As I sit down to write this letter, I can hear you shrieking in your crib. You’re shrieking in the most contented of ways, with much gusto and fanfare. This is the way that you have taken to expressing yourself over the course of this past month. You do enjoy exercising those vocal chords and sharing your enthusiastic screeches with the world. Given my booming voice, no one is surprised.
While many may wonder why I let you lie in your bed yelling like a crazed hyena, this has become standard bedtime routine chez Cart. You very much enjoy time by yourself, in your crib, experimenting with your voice and talking to your Monkey and Lavender. We hear quite the show in the evenings from the orations coming from your room.
You love bedtime so very much that you enthusiastically shake your head YES! (which involves a slack jawed mouth moving in rhythm with your affirmations) when we ask you if you’re ready for ‘night night.’ In this regard, you take after Mommy and Auntie Kimmy, as we used to ask to go to bed when we were little. Babysitters loved us. Little did they know that we had no interest in pleasing them, but had learned that there is no more blissful place on Earth than one’s bed. And secondly, that there is nothing better than being well-rested. Which must account for your amazing, wonderful, epic sleep patterns. You sleep from 6:30pm-8:30am most days. In fact, when we take you to daycare twice a week, we have to wake you up at 7:50am (we hold off as long as time will allow) to get you to Erica’s house by the time we need to be at work. You groan and protest and look at us under your crazy bedhead, eyes crusted with sleep and heavy with frustration from being awoken from your slumber. You always pout when you realize that Daddy is going to drop you off for the day, but as soon as you arrive and see your friends and the mountains of plastic, primary colored toys coating Erica’s home, you quickly forget your sadness and head off for a day of play.
You know so very much, it is astounding. I believe you understand 95% of everything we say, although, you can only communicate about 5% of what you want, which makes for very confusing and comical communication strategies. Today, you kept pointing at the computer saying “ATCH” (your word for ‘watch’). I plopped you in my lap, and we navigated to videos of you I’ve posted on Vimeo. You vehemently shook your head no, all the while screeching “ATCH” and pointing as though that was going to help me in my quest for your video of choice. We tried the helicopter movies we’ve been watching of late to feed your obsession with helicopters and planes. NOPE! We tried Will.i.am and Sesame Street. We tried Elmo and his ducks. Nothing was working. I idly clicked on the video of Grover imitating the Old Spice commercial, and JACK POT! You began chuckling with so much glee and satisfaction. And then you made me watch it 50 times (I kid you not), whining each time that the video was finished until I reminded you that all you had to do was ask, “please” and Mommy would start the video again.
We did indeed teach you ‘please’ this month. In sign language. Because while you can say ‘cheese,’ you have no interest in saying the word ‘please.’ But you sign away, asking for pickles, or for us to take ‘off’ your shoes, or lift you ‘up,’ or when you want to ‘eat.’ The fact that you can say all those words continues to blow my mind. I don’t know when I’m ever going to get used to this little person growing before my eyes.
You brought so much joy to your grandparents and aunt and uncles this Thanksgiving. We saw everyone, and they are all totally enamoured of you. Everyone strives to make you giggle, or dance, or high five, or point at your ‘patella,’ or throw the ball, or pat the dogs, or kiss, or say “I wov wooo.’ You have us all under your spell.
You are so very loved, little one. I hope you feel that love every moment of every day.
By far the most wonderful of developments this months, this month that marks a year and a half of life, is the way you nestle into my shoulder when you’re sleepy, or nervous, or sad, or just want some affection. It catches me off guard every time. I cannot believe that this incredible little person might possibly need me as much as I need her. My heart skips a beat and I catch my breath every time I feel your head fall on my shoulder and you stay for moments, sometimes minutes, on end. It is shocking, that tenderness, that sweetness, that smell of your hair and the sigh of your body. All these years, I’ve taken for granted the times when I’ve witnessed kids lying in their parents arms as just the everyday stuff of parenting. Little did I realize the absolute perfection and peace that comes with having a child nestle into your arms. Having a child that needs you. And loves you. And shares with you that love.
You are the light of our lives, Sunny girl.