Every month I write you these letters, and someday when we look back and read them together I think they’ll serve just as much as a record of my life as of yours. Right now I’m starting a new business with Aunt Sarah and hopefully by the time you’re old enough to read these letters, you’ll know all about it because it was wildly successful and your mom is ballin’ out of control, rollin’ around in riches, and you’re walking to our office after school each day to help package orders and watch photoshoots and eat snacks with models. Right? Right.
I’ve been on the phone for a while today because I just found out that several of our orders aren’t going to be sent, so I had to to a few distributors to figure out where everything is. Not a good day at the office, I have to say.
All day long you’ve been jumping on me, climbing on me, pulling my face or stretching out my clothes or body, which is normal. I’m a human jungle gym, dad’s a human jungle gym, and you love to climb us and jump on us and squish our faces up like silly putty. When you were littler and I was still breastfeeding, every time I sat down in a chair you wanted to crawl into my lap and nurse. Now every time I sit down you want to crawl into my lap and bounce, or climb on my back and flip over the top of my head, or sit next to me and shove your arm through my cuff up into my sleeve. Like, dude, can ya just sit there for a minute? Maybe go play in your room?
So I was pacing around the room on the phone call as you sat, antsy, on the couch, full of energy and willing me with your eyes and silent pleading to sit on the couch with you. I sat down to look up something on my laptop.
I was just getting off the phone when you were slowly inching closer and closer to my lap, ending up on my lap smashing my face with your hands.
I said, rhetorically, “Do you know what suffocating is?”
You said “It’s something, that means, I make you sad.”
Welp. If that doesn’t just break your heart.
I hugged you and squeezed you and fought back tears and said “no, no, I love you, you never make me sad!” You said “I not make you sad!” and started listing off all the fun things we do together, including “Play outside, water flowers, opening things, eatin muffin, ridin in car, playin blocks, … … … eatin lunch … watch tv … cleanin … play paints … … … … PEE ON COUCH!” You fell on the ground and rolled around laughing so hard. Silly silly girl.
What else is new and cool this month?
- You love airplanes. Many of your dreams have reportedly been about piloting airplanes lately.
- You do this cute thing where you snuggle up to me in bed, push your face under my neck, and say “best friends.”
- You say “no way, man!” and “yes way, man!”
- Your favorite TV shows are Yo Gabba Gabba, Curious George, and My Little Pony
- You’ve gotten a little picky lately at our house. Grandma reports that you eat everything she makes, of course. Your favorite foods are macaroni, pizza, and grapes. You also love gummi bears and ALL sweets.
- You’re almost totally potty-trained…I want to reserve the “you’re potty-trained” announcement but you’re to the point where you go on your own, at home, all day, without reminders. Just a little TMI for the world there.
- Many “no”s have turned into “Um, I don’t think I can do that,” or “Yeahhhh, probably not.”
- Turbo has started catching your interest–you’re not just watching him, but wanting to help take care of him. You love giving him a scoop of food, brushing his fur, and he usually sleeps on your bed at night. I love that you love your pet.
- We started putting you back in your own bed every night. We went through a few months where we liked sleeping with you, but we decided that we’d like our bed back. You hate it and you usually come back into our room a few times each night. We’re still working on it.
- A new skill for you is taking on the phone. You LOVE to talk on the phone with dad, grandma and grandpa, and Aunt Sarah. Whenever I’m on the phone you’re next to me, pulling on my leg, asking “that Aunt Sarah? that grandpa? that dad?” because you want a chance to chat. And chat you do…
- Once, I heard you talking to yourself in the back seat for almost 20 minutes before I realized you were on the phone with your dad, who you had called yourself.
- Your grandpa Dave was in town from California this month and I’m so happy that you two really got to be close together and spend some time alone.
- You’re a helpful cleaner. You know how to fold washcloths and put them away, and you know how to put your clothes in the right drawers.
That thing is happening where you’re starting to do and say things that I have no clue how you learned. Saying the “best friends” thing. Some of the funny faces you make. This weird crazy freak-out thing you do where you scream and howl and dance manically. Carrying on and on with conversations using words and phrases that I have no idea you knew or understood. Most of our longest and funniest conversations happen very late at night when you wake up and can’t get back to sleep. One night a few weeks ago, I recorded one of those conversations and I turned it into a little video here. The photos are all pictures you took with my phone–some of your first photos.
Next week, you’re starting pre-school at Dundee Montessori. I couldn’t be more excited for you–you’ll get to learn new songs, learn Japanese words, play with clay, do gymnastics, play on the playground, make friends, and have lots and lots of quiet playtime to learn about whatever you want. When we went there a few weeks ago for new student orientation, you especially liked the flash cards and matching games with colors and animals. I’m so excited for you to make friends. I think you’re really going to love it. Grandma got you a new first-day-of-school outfit and it’s just perfect. You picked out your own lunchbox–it’s blue with a funny monster face on the front. You picked out two boxes of Kleenex to bring to school, and two boxes of cheese crackers to share at snack time. You have tiny pink slippers. You can’t wait to wear them. You talk every day about the games you played when you visited the classroom–pom poms, flash cards, polishing. You’re so ready.
There’s a first time for everything, including being sick. This month you also had a pretty bad fever. I was getting over a bad case of laryngitis, and you caught it and got croup. Your dry, hacking cough was so, so sad, and your fever was so high that we took you to the emergency room to try to get it down. It was a long week of coughing and slowness and sleeping. You handled it well and got a LOT of extra sleep. Late mornings and long naps.
On the fun side, we spent some time at grandma’s house at the lake, too. You played with your great-uncle, and great-grandparents, and mom and dad and Aunt Sarah and grandma and grandpa and Uncle Matt…it was a full house and there was no shortage of attention for you. While Aunt Sarah and I gathered inventory, wrote product descriptions, and worked, you ate and ate and filled your bottomless pit of a stomach, and helped grandpa around the house. One of your favorite activities was watering the flowers outside with a sponge.
Just us girls–Sarah, you, and me–went out on the boat one night and docked on a little beach. We swam and threw rocks in the lake for over an hour. You sat on my lap on the way down and steered the boat, and on the way back home you dozed in the back seat.
One of my friends who is a nanny told me that the best thing about taking care of a young girl is watching her alternate between when she wants to be quiet and left alone, and when she wants to be loud, and that that kind of self-knowledge was very impressive. I get her meaning–it’s a powerful and inspiring thing to watch a little girl get to know herself before the world tells her who she’s supposed to be. I feel like my job as your mother first and foremost is to protect your soul and keep you safe from the voices that will always surround you, trying to lure you away from what you know is right for you. The things you want to do, the ideas and dreams that feed your soul and bring you happiness, and the pride you feel for every little victory as you figure it all out are the most important things for me to protect as a parent, and the greatest honor too. These are changing times, and you’re part of a unique and auspicious generation, and you will have a lot of power and influence over the world as you grow up. I’m doing what I can to make that world a good place for you, a safe place for you. When you get older and leave my nest and pick up the torch and make your own name in the world, I promise that I did everything I could to help you know your own power. In the noise, and in the quiet.
I will always love you