Monday, June 2, 2008

Six Months Later, Little Abbey Turns Two

The refrigerator is crammed full of food meaning I won't have to cook for a week, there is still wrapping paper here and there, and the remains of a cake is still on the kitchen counter. Little Abbey turned two years old on Sunday.

Per Filipino requirements, it meant that Thursday through Sunday morning was spent rearranging the entire house and all its furniture therein. It also meant that my wife disappeared for a couple days where she lived in the cooler environment of the basement to decorate an elaborate birthday cake for Little Abbey. I even got in on the labor by smoking about 15 pounds of pork loin and cooking about 15 pounds of teriyaki chicken. It was my first attempt at smoking anything and I must say that the pork loin was outstanding and by far the best I've ever tasted. It was spicy on the exterior, had a nice smoky flavor deep into the perimeter and was very moist. I'm having cold smoked pork loin sandwiches the rest of the week and I couldn't be happier. The teriyaki chicken is a standby of mine that I've perfected over the years and everyone loves. It is easy to do and I will try to post the recipes on here in the future. We also had pancit, several other Filipino dishes, a huge garden salad just picked by my parents from their garden hours earlier, potatoes and of course the cake.

Little Abbey was her normal self at such affairs. Very self reserved and clingy for the first hour or so and then towards the end, running around with the other kids yelling at the top of her lungs and bouncing off the furniture and people. I had hoped that she would be able to ride her tricycle by Sunday to show it off but she still prefers to push off using the floor. She can do about half a revolution in each direction with the pedals but that's it so far. I know it is supposed to be a three years old skill but I can still dream can't I?

She has undergone the language explosion that most of her peers went through several months back. Everyday seems to be a new word that I can understand and at least ten more that I can't. It has taken a new mindset for me to realize that when she is standing at a door shouting wa-wa that she wants to show me water and not just babbling. My engineering trained mind is just not cut out for this kind of thing, which makes me wonder if she was on time language wise all the time and I'm just now understanding.

Little Abbey has already developed a fashion sense and is very adamant about what she wants to wear from clothes down to shoes. One evening I came home to find her running around in a crushed velvet dress that she has for special occasions. She evidently decided that was what she wanted to wear that day and told my MIL that in no uncertain terms. She definitely has favorite shoes but is forever swapping the out all day long. She may be wearing a pair of flip-flops in the morning but by afternoon she will be wearing her black dress shoes after trading them in for her boots. She loves shoes!

The one drawback to her getting older is that she has already learned extortion. She has my MIL wrapped around her little finger and is always getting what she wants from her. One day I came home and found that all she had drank the entire day was apple juice because my MIL said she didn't like the milk. I took away Little Abbey's juice and gave her milk. After about two minutes of crying, she reluctantly began drinking her milk. Another day I came home to find her directing my MIL to where the marshmallow stash was so that my MIL would get her one. I wasn't aware that we even had a marshmallow stash at all. On Sunday after all the festivities were over and done with, Little Abbey threw a tantrum over something we never could figure out. All she had to do was lay down on the floor and start crying, with no tears mind you, and MIL would drop everything and come running over. We finally had to tell her to stay seated and let Little Abbey cry it out. Finally after that, Little Abbey figured out her jig was up and went back to her normal self a few minutes later. For now. I'm sure once Mrs. Abbey and I are at work, all bets are off.

So Little Abbey has officially reached the terrible twos but like the season summer, she was officially there in the hearts and minds of all those around her months earlier. Her age now officially ends in the monthly increments and becomes easier to calculate fractions like two and a half. I will probably officially stop writing about her once a month but don't fret, I will still keep all you my readers informed as she goes through life teaching me a thing or two. Stay tuned.

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