Her Earlobes are Ticklish: A Portrait of E

Since I recently wrote the portrait of M, here’s E’s poem to match. They are changing so quickly these twins that even a week makes a difference.

A Portrait of E

Number one, that amazing, toothy grin. You can’t see it and not smile.

When we’re listening to the news and a clip of music comes on, she starts rocking back and forth, dancing to the beat.

She absolutely loves if you pick her up and dance with her. She also appreciates watching you dance alone.

If she’s playing with an interesting toy and M comes too near she says, “Nah! Nah!” and bats her away.

When she’s frustrated, she stiffens her entire body, clenching her fists at her side, and says something like “Arrrrghhh! Waaah!”

When she’s done with her milk, she offers you the sippy cup, then laughs hysterically when you grab a handle while she keeps her hold on hers.

Sometimes when she’s sitting in her highchair, she leans forward to be kissed on the forehead. Usually multiple times in a row.

She points at books and says, “Bu!” She waves and says “hi.” She’ll give you a high five.

If you’re holding her, she points at everything and anything and asks, “Da? Ada?” What’s that?

At the playground, she grips the baby swing with both hands, her little legs straight out, the breeze in her baby hair and a huge smile.

Sometimes when you try to take her out of the swing, she screams like small tyrant and refuses to bend to be buckled into the stroller.

When she meets new people or finds herself in a new situation, she becomes dead serious and stares.

If strange, curious babies in said new situation try to take her toy, she yanks it back.

When you hold her hands to help her walk, she moves slowly and focuses on balance, taking one deliberate step at a time.

She is eminently ticklish, on her neck, her belly, her armpits and the bottom of her feet. Even her earlobes are ticklish.

She loves listening to guitar.

If she gets her hands on the guitar, she touches the strings softly and makes beautiful sounds. She also bangs it percussively like a drum.

She is content sitting in the bath for as long as we let her, playing with the duckies, the fish, babbling to herself.

She can point to her nose and your nose.

She refuses to wear a hat.

When you come into the room, sometimes she squeals, crawls quickly over and raises her arms to be picked up.



Where’s Your Nose? A Portrait of M at One Year

I’ve been wanting to write individual posts about M and E and what they’re up to these days. I’m thinking of this as a sort of one-year portrait, though they are now 13 months. I started arbitrarily with M because I had a sketch of her I was going to include, but then I decided the photo was nicer. Stay tuned for poem of E.

A Portrait of M at One Year

M loves to walk around the house holding both your hands, leading the way to the shoe pile, to the window.

Strangers must earn her smile. Eventually she will make a subtle wave, raising one hand a bit.

She can climb the stairs, climb off of the rocking horse, climb onto boxes left within her reach, climb into the stroller, climb down from the couch.

When you are holding her and she sees something she wants she points to it, leaning her whole body in its direction, and says emphatically, “Dooh! Dooh!” until you take her to it.

Let free to explore a new place she crawls with purpose, lifting her arms high, pulling up on the nearest support. Then she turns to you with that mischievous, happy twinkle.

When eating, she enjoys rubbing her food-smeared hands all over her hair as if applying mousse.

Sometimes she waves with both her hands at once.

If you say, “Where’s your nose?” she puts one finger on her nose.

She will not sit still in the bath but insists on trying to stand and climb the walls, then cries when you try to put her back in place.

Her face lights up when she gets her hands on a light switch; the doorbell is exciting.

If you take a toy she’s playing with, she arches her entire body backward and turns red. If she doesn’t want to do something, like be buckled into a high chair, you will not succeed in buckling her.

She can often be distracted by belly zorbers, being tossed in the air, or hanging briefly upside down.

She smiles if you give her an eskimo kiss (rub noses).

When E takes a toy she’s playing with, many times she lets it go and does not resort to hitting. She does occasionally bite.

She likes handing you things and seeing you take them. Her milk cup, her sippy cup, a toy.

She can sit for an hour concentrating fixedly on a new task. Putting together and taking apart legos, moving blocks in and out of a box.

Her favorite book is “In My Tree” which is a board book that features a little felt owl finger puppet. When she sees this book she leans down and gives the owl a kiss. She also sometimes gives the rocking horse kisses.

She sleeps every night with a Snuffleupagus. When you lay her down in the crib and hand her the Snuffy, she hugs it to her chest thankfully and sucks on the trunk.

She hates having her diaper changed.

She likes holding the snack trap cup open and shaking the cheerios out all over the floor.

She laughs often.


Today, a List


Today I was a bit distracted, and probably because of that there was a diaper malfunction, and poop all over a leg, and plum puree squirted from a pouch all over a car seat.

Today I stood in the kitchen looking at my two babies in their high chairs. They were both smiling at me, two teeth showing on the top, and waving by opening and closing their hands. They were so beautiful.

Today E continued to point at everything–the windows, paintings on the wall, toys, people..and call them all “duck,” enunciating very clearly in her precious little voice.

Today we woke up before 5 am to a baby crying. After a while we relented and brought E in to bed with us, where she crawled around happily, climbing up on our faces, breathing very close, trying to make it to the edge of the bed. Her perfect, round face illuminated by moonlight.



A Poem to Spring


First it’s just a haze up in the trees. Almost imagined. Then it catches you as you pass. One green bud has forced its way out of this dead-looking twig. Tightly packed, ready to burst. And there is another, and another. Soft like a babies’ skin, a birth on every branch.

Slow-motion eruption, some invisible weight jarred out of inertia and everything is turning. Curdling, ripping open. Amidst the churning earth, green whispers and suddenly a pink bush bursts into life. Pink!

As if you were color blind your whole life, now seeing color for the first time.

Soon the colors come hard and fast. Leaves unwind from buds, filling our nostrils with greedy expectation.

Like rutting deer, we’re ready to ram the trees, kick our legs, start a fist-fight. Eyes inadequate to the task of absorbing, wanting to roll in the grass like dogs. Almost angry at our limited senses in the presence of this happening. Spring.

For the First Time This Week


This week Bean starting clapping. 

This week M pulled herself up to standing. 

This week they ate cheerios. 

This week they ate three bags of avocados. 

This week, if you accidentally pulled their hair or caught their ear while adjusting a hat, they screamed as if it were the worst thing that had ever happened to them. 

This week M insisted on feeding herself. 

This week they gave kisses. 

This week they gave hugs. 

This week they crawled all over the living room. 

This week B has a second tooth coming in on the bottom. When she is overcome with happiness,

sometimes she throws her head back and laughs at the ceiling. 

A Series of Word Images from Today, Home with Babies


One baby started fussing as soon as I set her down in the highchair. To distract her I started waving around a red bib that was on the table, an impromptu game of peekaboo. She chuckled, slowly at first, as if something funny had just occurred to her. As I kept repeating the peekaboo she got more and more jolly, the chuckles rolling out in waves. Then both babies got into it. The second watching, rapt, as I covered and uncovered my face. Each time I quickly pulled the bib away both babies would give a start. Then came the happy belly laughs. This went on until my arms got tired of holding up the bib.


Water!  In the little bathtub on the dining room table, she started kicking her legs vigorously. She was smiling, water droplets splashing all over her face. Half the tub water ended up on the table, the floor. You could tell she thoroughly enjoyed that sensation, the strong kicking, squeaky splashing, the warm wonder of it all.


Both babies suddenly stopped nursing and looked up at me. Then both, wide eyed, reached their arms up to touch my face, my hair, my mouth.


Eight thirty feels about like midnight. We’re about to start the dreamfeed. Half asleep babies. Go to sleep not knowing when we’ll wake up, what the night will be like. Hoping for the day, it will come, when we’ll wake up refreshed, in daylight, ready.