Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Heart Letter, Month 26

Dear Lucy,

You are 26 months old today.  I have seen so much change in you again this month! For starters, you’ve grown markedly. You are taller and heavier but more importantly, you are happier. You laugh every day and smile most of the time.You are quite the cuddle bunny, not only with me, but with Daddy, Kate and your dollies. You can be found with one or two dolls tucked in your arms every day, tending to them gently, feeding them, covering them with blankets, nuzzling them. It is just too sweet.
On January 1st, we moved you into the room with Kate. It has taken most of this month but I am happy to report that you are now sleeping through the night again! You still wake up an hour or more before Kate but at least we’ve moved beyond the multiple middle-of-the-night crying episodes.

I am most excited by the fact that you like to read now! So much so that you even want to read before you go down for a nap. This is huge as before you didn’t even want to look at a book and would throw them as far from you as you could. I knew we had hit a milestone when your daddy discovered you lining up your dolls in the chair and then getting out a book, setting it in front of them and then turning the pages as you “read” to them. Amazing is not even an adequate word for this new feat.

Your current favorite books are Goodnight Gorilla, Goodnight Moon, and Hush Little Baby. Your father and I sing this last book to you and Kate every night before we turn out the light and it amazes me still how you and Kate both nestle and relax into me, Kate singing along and you keeping time with your foot.

Speaking of that, you have a very definite sense of rhythm. You are able to keep time with any song I sing to you or with music that you hear. You will tap your foot or bounce your leg in time with the beat. You have a great love of music which makes Wiggleworms classes such a joy every Monday. You start dancing and clapping as soon as Ms. Julie picks up her guitar and starts the I have a Name song.
Your dance now includes this rather funny sideways hop. You are so desperate to jump and you have managed to get both feet off the ground simultaneously by hopping sideways while cantilevering your arms at your sides for balance. The look of absolute glee on your face completes the look—it makes me laugh every single time to watch you.

You made another physical accomplishment this month when you insisted that you could climb the rope wall at the park. By golly, you pretty much scaled that puppy by yourself with only minimal support from me. By the time you decided you had gone high enough I was only holding onto your thighs; all the rest of your body was far above my head. You were also able to repeat the process in reverse, moving your feet and hands in tandem to move your body back down without letting go until your feet touched the ground.
No fear.

At least in climbing. You have, however, developed a fear of dogs and loud noises. You reach for me every time you hear our neighbor’s dog bark, when a firetruck goes past or when I turn on the blender to make a smoothie. You seem to have a love/hate relationship with dogs right now though. You want to see them until they get close or make a noise. Then you are terrified, clinging to me and vehemently shaking your head “NO!” This seems to be the only sound I cannot talk you down from as you recover quickly from machine noise with just a few whispered words of encouragement from me.

You are working quite hard with your speech, albeit in fits and starts. Some days I feel like we are back where we started with grunting and pointing and then you will surprise me by saying a relatively intelligible “all done”. Two words! Together! With that progress we are now working on 2 syllable words in therapy. I decided to keep you going once a week instead of slacking down to every other week. On those weeks that we haven’t had an appointment because of scheduling conflicts, you seem to regress. You tend to let Kate translate for you a bit too much for my comfort, preferring to let her speak for you rather than working on sounding out what you want to say.
This brings up another thing I have noticed. You copy everything your sister does. EVERYTHING. Sometimes to your detriment and her annoyance. For example, she will usually finish eating before you do and will announce that she is ready to get out of her chair. You will then say that you, too, are all done even when you are clearly still shoveling in spoonfuls of supper. 
If she picks up a toy that you have ignored all day, suddenly that is the toy that you covet the most.
My most fervent desire for you right now is that you will cut your own path. The only time when you take the lead anywhere is at the park. That is where you shine. You are a very physical child, preferring to climb or swing or throw yourself down the slide backwards and Kate follows your lead there...and only there.

I know that right now you are sticking close to the known path, letting Kate lead, trusting that she knows the way since she has been in our family longer. I know that you are still afraid to deviate too far from what you see Kate doing, afraid that we might not love and accept you anymore. That could not be farther from the truth. I think we will be able to say you feel fully at home when we see you venture forth and try something without looking to see if Kate has already deemed it safe. I am so looking forward to that day, even if it means you do something I may not like. At least I will know that I have made you feel safe enough to test my love for you.
And I will be waiting there with open arms when you do.



Smitha Mathew said...

So beautiful. Isn't this falling in love beautiful? Even after two years we fall more and more in love every month. I am surprised for myself that there are such depths for love.

Smitha Mathew said...

So beautiful. Isn't this falling in love beautiful? Even after two years we fall more and more in love every month. I am surprised for myself that there are such depths for love.

Jodie said...

Crying over here. How beautiful it is for you to have written down for all the world to see that you desire for Lucy to be her own person....even if it means she does things you might not like. That you will still love her. I can't tell you what that does to my heart because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt what that is going to mean to her when she is old enough to read and see that for herself. Sometimes parents(and I am guilty) take for granted that our children just know we love them unconditionally. I mean, after all, we hug and kiss them and do all the necessary motherly things, right? Doesn't that say it enough? Nope. It doesn't. And it means the world to a child when they hear (or read) exactly how we feel. I love watching them grow and as Smitha said.....watching you fall in love. :) Thank you for sharing these special moments with us.


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