Before I forget, I want to tell you a little about yourself at this very moment. For example, the way you started saying the word “outside” at just over a year and haven’t stopped saying it since. “Outside, outside,” you say when you wake up and then after breakfast as you stand longingly by the door. When you were five days old I lamented about wanting someone to push pause to slow this whole journey of being your Mommy down so I could have time to process it all. I’ve come to realize that won’t happen so before I forget…
I love the way you shrug your shoulders and imitate me when I do that and other gestures. You can clap, stomp your feet, roll your arms, do “So big!”, spin in a circle, and dance upon request. You try to jump, but haven’t quite figured out how to get both feet off the ground so your resulting action looks like you squatting and standing up or else stomping one foot and laughing.
I love the way you say “weeeeeeee!” when I push you in your swing. You would play outside, your favorite word and place, all day long if it was possible. Rainy days are hard days for you because you like to play in the yard. You constantly have to carry two or three things in your arms as you play — sticks, rocks, or toys. When you need help down the porch stairs, you look up at me and say, “hand, hand” in a determined voice. You enjoy sitting in your car and/or being pushed around the yard and in the street. You love to use your toy lawn mower, especially around the court with Mama’s careful supervision.
You are saying and learning so much every day. You know many of your body parts. My favorite is when you point to your teeth and show me your tummy, belly, or Bauch — you know all three names. You can also identify and tell me what many animals say. My favorites are when you “whooo, whooo” like an owl or “hee-haw” like a donkey. You have the sweetest voice.
You love reading books and bring me your favorites frequently, including anything to do with trucks or animals. I never tire of reading to you and we go to the library to check out books often.
Before school recently let out you made me laugh in the mornings when we were out and about early and got to see buses on the road. “Bus! Bus!” you would call out from the backseat. I swear we didn’t drive by a bus that you missed. You’d call out “Bus!” and I would have to scan the vicinity, but sure enough there was always one nearby. One day we got stopped at a red-light next to a bus, and I thought you might explode from excitement.
And although you are so cute and such a joy, you do not have an angelic temperament all of the time. You get frustrated easily. If you cannot figure out how to take apart or put together a toy within the first few seconds you get upset. You are an impatient eater. When you are ready to eat you stand by your high chair and whine until I get your meal ready. You request a “nack, nack” during the day and if you do not get your way, you are not afraid to let me know. Sometimes you chew up your food for a long time and then spit it out and drool down your front, though most days you are a very good eater.
Some of your current favorite foods are: corn on the cob, watermelon, ice cream (you call it “cream”), noodles, Kix, and “Nanas.”
I try not to give in to your every whim, but you know what you want and are very vocal when you do not get your way, especially when it is time to come in from outside and you are not ready. I’ve lost count of the times I have had to carry you into the house in protest at nap time or dinner time or bed time.
But luckily, you are never unhappy for very long. You are still agreeable more than not, and I can easily distract you by showing you new things that will peak your interest. You are fascinated by airplanes in the sky, the garbage truck (comes on Tuesday’s!), and watching for Papa to come home.
We recently got you your own chair that you can use in the house or in the yard. You love to sit in your new chair!
You are a good sleeper (praise the Lord!) and alway have been. In the mornings you usually wake up happy and talk freely to yourself until we come in and get you. I love laying in bed in the mornings waking up to the sounds of you babbling. You still take two naps per day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, and lay down without a fight. Much appreciated!
Some of your latest words are: elephant, turtle, flag, cookie (definitely my child), blocks, goggles, glasses, bubbles, Kennedy (the neighbor’s cat that you like to stalk), and uncle. You are starting to string a few words together here and there, too. The other day you said, “Mama’s shoes” and carried them over to me.
Although you are going on 18 months you still have not had your first haircut. Papa thinks it’s time, but Mama still admires your baby hairs and is not ready to cut it just yet. Your hair is short on the top, but admittedly getting a little long in the back. In the sunlight your hair almost looks strawberry blonde.
You like to wear hats. Currently, your two favorites are a red GAP baseball hat and a VT Hokies beach hat. The hats help keep the sun off your head and face, and boy oh boy do you look like a little boy in your hats!
So far I have shielded you from too much TV and chocolate milk, but you occasionally watch Elmo at the end of Sesame Street and definitely enjoy the goodness of ice cream!
In the evenings you usually wind down to bedtime in your diaper. I love watching you use up every ounce of energy left as you trudge around the house in your diaper. You look so sweet and so innocent. And my heart swells a million sizes watching you happily playing with your toys, following me around, and chattering.
I love laying down on the floor with you and letting you climb all over me and hug me. People always told me it’d be hard to describe the way you love your child and it is true. I love you crazy much! Especially just before I lay you in your bed after jammies, teeth brushing, and stories when you on occasionally lift your sleepy head off my shoulder and put your hands lovingly on my cheeks. Or when you see me walk into a room and say “Mama! Mama!” with admiration in your eyes.
You are a happy child and bring me new joy everyday. When you grow up I hope you get to read and appreciate this letter someday because I appreciate you SO MUCH right now. I wish I could slow this journey down, but since I know it is not possible I must constantly remind myself to relish in the simple moments and the pleasure of your company.
Yesterday I took you to the pool and had one of those moments. We sat on a beach chair together and shared a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Simple as that, but a crazy, happy feeling washed over me as we sat there together in the sun and watched other children swim. You were content in my lap, I was at peace with you near, and no other riveting action took place, but the feeling was one to hold onto. A feeling of gratitude for the gift of Motherhood. AND peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
I have the best job right now all thanks to you!