Whenever I ask you how old you are, you still hold up your fingers and say “one.” For some reason, you don’t want to say two – even though your birthday has come and gone.
These are the things I want to remember about you in toddlerhood –
You love to sing, flinging your head back and stretching your arms out wide.
You pick up early readers and pretend to “sound out” the letters in imitation of your older sisters. “Ssss….mmmm….bbbb” you’ll put your finger under the letters and then beam up at me for approval.
You’re a hearty eater – perhaps the best eater of all three of our girls. And not at all picky. You’ve always been that way – happily taking bites of salmon, pesto, sweet potatoes, kale, anything really.
Your favorite thing is to be in the backyard, climbing up our playground in under 3 seconds. You stand atop the structure like you’re the queen of the world – waving at dogs and neighbors with joyful abandon.
You also love to dress up – in fancy frocks and silly get-ups. Anything your sisters do, you insist on doing too – and you often surprise us by mastering tasks well beyond your age.
We’re not a big TV family and you’ve followed suit – you’re just not very interested. That said, the Your Baby Can Read DVDs have come in handy on road trips. You smile delightedly at the babies and animals on-screen.
We’ve referred to you as a “water baby” since birth because you have always loved bath time. Even as a wee one. Perhaps because that’s where your life started?
Nap times are hit or miss these days. When you do nap, it’s usually after I’ve put you in a carrier and walked back-and-forth down the sidewalk in our neighborhood. I made up a little ditty that I sing to you in time to my steps, “Birdies build their nests, so their babies can rest. Birdies say tweet-tweet, so their babies can go to asleep.”
You sleep on a full size bed in the same room as your sisters. I sleep with you from about 12pm or 1am on – because you’re still nursing (at night only). Weaning will come soon and I’m looking forward to longer stretches of solitary sleep, but I’ll also miss your sweet little voice bleating out thru the darkness, “mama – nurse.”
We spent your birthday at Disneyland this year. You must have ridden the carousels at least 10 times. You also loved Dumbo, It’s A Small World, and the parade. You were not, however, a fan of the “indoor rides” (think: Winnie-the-Pooh). You crossed your arms across your chest afterward, jutted out your lip, and said, “scared me” in the most adorable way.
Words I often use to describe you? All the A‘s. Athletic. Adventurous. Active. Absolutely Adorable. You are ALL those things and more.
Happy Birthday, Amazing A. We ADORE you.
* I write letters to each of my children on their birthdays so that they will remember and I won’t forget. As Sheldon Vanauken so aptly put it, “Writing has something of the timeless about it – a breath of eternity.”