“Let’s talk about…you!”
“Okay. What about me?”
“Are you weird?”
“Are YOU weird?”
“Mom, yes. I’m really, really weird. And really, really, really cool.”
Dear Weird Girl,
Let’s talk about you! Right now you’re sitting behind me in my office at a desk, cutting a piece of paper. I asked you if you’re going to draw on it and you said “No, I’m just making a flower for a present.” You’re twisting the tops of the markers and marveling at the noise they make. Squeeeeeak. Squeeeeeak.
You go to preschool at 9am on Tuesdays and Thursdays at Dundee Montessori and we have a routine for when you arrive. You put your lunchbox on the shelf, walk down the stairs holding the railing, and say “Bye Mom! Bye Dad! I’m going to play with my friends!” We worked a lot on that line at home to help you get used to going to a new place without us. Your favorite work to do at school is “beads.” Your best friend at school is Izzy. Your favorite things on the playground are the little metal frame with the steering wheel and the monkey bars. I come pick you up every day after lunch. Your school has a kiln, and I hear you made a clay turtle last week. I get to pick it up at our parent-teacher conference on Thursday.
Otherwise, your daily routine is pretty consistent. You wake up with Dad and eat breakfast with him, and I wake up around 10 and we take a bath and play or draw. You like to ask me to draw something (a butterfly, an elephant, a cat, a boat) and then you trace over my lines with your pen. You’re really good at putting the caps back on. We work on tying bows. Sorting. Fingerprints. Teeter-totter outside. Lots of playing. Then we have lunch–sometimes we go out, sometimes we stay in–and then we go to Aunt Sarah’s house to work.
Aunt Sarah has a puppy named Howard who you LOVE. We take lots of photos of clothes for our website and you have a tiny deckchair you sit in next to my desk. Then you take a nap in Sarah’s fluffy bed.
I’ve been trying to be better about coming home for dinner. Your dad makes you the most delicious dinners–quinoa and curry and rice and broccoli and pancakes and lasagna and grilled tofu and sweet potato fries. Night time is a special time you have with Dad. He makes you dinner and tucks you in and I always try my best to get there in time. You and he have such a special relationship–when I usually come home around 3 or 4am, I love seeing you snoozing in your bed, with clues as to what you did all night strewn around the living room. Blocks piled up. An empty container of yogurt on your tiny table. Letter “A”s drawn on scraps of paper and traced with markers. I pick things up before I kiss your cheek and go to bed.
What else is new?
- You know your full name, me and dad’s names, and your city and street.
- You’ve been going all night in your panties and we haven’t had a diaper in about a week. I have my fingers crossed that I won’t be buying a package of diapers again any time soon!
- You can wiggle out of any hold. Especially when it’s time to get dressed
- But you love to pick out your own clothes. That’s a sure way to make sure you get dressed quick.
- You love organization. I’m always finding things lined up all over the house.
- When we drive in the car, you inform me as to what I should do at each coming stoplight. “Better stop up here!” or “It’s green, go ahead Mom!”
- You love Brain Quest.
- You love to make presents. Snipped-up papers, seeds, leaves, knots tied in ribbons.
- When you have tantrums, you cover your face with your hands and lay down silently on the ground. Wherever we are. At any time. I’m grateful that it’s not too disruptive. I just stand over you, make sure no one runs you over with a shopping cart, and wait for you to get over it.
One of the coolest things about having a toddler is seeing your pure, innocent kindness and concern for the things around you. I walk around the house and find your little stuffed animals tucked in everywhere–laying on a small throw pillow in the living room with a blankie tucked in around them. You pull pillows off our bed and set up little animal beds in the hallway. Everywhere. If you hear me say something negative, you say “You okay mom?” The other day you picked out your robot shirt and said “This shirt make me so cool!” I said “Why do you like it?” and you said “Because, it reminds me to dad.” Since you’ve been potty training on the big toilet, you come in the bathroom when I’m using it and hold my knees so I don’t fall in. It’s funny but it’s so kind. You’re thoughtful.
It’s been a few months since I wrote you a letter and it’s not for lack of things to talk about. Every time you say something smart or funny, or something exciting happens at school, or you learn a lesson that I don’t want to forget, I remind myself to include it in your monthly letter. I hope I’ve remembered most of them.
One more thing–the issue of hugs. You’ve taught me that there are many, many different hugs. There’s “big hug,” which is a full-on attack with you clinging around my neck. There’s “huge hug,” which brings me down to the ground. There’s also “normal hug,” and “squeezing hug.” There’s “Turbo hug” which is just a head butt, like what our cat does. The funniest one is “tiny hug,” where you barely reach your arms out at all and barely touch me. We go through all the types of hugs several times per day.
Dear weird girl. Thanks for making me laugh. Thanks for filling my soul up with so many laughs that whenever I feel sad or worried or anxious or angry, whenever I miss you, I have a happy, silly memory to recall and I feel a smile spread across my face. I can’t wait to see you in the morning and get that big hug. Or tiny hug. Or Turbo hug.
Love you more and more and more.