Monday, April 14, 2008

Fifteen Months: A Study in Motion

Dearest Punky Pies,

15 months sounds so old to me, and yet here we are. It seems as though the days fly by and you change more and more each month. It was so difficult for me to decide what new developments to include in this update, as you are doing so many fun and exciting things these days.

Your language skills are taking off, and now you love to repeat back to us things you hear, like last night in the bath, when you said to no one in particular, "octopus," while grabbing your little purple squeeze toy by the same name from its resting place. We've not been working on that one, so it caught us by surprise! You have a fondness for funny words like elbow, pinch, waffle, tooshie, and mwowww (aka meow) and your voice is constantly changing from sing-song to growling to silly sounds to high-pitched screams. It's enough to keep most of your Maddie fan club in stitches.

Your Daddy delights in your ongoing projects in the backyard. You've always got at least a few going on simultaneously, whether it's moving dirt from pot to pot, filling buckets or cups with water, picking grass and flowers and buds off all the plants, or "riding" the dog as she attempts to rest on the cool lawn. You've taken a special interest in small creatures this month, noticing tiny bugs and bees as they buzz and hum and fly around. The first time I showed you a ladybug I was amazed as you plucked it right out of my hand into yours, and then my amazement became hysterics when your face quickly changed from curious to freaked out as the ladybug crawled up your inner arm. Now you are content to watch the crawlies from a safe distance.

With the warm weather, I am finding great joy in introducing you to the many summertime childhood pleasures. We play with bubbles (another fun word to say). We search for dandelion "wishers" to blow, watching the seeds drift away. We eat popsicles on the back patio. You've yet to figure out how to balance it by holding just the stick, so instead your poor little hands freeze as you cling desperately to the cold and fruity deliciousness. And as much as I try and help you, you make it clear that under no circumstances am I to take that popsicle away, or even to touch it, for that matter.

A few months back, I taught you that if you can't see the moon, it's gone night-night. So now anytime something disappears, shortly after saying "...go?" you break into snoring sounds. Where'd the bee go? Oh, it's sleeping. That bird that was flying about? Night-night, even though it's only 8:37 a.m. As a matter of fact, I tried to use the night-night to my advantage at about 5:54 this morning, when upon waking you inquired about the location of our other family members. Dada? He's sleeping, Maddie. Snoooz-shooo. Snoooz-shooo. Doggy? She's night-night, too. Snoooz-shooo. As a matter of fact, everyone is still in bed, where they belong! (It didn't work, but I'm not complaining, as you and I had a good fifteen minutes of snuggle time on the couch downstairs as we played the night-night game over and over and over).

A friend, who is also a parent, upon seeing the gregarious and busy nature that is Miss Maddie most-of-the-time wondered aloud "how does your mommy keep up with you?" And it is no easy matter. You are busy all day, every day, and I have to constantly keep an eye out because you are so. darn. fast. Yet most nights, about an hour after we've finally got you to bed--a process of eating, bathing, diapering and dressing that is an outright workout--your dad and I miss you. So we sneak in before heading to bed ourselves, to steal one more glance of that precious little face surrounded by wild sleepytime curls.

This month I had a procedure done that put an end to our morning nursing session. When I planned the appointment months ago, I figured we'd be good and ready to quit by about 15 months. But as the day approached I grieved and re-grieved the loss of our morning snuggles (and the accompanying 20-30 minutes of extra time in my comfy bed). I realize now I was afraid that with the end of nursing, somehow our relationship would change. Maybe you wouldn't be as snuggly or affectionate, or you might feel some sort of rejection from me and act differently. But here we are, a few weeks later, and not one thing has changed. I'm so grateful. I'm still crazy about you, and you still call me with that loving, sing-songy voice: MaMA! MaMA!

I'm right here, baby.

Your MaMA

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