bye-bye” ; and now ” ‘tanks”, ” ‘pease” , and “a-e-i-o-u”. He nods and shakes his head for emphasis, squeezes his eyes shut and grins as he throws his head back in mischief looking for someone to tickle his chin, and splays his arms out behind him when he thinks he’s running as fast as the wind.

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He loves peekaboo and has upped his game to hiding in small spots and jumping out to surprise us. Something I was fond of doing as a child as well. I see so much of my personality in him which is why he drives me crazy. I reassure Nora continually that we love her and Owen, that we know she loves Owen as well, and that it’s completely understandable and normal to be annoyed with him. She giggles in relief and says, “I know, mama.”

She asks for privacy when she needs a break from him, sneaks in to sleep next to him when I’m nursing him, and wraps him up in a blanket like a human dumpling when she decides to race him around the house dragging behind her in a parade of pretend pomp and dress-up. I listen to their giggles and hope they stay this close forever.

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