If you ask my parents, they say Nandi looks and acts the way I did as a child. My husband’s parents tell us that Nandi looks like him, but her demeanor is a mystery to them. Personally, I think she looks like both of us, but that personality is definitely little Miss Nandi’s, and hers alone.
When she turned two years old, all of a sudden Nandi had an obsession with shopping. Shoes are always top of mind, sandals, to be exact. If it looks as if I’m reaching for my purse or my keys, she’ll say, “Mama, we go shopping?” And no matter the destination, she’ll ask, “Wear my sandals?”
Depending on where we’re headed, I’ll let her select a pair of her cherished sandals. If she’s going to school (daycare), I let her pick out a pair of tennis shoes, which she does with reluctance. But if she gets the opportunity to wear sandals, she’ll dash into her room smiling and giggling. I think the love of sandals came about when I started painting her toenails. Every time I paint them, she’ll admire her little feet and look at me with a serious expression and say, “Mama, don’t mess my toes, otay?” That translates into, “Mama, don’t ruin my perfect pedicure, understood?”
My little fashionista makes it a point to look her best, even at the tender age of two. She enjoys her time at church and school. But her favorite, without a doubt, is church. She equates church to clapping her hands, wearing pretty sandals and wearing a pair of her many sunglasses. When I dress her for church, she loves to show her Daddy how she looks and before heading out the door, she’ll sometimes shout, “I need my sunglasses!” Really?! I can only imagine how she’ll be when she’s a teenager.
But back to Nandi’s beloved sandals and her great memory. One day I told her that she’d soon visit her cousins and see her aunt and uncle during a family gathering. As I named several relatives by name, she smiled and listened intently. The following day as we prepared to go to my cousin’s house, Nandi said, “I wear my sandals and I go see my cousins!” I then asked her the names of her cousins and she listed them one by one. “Nandi, you’re so smart!” She simply smiled and said, “Thank you, Mama. I wear my sandals.”
I wonder if Nandi’s sense of style and fashion will rub off onto her baby sister. Seeing Nandi get excited over a new pair of shoes and little Talia get excited over a mere bottle of milk and a jar of baby food makes me laugh. As they get older, will they favor one another? Or will they make it a point to be different from one another? Time will tell. But sometimes I sure wish I could slow down the hands of time to enjoy my little girls as babies for just a few moments longer. They grow up too fast.
Chandra Caradine is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist for Texas Health Resources who feels
blessed to be Mom to two daughters.