It's been 13 months since this Ruby character arrived onto the scene and I think I really like her.
She's loud like her sister. And she says what's on her mind. Mostly that's Dada or, when she gets a glimpse of Phil from across the room, Hi Dada. She says Ara for Iris, Ny-ny for Mimi (my mom) and as far as I can tell she doesn't have a word yet for Ocean. She says my name, "Bwwwwwaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" As in, she whines and screams when she sees me. Seriously, she still doesn't say mama or mom or mommy or anything. BUT when you drop something on the floor she will put her hands on the side of her face, gasp and say, "Ah-deh" (Oh, dear).
She has six teeth. Four on the top and two on the bottom. They are perfectly white and perfectly gappy.
She is extroverted. She waves and says hi and buh-buh to everyone who passes, cars included. She smiles the brightest, loveliest smile anyone has ever seen and makes you feel like you're the greatest person who ever lived.
She is just now learning to drink out of a cup and isn't all that into food yet, although she will eat pretty much anything off of the floor. Sequins, rocks, Legos... We went for a little stroll yesterday and had been outside for a good 10 minutes when she opened her mouth and spit out a pistachio shell that I had no idea she'd been sucking on.
She hates to swing or slide. She actually is terrified to swing. Which is strange given her affinity for stunts.
By that I mean, she climbs. Anything that looks like it might be climbable. One morning last week I left the room for a moment and Iris started yelling, "Ruby's on the chair!" I thought she was on a little child's Ikea chair. I came into the kitchen and she was standing on a bar stool just looking positively smug. A few days later I left her in her highchair to run upstairs. Two minutes later I heard her yelling and hustled downstairs to find her standing on the kitchen table. She wiggles out of grocery cart seatbelts and stands on the seat while I have my back turned reading labels, and she likes to stand facing backward on the seat of her rocking chair and rock violently, presumably trying to tip it over. Phil lovingly calls her Evil Knievel.
Her favorite book is "Hand Hand Fingers Thumb" and she whips through it almost faster than you can read it just so you will start it all over again. I think she likes it so much because of the drumming. She loves to pick up a stick or a spoon and bang on the nearest object she can find. Intently. And with purpose. She seems to really enjoy making rhythms.
She loves to dance.
She also loves to sing and knows how to use a microphone. Her favorite song, I think, is the song we sing to bless the food before our meals. She lights up when we hold hands and start singing, "Lord we thank you..."
She likes to climb onto the couch, grab the remote control and point it at the television, over and over. Yet she is the only one of the three kids who doesn't like to watch TV.
I think she would really like dolls. We've had to become a doll-free zone because Iris is terrified of them. Ruby is often found walking around the house, clutching one of Ocean's super heroes under her arm, giving Iron Man kisses or rocking The Incredible Hulk.
She has dark blond ringlets that stick to the back of her chubby neck when she's all sweaty from running around with Her Big Kids. She likes to play with her hair when I'm nursing her before bed. Her bright blue eyes get heavier and heavier while she drinks her milk and mindlessly twirls the hair on top of her head.
She has a wonky toe on each foot. The middle ones. They hide underneath the toes on either side.
She can sign "All done", "Please", "Hat" and "More".
She smells like summertime.
Photos by Isaac Smith