Thursday, September 15, 2011

Letter to Lucia: 23 Months

Dear Little One,

One morning this week, when you led the way to the living room—your arms full of your stuffed-animal entourage—and we sat down on the couch to read the first book of the day, I was shocked to see that seemingly overnight you looked older. You were wearing mismatched pajamas and just seemed more kid-like as you giggled over something and smiled your toothy smile. After a while you said “Eat! Eat snack!” and we went to the kitchen for breakfast.

Each morning, we go outside with Daddy and wave to him when he goes to work. But now you join me in asking him if he’s remembered important items. Each morning I ask if he has his phone; now you, as we emerge onto the stoop, say, “Phone? Keys?” It is very cute, and helpful. (It would have been even more helpful this week if you’d asked Mama if she had her keys; I locked us out for the first time on Tuesday.)

You’re growing fast, and your 18M summer clothes are pretty much unwearable now. But you are too slim for 2T pants, so we are in an awkward in-between stage. I’ve gotten you a lot of 2T leggings, and you fit into pants with a size range of 18-24M and an adjustable waist. You looked very cute in all your summer outfits, but now I’m ready to see you in jeans and long-sleeved shirts once again (though of course I’ll resent the socks for hiding your cute little feet).

Your ability to tell little stories is one of my favorite things to watch right now. Last week you were out for a walk with Daddy and fell and scraped your knee; Daddy carried you home, comforting you all the way by saying you’d go home and show Mama your boo-boo. Now, periodically, you remember your scraped knee and reminisce about what happened: “Fall. Boo-boo. Knee. Show Mama.” And you still delight in talking about the pond in New Hampshire: “Pond! Wa-wa. [frog motion] Daddy. Swim. [wildly swimming arms] Toes.” I had to take your beloved beads away for a while this week because you were hurling them around the room; I explained that we don’t throw beads because they could hit someone in the eye. When you got the beads back later, you remembered: “Throw beads. Hit eye.”

You’ve been very adaptable lately, now that we no longer take our long walks to the park or go out in the afternoons. I miss our outings, but you’ve seemed content enough to just hang out at home, entertaining yourself for long spells. You seem to have accepted that Mama does a lot of sitting on the couch these days, and you’ve gotten used to bringing over books and toys. I still feel guilty about limiting our outside time—you adore your walks—but we do get out most mornings, even if we stay close to home. And since the intensity of my Braxton Hicks contractions is directly proportional to how much I’m on my feet, there’s not much I can do to change things right now.

Bathtime has gotten very cute and also very trying. Though Daddy always gives you your bath, you now demand my presence as well, and you won’t walk into the bathroom unless you are holding both of our hands; we journey to the bathroom as a group. Once in the tub, you play happily—too happily, at times. You have some cups that you like to fill with water and hurl at the walls—which is fine, until you decide to hurl the water the other way and it gets all over Daddy and the floor. And once out of the tub, you ardently resist having your diaper and pajamas put on. This week, in fact, you flipped yourself over and lunged away so quickly that for the first time you actually fell off the bed. Daddy was not happy, but after some initial frightened tears, you were fine.

It’s time for me to go through your toy baskets and put some of your outgrown toys away for your little sister. You have many things you still like to play with, but for the most part the toys in the baskets are no longer that interesting. Your attention is focused on things we don’t keep in the baskets: crayons and markers; your collection of small animal figurines; your Mardi Gras beads (still!); your toy stroller; your shopping cart (often piled with your stuffed-animal entourage); stacking cups; books; and your two buckets. From your baskets, you sometimes pull out your bag of My Little Ponies, your Jack-in-the-box, a toy “laptop” that says words and plays songs, and blocks.

When I write your next letter, you’ll be two, and just twelve days away from becoming a big sister. Let’s enjoy these final weeks as a threesome, little one. You won’t remember them, but we will.

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