10 Things I Like about Lu

1. The way she chews. She eats with her mouth open, but she has tiny teeth, so it's not smacky and gross.
2. Her tiny hands. Yesterday, she made me pretend to sleep, and as she patted my face, I wanted to eat her dumpling hands.
3. Her scratchy voice. It's deep for a 2.5-year-old, and sometimes very fierce.
4. Her facial expressions. That sounds like too broad a thing to love, but she purses her lips, furrows her brow, deeply sadly frowns, lights up, cheesily smiles. She has no poker face — and she shouldn't as a two-year-old, but it seems clear to me she never will.
5. Her grammar. She is the classic demonstration of primitive verb conjugation: gets the regular verbs ("I walked"), struggles with the irregulars ("I go-ed"). And when you correct her, she scrunches her eyes a little, trying to understand the pattern.
6. Her butt. Today, I grabbed her square, Jason-like, pantied butt and said, "I like your booty," and she said, "I like your booty, too." I asked where my booty was, and she said, "On your butt!" Duh.
7. Her observance. Today on our run she noticed a train, a plane, dogs of every size, "faster" people, "slowly" people, the sunset, ducks, kayaks, and a bearded homeless man I couldn't even begin to explain ("What's he doing, Mama?").
8. Her thumb. It's an unmistakable sign of tiredness, vulnerability, softness. When she is sucking her thumb, she will put her head on my shoulder and settle into me in a way she is normally too busy for.
9. Her singing. She can sing "Blackbird" and "I Will" by the Beatles, "You've Got a Friend" by James Taylor, various interpretations of "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and other classic kid songs, as well as many made-up tunes that are flat and sincere.
10. Her contrary nature. On Sunday, we were all snuggled in bed, and she decided she wanted to go outside. Jason protested, lying, "It's raining, we can't." She stomped to the window and looked outside. "Nooo, Dada, it's not raining, we can too go outside."