Eisley is becoming a little person who notices things.
She has this soft doll that usually stays in her crib with her
except last Sunday she threw up on it a little bit and it has since been
awaiting the washing machine out of her sight.
(I just admitted to harboring a barf-covered doll unwashed somewhere
in my home for an entire week. Welcome to my life.)
Said doll happens to be "hypo-allergenic" or something and comes with very specific washing directions, the first step of which involves placing the doll in a pillow case and tying it shut. I took the doll enclosed in the pillow case downstairs to wash it, and on the way thought to stop and remind Mike how to dry it since he would be home when the washing cycle ended and I would not. Eisley hadn't complained when the doll left her room or mentioned it all week so I didn't think twice before untying the knot on the pillow case and whipping the doll out in her sight while explaining to my husband "see this big stain? Check to make sure it's gone before throwing it in the dryer on low heat."
Eisley's face lit up when she saw the doll emerge from the pillow case. She dropped what she was doing and ran across the room, reaching out for the doll while excitedly exclaiming "BABY!!!!" like she had just spotted a great friend she hadn't seen in ages. Whoops. Realizing my error, I quickly shoved the doll back into the bag and worked at retying the knot, while gently explaining that "baby" had to take a bath because she was smelly and then rapidly changing the subject. Out of sight out of mind, right?
Eisley's emotions tumbled over the edge of elation to pure terror the second I placed the baby out of sight inside the bag. Hiding the doll didn't work. She knew exactly where it was and seemed all the more horrified at the knowledge. "BABY!?!?!" She shrieked. "BABY?!?!?! BABY?!?!?! BABY?!?!?!?!" She clawed at my pants leg, reaching for the bag. I could hear the panic rising in her voice. If she had a larger vocabulary, she would be exclaiming "MY GOD, WOMAN! YOU JUST PUT MY BABY IN A BAG! GET IT OUT! SAVE IT! HURRY! IT CAN"T BREATHE!"
I quickly opened the basement door and threw the baby-containing pillow case behind it, hoping to divert my daughter's attention elsewhere. But she had none of it and tipped from terror to hysterical sorrow. "BAAAAAAAAAAY BEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" she wailed mournfully, grabbing the bars of the baby gate at the top of the stairs and shaking them in an attempt to reach and somehow rescue her trapped friend. I'm not sure what she thought we were going to do to "baby." Throw her out with the garbage, perhaps? All I know is kid did not listen to my reasonable attempts to explain that the baby was merely going to receive a bath and would then come back. She had seen me place the baby in a BAG. I was nothing less than a kid-napping baby-smotherer in her mind.
Sometimes Eisley's increased awareness and response to the world is slightly less dramatic and just plain cute. Tonight we went out to dinner and Eisley received animal cookies with her meal. I went to hand them to her one by one like I usually do but she insisted on holding the bag and removing them one by one herself. Once she had them all out in a pile on the table she began taking selective bites; the legs of the elephant here, a lion's tail there, and a hippo's face to round off the feast. Eating this way was the slowest process ever, so to kill time while I waited for the little carnivore to painstakingly dismember all the animals at the zoo, I grabbed a few of the still-intact cookies and identified the animals to Eisley while prancing them around the table making the appropriate animal noises. From then on out, Eisley did the same. She'd grab a cookie and prance it around the table making noises, which we found incredibly clever even if she had the animal upside down while making the wrong noise.
She even grabbed some of the dismembered body part pieces and pranced those around the table as well. I thought this was pretty gruesome until she held a severed monkey head up next to an unsevered monkey and seemed to contemplate the two of them comparatively before holding up the severed monkey head and joyfully declaring "BABY!" before eating it. Oh, so it wasn't a severed monkey head. It was simply a baby monkey. Good to know.
At any rate, I'm thinking that this increased awareness means we've officially entered the era of having to actually hide Christmas presents before Christmas.