When we moved here from Japan, Stella was speaking in two word sentences. She couldn't run, climb up stairs, or reach the elevator button. She didn't know colours, or shapes; she thought that ever piece of written script, no matter the alphabet, said "S".
Now, two months later, she can reach the down button on the elevator. She knows to push L for lobby. She can run and jump and runrunrun away from me shouting weeeeeeeeeeee. She counts to ten, and when I ask her, "Stella how old are you, she says FIVE!" She can sing the alphabet, the whole way through, though I'll have you know that "W" is pronounced gab-wool-u. She knows her colours, though is not all that reliable with differentiating blues and greens (I chalk that one up to her being Asian, or perhaps two.)
Today she ate noodles for each of her meals. Mei goring for breakfast and lunch; ramen with tofu and meatballs for dinner. She asks for more green vegetables please. She uses chopsticks. She still puts Tabasco on her pizza. But she still won't eat rice.
She'll play stones all afternoon long, cooking elaborate meals out of river rocks. She found a baby coconut today, and put it in her doll stroller, because it is a baby after all.
I ask her to put away her iPad, and turn off Olivia, and she holds up seven fingers and says, "five more minutes." A master negotiator, at age two.
She's still more tentative and shy than her peers, less physically daring. But her knees are always black, her hair wild and unrestrained (no barrettes, pony tails, or bows, please fortheloveofgod and parental sanity), and she does what she wants thankyouverymuch. And what she wants is not to wear any other shoes but these ones. Ever.ever.ever.
This is my kid. Not neat, not styled, not proper. This is my kid, out in the wild, just as she is, just how I love her most.
Olivia Tee (omgbrainexplosion so exciting) - Aksara (Jakarta book store. Which is where we get all of your clothes, obvs)
Shorts - Tea Collection, because Indonesia = Ikat
Shoes - Ummmmm....two guesses.