Watching April change day by day is simply incredible. Learning to clap, learning to wave. Her language mimicry skills are coming along too. Although most of the time she’s just chirping and babbling, now when you say something to her, she will often repeat it back to you, if it’s simple enough. She still doesn’t understand “dada” or “mama” but she says them often enough.

The progression from fear to love is also amazing. The first day when we went down to the beach and tried to get her into the water, she clung to me tightly. Nursing was the only way I could get her to stay with me in the water without crying. We sat at the edge of the surf, April straddling me and nursing, the waves licking our legs and bottoms.

From then, we began our explorations of the shore. April loves crawling around, with Josh or myself necessarily one step ahead, kicking little pieces of shell and other detritus out of her way. She still loves to taste everything, and unfortunately the beach is covered in all sorts of choking hazards.

Gradually, over the course of the following days, she began to enjoy the time we spend bobbing in the waves, and now when she crawls on the beach, she often goes straight for the water, fascinated by the bubbling surf as the tide pushes in.

April is also losing her fear of dogs. I think that when she first met Maggie, it was so surprising to see those big teeth, that she was simply struck by fear. But since we’ve been here, there are so many dogs around that she’s become used to seeing them. Peter and Mary’s little cockapoo, Rudy, is an absolute sweetheart. He’s also furry and reasonably small, so I don’t think she even knows that he’s the same kind of animal as Maggie, the black lab. She even likes to touch his fur, although I have to remind her to be gentle.

Yesterday, Phillippa commented that April has most certainly gotten taller since we’ve been here. I can’t believe how big she is now. It’s only looking at pictures of my friend Shannon’s little boy that it seems real that our babies are getting so big and strong. And so much hair! Coming up on her first birthday, April is a real little person. So mobile and strong, so chatty and opinionated.
– Just imagine what she’ll be like next year, Joan said the other day.
– Where’s April? Oh — she’s in the restaurant, running around, getting treats.

Sometimes she drives me crazy, but most the of the time I just can’t believe how lucky I am. She’s such a little cherub. A beautiful miniature person around whom my life will be centred for the next however many years. How lucky I am.

We should never have let April have our beer!

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