I love how Natalie is metamorphosing from a helpless baby into a real little person. She is enthralled with grown-up stuff, copying everything we do and say, especially when we don't want her to. She always wants to "help daddy" and "see, see!" She's asking "oats dat?" about things she doesn't know the name for yet. And she wants to try everything "a-self!" before she lets us help her. I'm continually amazed by how many things she actually can do by herself, like climbing into chairs, fastening buckles, and new skills every day.
The last time I made pancakes, I decided to get her involved. I stood her up on a stool in front of the mixing bowl and handed her measuring cups full of ingredients to pour in. She was thrilled at this magical process and very upset when we finished and I wouldn't let her add any more. That frustration was quickly forgotten once I wrapped her little fingers around the spoon and helped her stir.
Natalie seems like a big girl most of all when she initiates reverse play, like when she decides to put me to sleep. She instructs me to lie down, folds a blanket over me, and imitates the same process I use with her at night: patting my back, shushing, and quietly singing her rendition of "twinkle diamond sky."