Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Letter to Lucia: 20 Months







Dear Little One,

Four months to go until you turn two! That’s insane. Pretty soon I’ll be referring to your age in years, not months, leaving this last vestige of babyhood behind. Well, not last. You’re still a baby, and you proudly point to yourself and say “Baby!” when I ask you who you are. If I’m in any doubt all I have to do is look at your small bare babyfeet when you’re sleeping to remind myself that you are, still, a tiny little one.

You love the water—sprinklers, wading pools, the ocean, water in a watering can, washing your hands in the sink. Today—a cool day—we went to the playground, and the sprinklers were off, and you kept pointing confusedly, saying “Wawa? Wawa?” Over the past couple of weeks, you have otherwise lost a good deal of interest in the playground, preferring to draw with chalk or find and collect small stones rather than climb on the equipment (though you still love to swing). In this way, you are very much my child. I remember long summer days when gangs of neighbor kids would cry for me and Aunt Molly to play tag or other active running games, when all we wanted to do was grind pieces of chalk into fine powder, add water, and paint tree bark with the colored paste, using sticks as brushes.

You prefer quiet, calm, shady activities, and the fewer other children around, the better. You are happiest when we escape the city to a house with a yard—you lose yourself in quiet fun, pouring water from one vessel to another, filling a watering can and watering every plant in the yard, finding seeded dandelions to wave and blow. We’ll have a yard of our own, one of these days. By this time next year, perhaps, though these things are difficult to plan.

You are talking up a storm, adding new words every day, clearly taking pleasure in having a way to describe what you’re seeing, feeling, hearing. You now say “Stick!” when your hands are sticky, and gleefully point out birds and ants and flowers, cars and trucks, other babies. You love the word “cone”—pinecone—though only one of our books has a picture of one and so you often must resort to saying it out of context. You like saying “hat,” though you refuse to wear one. And you pick up on funny, specific things. In Florida this weekend, Granny warned you not to lift a heavy-ish cat figurine lest you drop it on your toe. For the rest of the weekend, any time you encountered a large or heavy object, you leaned down, touched your foot, and said, “Toe.”

You are generally good-natured (except for occasional hitting, or when things become overwhelming and loud). You like to stand on the stoop and blow kisses at Daddy when he leaves for work. You like the Little People toys we bought you a couple of weeks ago, especially the bus. When we are at home, you are never without your blankie (which you call Bibi), and you are usually never far from your pink corduroy cat. You still love books; “book” is often the very first thing you say in the morning once your diaper has been changed and you’re on your way to the living room, though “outside” is also sometimes the first.

You are still not a phenomenal eater, but you’re getting better, as long as I stick to typical baby/kid foods like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (you can inhale a whole one), cheese cubes, or spiral macaroni with butter and cheese. You are not the most adventurous eater, which is disappointing to me, but you are only a baby still, so there is hope. You do love your fruit. And sometimes you love steamed baby carrots, though this love is fickle.

Four months till two. Five months till there are two of you. So much growing up and changing to do in the meantime.

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