Sunday, June 14, 2009

29 Months: Maddie

Dear Madeleine,

We've been hearing a lot more of your full name these days as you test and try us with your increasing independence. But it is an inevitable part of growing up, which you are doing at an alarming rate, faster than we would like. Long gone are the toddler days and we find ourselves staring, laughing, gasping and shaking our heads incredulously at just how much of a person you truly are.

Not that independence is all that bad. In the past few months, you've astounded us with new skills and abilities that include getting yourself dressed and undressed (even the socks, right side up!), throwing things away, clearing your dishes from the table and peeing and pooping in the potty. Just last night at a friend's house you disappeared for several minutes and your Dad found you naked from the waist down doing your business on their upstairs toilet. Nice work, little one! You seem to enjoy and prefer doing said things in other bathrooms beside our own, but we don't mind. We're just grateful you are basically potty-training yourself.

You are a tremendous help with your baby brother. Aside from Mama, you are perhaps his favorite person to talk to. He will stare at you, talk to you, and smile at you in order to get your attention. He lights up when you come near and will quiet down if you talk and sing to him. Just the other day he was hungry and fussy but once Daddy laid him next to you in our big bed, he started smiling and cooing and was quite happy just to snuggle with his big sis. It makes our hearts so warm to see the friendship that is developing. We know that the more he grows, the more you will enjoy all he has to offer, and we can't wait to see you two playing together.

You continue to be incredibly smart, so smart it is crazy at times. You have the capacity to remember the smallest, most mundane of details and regurgitate them later. You understand concepts that are well beyond your age and your sense of humor is absolutely amazing. Lately you've taken to substituting funny words as you sing songs, without skipping a beat. "There was a farmer had a dog and SAMUEL was his name-o!" "Farmer in the dell, farmer in the dell, high-ho-the-dairy-0, farmer in the BAND-AID!" Because you are such an enthusiastic learner, I can't wait for school to start in the Fall. You will delight in learning new concepts, meeting new friends and I'm sure by this time next year you will be asking "When do I go back to school?"

You love music, and singing and dancing is a significant activity each day in our home. Mama and Daddy watched "So You Think You Can Dance" this week and you were entranced by the beautiful dancers. You twirled and spun and asked your Daddy to be "the man" and help you to do a "grand jete" (thank you, Toot and Puddle). Your face as your Daddy lifted you high in the air was absolutely beautiful and will be forever imprinted in my mind. You splayed your legs out and pointed your toes and I think I held my breath until you were back on the ground. 

You continue to be ever social, friendly and outgoing; every group of children, whether at the beach, park or farmer's market is a handful of "friends" you have yet to meet. Older girls are a particular draw and you will approach with confidence, stand on the outside of their circle and observe for a few minutes before asking a question or commenting on the subject at hand. Your manners are improving each day and you will now say, "excuse me," to interject in a conversation. Most of the time you just want to be part of what is going on and when you ask to make a comment it is, "I love you." Too cute. Just yesterday I was pushing our behemoth of a double jogger down the path when a man approached, walking toward us. Before I could say anything, you remarked with perfect courtesy, "Excuse us please." He was quite amused and I was glowing with pride.

As difficult as the days can be sometimes, when I get to the 14th of each month the moments that stand out are not the times where I felt overwhelmed or inadequate as a parent, but rather those instances where you shined, where you took my breath away, or when my heart was gladdened. I guess this is what being a parent is all about, and I thank you for teaching me to savor all the moments because in the end what stands out is the remarkable, lovable, incredible person that you are. I love you.


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