The Second-Born Never Gets As Much Attention

I am the oldest of three, and I have a large photo album of the pictures taken during my first year of life.  Then, when I was 15 months old, my sister was born, and the photos of that time period reduced significantly.  Then, 13 months after that, my brother was born, and I think there might be half a dozen surviving photos from the time Roy was born until we were school-aged.  It’s a pretty common experience, but I was hoping (naively) to break that trend.  Of course, then I realized that I have far fewer photos and far fewer updates about my little girl than I ever did for Wesley.  So here’s a tribute post to my co-female in the family.
Gretchen sporting a yogurt goatee

Gretchen is a super cheerful 14-month-old, who is at a really fun stage of development.  She is very active, wandering around from activity to activity, dancing on her tiptoes, and very social.  She’s been trying to talk for several months, with jibberish replies for everything people said to her.  Now she’s added a few real words: juice “joos”, peekaboo “peekboo”, shoes “shoo”, no “ah-ah”, power “pawah”, down “don”, dog “daw”, and Dora “doh”.  As is usual, she understands far more than she can say, and she recognizes chickens and cows in the yard.  Dogs and cats are her favorite, though.

The kids going for a *short* ride around the house with Stephen
She loves her brothers, and she’s a big favorite with them as well.  Of course she and Wesley have occasional spats when sharing doesn’t come naturally, but kisses and hugs are just as common as squawking and snatching.  When Inno came home from school a few days ago, Gretchen was so excited to see him!  She’s sitting on my lap making motorcycle noises as she looks at this photo.  She has the best appetite of any of the kids right now.

Fred and Gretchen playing in the waves of Lake Victoria

 She’s very much a daddy’s girl, and whenever Fred comes home from work she runs toward the door saying “Daddy!  Daddy!”  She also loves looking at the family photos on the walls and on the computers to pick out Daddy.  Most of the day she spends with “Dera” (Adera) washing dishes or washing clothes or sitting outside talking to the neighbors.  She also loves moving every shoe in the house from one room to another, and wandering around having pretend conversations on anything resembling a cell phone.  (Her conversations sound remarkably like the tones of my cell phone conversations, except without words!)

Can’t forget her favorite word: cheeeeese!
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