She's also very independent. One of the situations where we got to see her personality come out was at the beach this summer. A wide open beach felt like heaven to her. Since the beach was so big and there really wasn't any way for her to get hurt, we would just sometimes let her wander to see exactly how far she'd go. The answer: REALLY FAR. The amazing thing to us wasn't just that she was comfortable wandering a beach by herself but that she almost never even looked back to see if we were following or see if what she was doing was ok. If she saw a bird a quarter mile down the beach and wanted to get closer, she'd just start walking. She didn't want or need anyone to come with her and she didn't feel the need to ask permission.
Madelyn is also funny. Like, really funny. She loves making people laugh and knows exactly what to do to make it happen. She makes goofy faces, funny sounds, falls on the floor; whatever. She'll do anything for a giggle and mostly because it makes her laugh too. She actually just seems to have a knack for…can't think of a better word here…manipulating emotions in general. If we're at the dinner table and she throws food on the floor, she'll look at me and if I'm about to get upset with her she'll put on her sad eyes and point to her latest bump or scrape and start pitifully saying "boo boo, Daddy. Boo boo" to try to distract me and make me feel sorry for her. I know better than to feel sorry for her but it does sometimes work in that I can't help but laugh. It's just too funny to see this sweet little girl try her hardest to get out of trouble and know that I have a soft spot (ok, maybe a soft crater) for her sad face (ok, really just her face in general).
Another thing about Madelyn at this age is that she never stops moving. She's always doing something. She's running, she's climbing, she's wandering, she's tackling somebody, she's dancing, on and on. She'll sit in a chair just to get out of it and then sit in it again. Being at the pool with her and Patrick is an exercise in multi-tasking that would challenge even the most seasoned multi-taskers. It's because of her non-stop movement that quiet, still times with her are that much more amazing though. When she waddles over with a book in her hands and sits on your lap to read, it will melt your heart. We put her to bed awake, but every night we read books and then I turn off her lamp and we just rock for five or ten minutes. Silently rocking with her in the dark, listening to her breathe and feeling her weight in my arms is truly one of the highlights of my day.
Speaking of people she loves, I don't think there's anyone else in the world Maddy loves more than her big brother. She lights up when he walks in the room and idolizes everything he does. Patrick has learned Maddy-cakes will try to imitate almost every sound he makes and thinks it's hysterical. They play a game almost every night at dinner where he'll start making sounds or saying words and Madelyn will echo each one. It always starts with the same nonsense sound ("me-maw me-maw") to signal the beginning of the game and then it changes to whatever other goofy sounds or words Patrick can think of. The game goes until the two of them are laughing too hard to keep playing. Madelyn loves to just be close to Patrick. The other day when I was getting them ready for school, Madelyn wouldn't stray more than a few inches from Patrick's side the whole morning. She ended up sitting on his lap while he ate his breakfast. Luckily, Patrick is a very patient little boy and loves his baby sister just as much as she loves him.
Lastly, here are Madelyn's current stats:
Height: 33 inches (89th percentile - WHAT?! How?!)
Weight: 25 lbs (64th percentile)
Madelyn, we love you more than you'll ever know. You are the sweetest, silliest, most beautiful and determined little girl and we wouldn't change a thing about you. Our lives are a million times better because of you and we enjoy so much watching you grow up!