Tuesday, May 10, 2011

To my baby, or, um...toddler?

Scarlett,

I haven't written one of these in a long time. Spending every day with you, your growth in size and intelligence has often been overlooked .  Sadly, your father and I have been away from you the past two weekends and when I saw you today your progression from baby to toddler was severely recognizable, so here is my letter to you on your seventeen month birthday. 

Today I picked you up from my moms house, you heard my voice and came running with a grin, only to stop inches from my wide open arms, shake your head and say "no".  An expected welcome knowing the new stage you are entering.  I blame it on the teething, but I really know you are testing your boundaries, what can you get away with and how can you get away with it.  Your sly look before throwing food on the floor, your outburst of energy when you don't get what you want.  You are learning, you are experiencing these emotions for the first time, you are dealing with each moment and gauging the consequences for your actions.   So for now your father and I will be patient and firm.  Every moment is a moment to learn for us and for you.

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Everything is on your time.  Eating only between the times we have actually set aside for eating,  or when you decide it fits into your strict play time schedule. You refuse to sit in your highchair to eat, but scarf down a meal if we allow you to sit at the table with us.  I bought you a booster seat assuming it would be easier for you to eat closer to the table, I should have gotten the memo that this change was not on "your time schedule" Even in your anti-booster campaign, I catch you crawling into the seat on your own and regardless of your triumphant success you quickly ask for  help down when we finally lock eyes.  I go through days fighting against  your will full "no's" and temper tantrums only to come out on the other side relishing in your ability to love and learn.

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Every day you surprise me with a new word or phrase.  Last week I sneezed and you said "bless you".  I looked at your dad and asked where you learned that.  No one had to teach you, you just knew.  You are constantly learning new words and matching tangible objects to those words .  You see steam or a unlit fireplace and say "hot", you see a hose or a sprinkler and say "water".  In these moments I am so proud of your attention to detail.  We taught you the words, you looked around and saw how they fit.  You came out of the womb surveying the world and have never stopped. 

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You are learning what it means to love, to play, to dance, to sing, to laugh, to make others laugh, to cry, to get attention, to demand attention, to hug, to kiss, to run, to fall, to scream in happiness, to throw away your trash, to communicate and to create.  This is only the beginning of your life, and I can't wait to continue to guide you along as you learn and grow, every day with you is a new adventure.  I love you little girl.

Love,
Your momma


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