Saturday, November 15, 2008

22 Months

Dear Maddie,

Yesterday you turned the ripe old age of twenty-two months. We are so close to 2, I can hardly believe it! Each and every day you are creating lots of laughter and moments of awe as we watch you changing and growing into this little girl right before our eyes.

Halloween night your Daddy and I were driving home, recalling our favorite moments from the night when he said, "Well, I guess parenthood is all about being amazed by your child over and over again." And it's so true. At night we speak in hushed tones about your cute, hilarious and naughty adventures of the day, wondering if other parents think their child is the most wonderful thing in the world. You and your Daddy are such good friends; it makes me so glad to know you love each other so deeply and enjoy each other's company so thoroughly. After spending 48 hours in bed with a stomach flu this month, I emerged to find you both, still clad in pajamas, laughing and playing and having the greatest time. Your Daddy wasn't the least bit frustrated or tired, having missed a day of work to stay home and take care of you, but overjoyed with the extra time he was able to spend with his girl.

You love to put on a show, for anyone and everyone who will prove a captive audience. You are filled with songs and stories to share, repeating small nuggets of information over and over, as if the story gets funnier each time you tell it (this is another way you take after your Daddy). Months after losing a balloon from the grocery store, you will still say, "Balloons pop [some]times." A visit to the zoo brought endless quips such as, "I see bats!" and "Bats hang upside down," and "peacocks have lots colors." Each time we feign new interest, as if we've not heard the story before. 

You continue to amaze us with your ability and desire to learn. One of your favorite activities is to sit on the floor with your Daddy and "spell" out words, arranging the letters side by side on the ground. You recognize all your letters, most of your colors, and will count to ten. In the car one day as we were driving along you surprised me by announcing, "There's an orange oval." I didn't even know you knew what an oval was! But the other morning as you played preschool games on Daddy's phone (your parents' way of staying in bed for just a few more minutes), I heard the game say "Blue Oval!" as you explored all the shapes. Mystery solved!

Your nonstop talking, from when you first rise in the morning until I place you awake in your crib at night, is a source of great amusement and occasional exhaustion. You have so much to say and twelve hours in a day just isn't quite enough time to process everything. After picking you up from a friend's house last night at 11 o'clock, it took about two minutes of snuggling in my arms before you said, "I play with friends. Leaf in its mouth. Blink is two eyes. Moon is hiding. Pookie and crazy Lulu! I talk on phone." It was an endless review of our entire day's routine, from Costco to your last moments before bedtime, played on repeat until you finally turned over on your side in the crib, saying, "Wink. One eye."

You've filled our lives with such delight, it's no wonder we're so excited to be bringing another child into our family. I often daydream about the kind of big sister you will be, helpful and affectionate, bossy and protective. Your relationship with the belly now is very indicative of such future behaviors, as you will quickly shift from kissing it and saying "Hiii baby brother," to announcing with glee "Belly Bump!" and then yanking up your shirt and running full speed into me, bouncing off and giggling uncontrollably. I can't wait to see the two of you making up your own little games and enjoying your own special relationship that exists apart from me.

At times I grieve the fact that this new baby will change our relationship. I won't be able to be your best playmate at any point in the day. I won't always be able to "hold you first," as his needs may be more immediate. I will have to scoot just a little bit further toward the side of the bed to make room for two bodies between Daddy and I as we snuggle in the morning. But this I know: you are an incredibly easygoing and adaptable child. We will have many hard moments but before long you will not remember the time when it was just the three of us, and baby Samuel Benjamin will be an even better playmate than Daddy or I. 

I love you, baby.



bonnieb said...

I love all of you so much. Almost more than anything, I love the way you love one another. Your eloquence brings me to tears as you clearly express who each of you is in relationship with the others. beautiful.

mel said...

Your letters to Maddie are so awesome! Great pictures of Maddie, what a beautiful girl.. inside and out! And, I LOVE Nemo's name! Samuel Benjamin is such a blessed little boy!