This month, I have been negligent in writing your letters, so I’ll write this one to both of you. It has been a busy month, with trips to NH and Connellsville, and you continue to be good travelers—sleeping in the car, adjusting to new surroundings, immersing yourselves in whatever is new and exciting wherever we are. You continue to play together in a charming, often hilarious way. Lucia, you love to throw the hula hoop around the front yard, yelling “Go get it!” to Greta, as though she’s a pet. Greta, you are always happy to oblige, running and screaming as you retrieve the hoop and bringing it back to your sister.
Lucia, now that Greta is entering her terrible twos, you’ve been demonstrating your status as the “big girl” of the house, sometimes impressively—like when you spontaneously clean up the play area in the middle of the day, just so that the room “looks nice”—and other times boastfully, like when I scold Greta for doing something and you loudly point out that you yourself are doing it: “I’m sitting nicely in my chair”; “I’m not screaming.” You wear exclusively sundresses, and usually a large assortment of hair ornaments. You like to paint your nails several times a day. This week I commented that soon you would learn to read, and you said, “Well…I’m going to paint my nails first.” Your almost-four-year-old priorities are clear.
Greta, you are on the cusp of two, and it shows. You do a hilarious “defiant” look: crossed arms, lowered chin, eyes lifted just enough to make sure we’re watching you. Rarely does a day pass without a tantrum of some kind, over enraging things (taking something away from you; keeping you from killing yourself in a variety of ways) and nothing at all. You are full of high-level emotion of all kinds: scream-laughing, hysterical running, throwing yourself on the ground to sob. Each morning when I go in to get you, I tell you we have to be quiet since Lucia is still sleeping. “QUI,” you yell. Sometimes you also yell “Hi!!” to Lucia’s closed door as we walk to the stairs. You are saying so many words, and just beginning two-word phrases and sentences. Yesterday as we sat outside for lunch, you shouted “BEE! BEE!”—you word for any insect—and then “FLY! FLY!” When I agreed, “Yes, the bee flew away,” you said, “BEE WAY! BEE WAY!” You still prefer first syllables, but things are clicking.
Your wakeup time these days is usually 6:30-7. Lucia, you usually follow at around 7-7:15. So, not inhumane.
Greta, the cutest thing you’re doing these days is saying “Cull. Cull.” and coming towards us with open arms for a cuddle. (You also do this at the dinner table for some reason, reaching over from your high chair.) You are also in a snuggling-book phase, pulling a book close for a cuddle whenever a character is sad or troubled.
Lucia, your cutest thing is the songs you sing, lengthy, atonal arias with hilarious lyrics that also contain a sinister, bossy undertone: We are sisters! We love dresses…The moon…the stars…it’s midnight! YOU MUST DO WHAT I SAY…YOU MUST DO WHAT I SAY…We love to cuddle…We are sisters! Dresses barrettes bracelets necklaces…We love to dance…YOU MUST DO WHAT I SAY…YOU MUST DO WHAT I SAY… This is usually sung at top volume as you and Greta dance around the front yard in the final minutes before bathtime. (Greta accompanies you by screaming LA LA LA LA LA LA LA and running in circles.)
We have a new babysitter this summer, a wonderful preschool teacher who arrives two mornings a week armed with fun things to do: books, things to color, stickers, glitter glue, even speakers and music so you can listen to new things on the porch. Of course, both of you have reacted dramatically to being left with a sitter. Last week, you, Greta, sobbed on the floor when we left, your face buried in your Bibi; and you, Lucia, stayed up in your room the entire time. Conversely, today you both greeted her excitedly and summarily dismissed me and Daddy with cheerful waves (Lucia) or absolute obliviousness (Greta). Every day is different.