Dear Little Elephant,
I am a little bit late in wishing you a happy 4th monthiversary— but the day you turned 4 months was traumatic. You reached one milestone that Mama and Papa would have liked to never hit: you were in your first car accident. Luckily, my beautiful little girl, you are absolutely fine and appear to have forgot the whole ordeal. Mama and Papa, however, are completely traumatized by the fear that something could have happened to you in this freak accident. You see, we were driving to a picnic in the outskirts of Bishkek when we drove over a manhole cover. The cover flipped up, ripping a hole in the gas tank and throwing the car a bit. Airbags went off and Mama quickly stopped the car. The first words out of my mouth were about you and if you were okay. Papa, sitting next to you as always, said you were and stepped out of the car to see what had happened. When he saw gas leaking, he grabbed your car seat, yelled for Mama to run, and ran with you. The car did not blow up and 5 minutes later you were smiling and cooing at all the onlookers. We are so happy that you are safe.
Besides a startling start, this month has mostly been filled with smiles and laughter. Speaking of laughter, this month you learned to giggle and to fully belly laugh til you cry. Things that crack you up include: Mama or Papa jumping out from behind something and yelling “here I am”, Harley (your dog) doing her tricks—particularly rolling over, Papa killing flies with a kitchen towel, you shrieking, Aisuluu making faces at you, Papa making funny sounds, Mama kissing your belly, and so much more. Your laughter fills my heart and brings tears to my eyes every time— it truly is the most intoxicating sound.
This past month has been a month of discovery. Early on you learned how to grab. We tried practicing holding onto rattles before— but now you can see something, grab it, and shake it. This is an amazing new talent and in two days you went from being surprised when you grabbed things to holding onto the leg of a toy giraffe and using it to whip the toys hanging above your floor mat. You love to grab Mama’s finger while you are feeding, grab Mama’s hair when you are walking in the Ergo with Papa, and grab at the toys hanging over your play mat.
You also grab your feet which is extremely exciting because it means you know that you have feet. This new talent is helpful when we change your diaper as it makes it easier to clean you up. It is not helpful, however, when you make sad faces and cry when we have to put the feet down to attach the new diaper. For fun we give you lots of time with no pants on so that you can feel the skin of your feet as opposed to just booties or socks. You also have put your feet in your mouth once or twice. Yum!
Your favorite new trick is to lie on your back, hold mama’s fingers and let her pull you up to a sitting position. Parents reading this will say that this is no big accomplishment. You, however, take the trick further and firmly plant your feet once sitting so that Mama can continue to pull you into a standing position. At this point you look around to make sure that whoever is there has see your trick and you flash a huge, toothless grin. You love an audience. You love to be applauded. You love to be covered in kisses and hugs and have each milestone recognized.
This month you weighed 14 lbs 9oz and started to wear your 6 month clothing. You love to tense your body and shriek (although you don’t actually seem to be mad). You love to try to sit. You adore standing. You clearly want to be a big girl. And you will be. In so many ways you already are a big, strong, independent, intelligent little person.