Month Twenty-Six. January 6, 2014
Today you are twenty-six months. That seems like a good month to decide to write my first letter since month eleven, right? 2013 was kind of crazy.
Here’s the main thing you need to know about your second year: you are freaking awesome. I’m so sad that I haven’t been keeping better track of your milestones and all the funny things you do.
Some details. You started walking and sleeping through the night right around the time you stopped nursing, in January when you were fourteen months. Your first word, I’m pretty sure, was “uh-oh” and you’ve said it about a million times since. For a while it was just fun to say, then you started throwing things on the ground just so you could yell it. I say “It’s not an uh-oh if you do it on purpose!” to you maybe more than I say anything else.
You’ve been an off-and-on good sleeper, based on we have no idea what. You’ll go stretches of falling asleep in seconds and sleeping through the night and then out of nowhere you’ll fight us to the death every night. Some nights you stand in the corner of the crib reaching out and whining, “Mama where aaaaaaare you? Dada where aaaaaaare you?” because you are trying to break my heart right in half. We got into the habit of asking you every morning if you’d slept good, and now when we walk in you say, “Mamaaaaaa! I slept good.” You also use that line when it’s time to go to bed in hopes that if you’ve already slept good you won’t have to do it again. You’re a smarty but we are on to your tricks, girl.
You don’t cuddle, like, at all. You wake up on the run and you run until you fall asleep. You’re favorite things to say these days are, “Dada! Get up!” and “Mama! Come with me!” We can’t move fast enough for you. You don’t understand why anyone would want to sit still, unless Bubble Guppies or Peppa Pig are on. They are the only ones who can slow you down.
You are a talker, man. It’s all the time. You narrate everything we do and everything you do and when no one is doing anything you just start singing the names of the things you can see to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (“choo-choo choo-choo dishes book, puppies apple basket ball”). Your teachers at school (misstanyamisslane, all one word according to you) write home all the time about how you sing and talk and dance all day long. You are a charm ball.
When you’re eating you show us your food and tell us it’s yummy. When music comes on in the store you dance and tell us you like that song. When we leave the house you tell us you like our cars. You laugh anytime we do and say, “That’s funny.” Your best friends are, in order: Birthday Bear, Mama and Dada, Snoopy, baby doll, mermaid, Bubble Puppy, bunny, monster and Elmo.
You love to dance. I mean, you LOVE TO DANCE. In the car, in the kitchen, on the coffee table, in your crib, in the middle of the aisle at Target if the right jam comes on. Your favorite foods are tomatoes, chicken nuggets, apples and waffles. You always ask for pizza but you never eat it. Your favorite thing to do right now is putting your animals (and sometimes us) to bed – you tell them they go night-night in five minutes, read a story, give them a blanket and sing to them. You love coloring, Legos, having tea parties and playing soccer.
Every night we read books that we recently started letting you pick out. At first it was fun but now it’s a way for you to extend bedtime. The other day you told your dad that he could read to Birthday Bear while you played with toys. I sing “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Goodnight Sweetheart” before putting you down, and you’ve started singing “goodnight sweetheart goodnight” to your animals when you put them down.
I didn’t know what being a mom would be like. When I was pregnant I was scared of taking care of a baby and knowing how to feed you and how to calm you down and how to know what you needed when you couldn’t talk. Now you tell us what you need (or think you need) and you are so much fun to be around and talk to and play with. I get nervous when I think about the future, with all it’s unknowns and dangers and all the things I need to teach you and all the things I want to be for you and all the things I want to teach you how to be and all the decisions to be made and the friends and the heartbreak and the risks and the everything. It’s overwhelming. But we figured out how to do the baby thing together and we’re rocking this toddler thing together and I really do find peace in knowing that when we get to those things we’ll be doing them together too.
Last year was a hard one for your dad and me. I left my job, which meant we left our church, which meant (although we didn’t know it at the time) that we lost the majority of our friends and support system. It was hard in ways that continue to change and evolve, and as time passes we are making peace with it and moving on well. Most days.
But oh, girl, it has been so good for our family. We’ve learned to depend on and take care of each other in ways we never had to before. We’ve learned so much about what we value and how we want to live and what kind of world we want you to be a part of. And we have had so, so much fun. You are a ball of joy and light and silliness and movement and pretzels and I cannot handle how awesome you are. Thank you for a wonderful crazy year. I can’t wait to see what happens next.