Sunday, April 15, 2012
Letter to Lucia: 30 Months
Dear Little One,
Two and a half! Halfway through two! This is a big one. You’re getting so grown up. You have a mind of your own, which is usually fun (the things you say!) and occasionally enraging (the tantrums you throw!). We have high highs and low lows. There are days we spend playing and giggling, and there are days that leave me weary. Twice in the past month I’ve had to turn the TV on in the morning or afternoon to calm either you or I out of a rage. You can be insistent and intense, and usually I can handle it. But your little sister hasn’t been sleeping very well, and sometimes I just can’t get past the exhaustion.
Fortunately, most of the time, we have fun. I say “we,” because we do plenty of playing together—tea parties, reading books, Play-Doh, play food. But this month you have really been playing a lot on your own. I’m always near you, in the same room, ready to comment or participate; but you are very often completely absorbed in your own little world. This world involves many different things, including small Play-Doh balls, and stones, seeds, and sticks you’ve collected from outside. You transfer these things among different vessels, carry them to different parts of the room, hide them under pillows, push them in your stroller or shopping cart—I’m not sure what’s going on in your head, but it is all-consuming for you. You also play with your doll and stuffed animals, as real for you as ever.
You love to sing and dance. You like to pull out your Little People farm and press the button that plays “Farmer in the Dell”; “Watch me dance!” you shout, and then you dance around the room. You sing to yourself all the time, songs I didn’t realize you knew. Sometimes, when you’re supposed to be napping, I hear you singing quietly in your crib. When I sing to Greta during her naptime, you now sing along. And you always stand by her crib and sing “Twinkle Twinkle” to her before we leave the room. This seems to be one of your favorite parts of the day. This isn’t to say you don’t get distracted. Yesterday, in the middle of a loud rendition, you suddenly raised your hand to your shoulder and pointed your elbow out. “Twinkle twinkle little star…Mama, look at my elbow!” you said. I cracked up. You kept singing, stopping once or twice more to demand that I look at your elbow.
This was a big month because we said goodbye to paw-paw. I am shocked that the transition was so easy. There have been consequences—slightly more tantrums, and longer ones; and a bit more misbehavior. But that misbehavior is often just a too-much version of general impishness, which has also increased—you seem more kidlike without paw-paw, more demanding and inventive, as though you’re coming into your own. You are more interested in playing with other kids, even now asking excitedly if we’ll see certain little friends when we go to the park or the playground. You are still napping, and still sleeping at night. You are, also, still carrying paw-paw around with you. It has become a security object, inseparable from Bibi, which is kind of a pain because it often gets lost. (I need to work out a way to attach it to a stuffed animal or something like that.) Paw-paw, for you, is real in some ways; a few weeks ago, you told me that during your nap you’d snuggled paw-paw—“Like this,” you said, nuzzling it against your cheek. Then you kissed it. This is both cute and heartbreaking. But you truly seem unaffected by the transition. I am amazed, and relieved.
You seem more attached to Greta these days. “Where’s my sister?” is often the first thing you say when you wake up. Sometimes I’ll ask if you want to come with me when I go into another room for a moment, and you’ll say, “No. I stay right here with my sister.” You like to give her toys to play with. When she fusses or does a raptor screech, you bring over a paw-paw and put it into her mouth. You are always aware of where she is and what she’s doing. Of course, there are still jealous times, and times in the late afternoon when you do things you know full well you shouldn’t—like run at full speed very close to where she’s lying on the floor, or walking up too close to her (“No feet on Greta” is something I have to say a bit too often), or throwing things near her, or poking her cheek with your finger, all the while watching me for my reaction. But generally you coexist affectionately.
Favorite things to do: watching Olivia, reading books, Play-Doh, tea parties, collecting/arranging/sorting stones/sticks/seeds, swinging, arranging/sorting your Mardi Gras beads, wearing sunglasses, serving play-food desserts
Favorite books: Clever Jack Takes the Cake, Madeline, Llama Llama Mad at Mama, Elmo’s Big Book of Firsts, Henry in Love, Fancy Nancy