Em is always learning and surprising us with her knowledge, but every now and then she'll bowl us over with her growth and changes.
She's suddenly not so scared of strangers, as long as I'm with her. Today she eagerly told the cashier at Cost Plus that she helped me choose all the ornaments.
Then we went to the mall and stumbled upon Santa. Last year she had an epic meltdown during our mall visit, so I assumed she wouldn't want anything to do with him today. However, she was intrigued. She stood and stared, and then waved to him. When he asked if she wanted to come talk to him, she said yes. (Then whispered, "Mama, you come with me.")
She wouldn't sit on his lap, but she eagerly chatted with him from an Em-safe distance. When I suggested we tell Santa about Buddy, I was thankful that he knew what I was talking about. "Oh, Buddy is watching over you, isn't he?" Santa asked. Em explained that this morning Buddy was "camping" in our living room.
And that yesterday he ate a banana.
When Santa asked what she wanted for Christmas, she said, "A PRESENT!"
He asked what kind of present, and she said, as she has been since we started inquiring with her recently, "A penguin!" Santa confirmed that she wants a regular penguin, NOT a Pillow Pet. "Santa" may have ordered this one for her this afternoon, as a result.
Over lunch, my soda bottle bubbled over as I opened it. Em told me, "Just open it, put your straw in and drink, Mama. That's all you need to do." When I stared at her blankly, she said, "Ok, how about I use my magic powers? Here's some pixie dust!" as she sprinkled her invisible dust toward my bottle.
Man, that kid. She's killing me with her spunk and growing confidence.
Her imagination and growing love of this holiday season is pretty much the coolest thing in the history of cool things, and I'm not even exaggerating. Maybe that's why I find myself embracing the spirit of the season so much this year.
I see the twinkle in her eye when she spots a tiny Santa Claus from afar in a store. I love when she sees another Elf On The Shelf while running errands and exclaims, "It's BUDDY!" She was unusually enthralled tonight when Brent read Elmo's Little Dreidel at bedtime. (He's in charge of introducing Em to her Jewish heritage.)
This is just a perfect time for this perfect age.