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Call Me Later!

img_0464.jpg This afternoon Madeleine was having some “window time”. She’s addicted to the outdoors and wants to be as close to it as possible, and so loves being near windows - preferably open ones. One of our snuggly reading positions is curled up on the couch underneath our picture window, and I’ll often catch my daughter gazing out the window rather than at the book in front of her. So when I don’t have the time to go for another walk with her, I’ll perch her in the front window and she’ll be in ecstasy, face and belly pressed against the glass. She loves standing here to wave goodbye to friends, watch Mommy move the car for street-cleaning, or simply people watch for as long as someone’s willing to spot her. And heaven forbid if she spies Gamma walking down the street: it’s all banging furiously on the glass and shouting excitedly – “Gamma! Up here! I’m here!!”

In fact, Maddie’s frequent window time was her first “introduction” to our neighbors across the street, who have a daughter the same age as Madeleine. I was getting out of my car after running an errand child-free when the mom came out of the house with her baby. I started chatting with her and asked how old her daughter was. She told me and added, “How old is your daughter?” Impressed, I asked, “How did you know I have a daughter?”

Smiling, she pointed to the front window of my house.

There was my daughter, bellied up and grinning hugely. Honestly, I hadn’t realized how conspicuous she was in that position.

But back to today’s window time. There we were, a couple of gals hanging out and gawking at all the folks going by, when our neighbors came home and got out of their car. The mother paused with the baby on the front step to speak with her husband and Maddie caught sight of the little girl. Her whole body tensed up like a pointer dog and her eyes got wide.

A real live baby! And just across the street!

I laughed and started pointing to the baby. “Do you see the little girl?” I asked Madeleine, who shook me off impatiently as being too distracting.

“Can you wave hi to the little girl?” I asked Maddie.

Tentatively, she began waving, first with the little open-and-closed fist thing, then with a big grin and the whole arm flailing.

Across the street, the mommy noticed and grinned. She jostled her own daughter and pointed to our big window. The baby promptly smiled and started waving back.

Maddie was in heaven and began pounding on the window and shouting. “Hey! Guess what! My name is Maddie and I have a Kitty! I like to eat lint! How about you!”

In response, the girl across the street began clapping her hands joyously.

Maddie turned to me, enraptured. “OOOOH! Did you see what she can do! That’s so cool!” She began clapping back, so vigorously I was afraid she was going to fall out of the window.

At this point I decided it was time for the girls to stop signing and actually meet, so I grabbed Madeleine and my keys and headed out. Unfortunately, the mommy misunderstood and they were inside by the time we got there. But I know this is the start of Madeleine’s first block friend, the kind you went roller-skating with between school and dinnertime.

I’m so impressed with my daughter’s ability to communicate across such distance; I remember when she was only a few weeks old and couldn’t see more than four feet in front of her. And here she is, seeing a tiny baby across the street and having some sort of understanding pass between them!

I definitely feel a play date coming on.


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