7:12p.m. Giggles and tears. Junebug, who has recently learned to use the potty, darts out of the bathroom in which she and Munchkin had just enclosed themselves. Her own pants around her ankles, she is clutching a bundle of clothes, which are soon revealed to be Munchkin’s. “Give me back my pants,” he whines from the bathroom doorway, undecided as to whether he should run after her or go back to the toilet. She scampers away and he gives chase, wresting away his shorts and underwear after a brief tussle that ends with Junebug crying at the injustice of having her scheme foiled. We watch helplessly – S because she is torn between trying to help Munchkin recover his clothing on the one hand and protecting Junebug on the other, and D because he is doubled over with laughter.
With her second birthday on the horizon, Junebug is bursting with personality and has developed a bit of a mischievous streak, sporting an impish grin when she knows she’s up to no good. She is even more active than Munchkin was at this age, which seems difficult to imagine considering how ragged he left us feeling after chasing after him all day. Whereas he at least sat still when we read to him – a love of books that started early and carries on to this day – it was impossible until recently to get her to stay put for more than a page or two. She is the epitome of a busy child, running to and fro, chattering to herself, and methodically arranging and rearranging her playthings.
She has been slower to speak than Munchkin, but now that she has discovered the magic of books, she is rounding that corner. The Pout-Pout Fish, Sandra Boynton’s Hippos Go Berserk and Doggies, and I Love You Through and Through are her absolute favorites. Munchkin, having heard our renditions of these classics countless times, has learned the words by heart and likes to “read” to Junebug, much to her delight.
Most of Junebug’s vocabulary consists of one-syllable utterances, but there is one word that sticks out – both because it is multisyllabic and because she says it with such gusto: doh-eeee (doggie). To say that Junebug loves dogs would be akin to saying that the Sahara is dry, in that both are massive understatements.
We took advantage of DC’s suddenly pleasant weather last weekend to visit the Wharf and Navy Pier, and Junebug spent the bulk of both outings running from one dog to another. “Doh-eeee!” she’d shout with delight, pointing and grinning from ear to ear. Then she’d make a beeline for the unsuspecting animal and unload a barrage of hugs and aggressive petting. When Junebug’s excitement would get the better of her, we’d pry her away. But as soon as we would wave bye to one canine, she would immediately turn to us and demand another doggie, saying “Mo-h!” while signing “more.”
Emmie has been the beneficiary of much of Junebug’s recent exuberance about dogs – or, perhaps, target is a better word. Whereas Emmie was happy to be Junebug’s bestie in the days when Junebug’s lunch was more apt to wind up on the floor than in her mouth, nowadays our pup struggles to defend her personal space. Junebug’s inability to climb up on the couch might be Emmie’s last remaining defense.