“Where Moon Go?”

Maya is a little bundle of questions these days, curious about everything … especially where people or objects are.

Last night, we were driving home from picking something up at the store and it had gotten dark. The moon — which had been super bright — must have dipped out of her focus. “Where moon go?” piped up a little voice from the backseat.

I realized this is only the beginning of trying to explain how the world works in a way a toddler can understand.

“The moon is behind the clouds,” I told her as we continued driving. “Mommy will try to find it.”

She seemed satisfied with that answer. “Mommy lookin’ moon.”

Sure enough, a couple minutes later the moon came back into focus. “The moon! Look, Maya!”

“MOON! Mommy find moon!” I could feel her little wheels turning with excitement and though I didn’t turn around, knew I’d be greeted with a double-dimpled grin of pearly whites.

Sheer wonder at this age … and I just cannot get enough.

When she wakes up, it’s “Where Rocco go?”

When she can’t find her stuffed baby kitty cat: “Little Bea in Daddy car. Want Little Bea. Mommy, get Little Bea?” (how can I say no?!)

When she drops her Cheerios, it’s “Rocco, no eat Maya Chee-ye-yos.” (understanding cause and effect; Rocco DOES tend to eat everything she drops!)

Aside from being inquisitive and so observant of the world around her, she is also super opinionated right now — especially in terms of her clothing choices. When she was supposed to wear crazy mismatched clothes today at school, she refused to wear the wild floral shoes and told me, “No this shoes. Need BLACK shoes.” (OK, Miss Priss!)

And heaven forbid I pick the wrong color bow for her hair — might as well call in the troops to fend off the little warrior diva!!

So we’re learning. I give her two reasonable choices, and it seems to be working. “Purple coat or red coat?” I ask. Just like when she was a baby, I have adapted the motto, “You do what works until it stops working!” After all, toddlers push buttons and can drive us batty with their defiance … but they are little people expressing themselves as best they can — with limited vocabularies to do so.

Each stage has been more fun than the next and though she can talk back now — and does sometimes, to our chagrin — we try to remember she’s just trying to assert her independence. When all is said and done, she’s still our sweet little girl wondering where the moon went. And I couldn’t love her more.

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