Belly laughs from sweet Kaia Pookie

The evolution of Kaia’s laughter, and of course, her growth, are things that I’ve truly cherished since she exploded out of my uterus and came into my life just over two years ago. The very first time she smiled and laughed, it felt like everything else in the world didn’t matter other than seeing her with those feelings, in those moments. But what has been really cute to observe and witness is how her laugh has evolved, and what things she seems to find the most amusing.

Certain things I have said repeatedly have elicited much laughter from her. One of the things I used to say (and occasionally still do) when she was initially starting solids was, “Bite, chew, CHEW!” to encourage her to take small bites and chew her food well before swallowing. I would model this to her, then say this to her, and from the very first time, she would smile and giggle. As her laugh became more defined, she’d laugh more heartily until her laughter became almost explosive. She seems to like it when words get repeated because when we were teaching her to kick a ball and watch football (soccer), Chris’s mom would say, “Run, run, KICK!” with an emphasis on the “kick!” part, and Kaia was just roar with laughter. It didn’t seem to matter how many times you said it, but the more you would say it, the more she would laugh and demand you say it more.

She loves it when I stretch or when Chris is on the floor, stomach down, stretching. She immediately starts laughing and runs to jump and climb all over us. And tonight, I created a new little game for us that involves her Habbi Habbi books: I take her wand, have my back facing her, and slowly say, “Habbi….. HABBI!” while jumping and turning around. Then, I shake the wand at her, and she goes crazy with laughter, slamming her hands down on the bed and knocking her whole head back from excitement.

A lot of people say to me that it must be hard having such a young child and not having as much time to myself anymore. The Trader Joe’s cashier who rang me up today said this after he learned I had a toddler (he is child-free by choice). To be honest, even before I had Kaia, I always wished I had more free time; I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have this sentiment, with or without kids. I think everyone always says they want “more free time,” and it’s impossible for anyone to really feel like they have enough of it. I think what matters more is that we make the most of the time we have with things that truly fulfill us and give us joy. And with Kaia, even in her difficult toddler/tantrum moments, I find an immense amount of joy even just in these short spurts of play and laughter with her that I know I’d never feel if she didn’t exist in my life. And that enriches me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.