Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Letter to Periwinkle at 18 Months

Dear Periwinkle,

I am constantly reminded of myself when I look at you. It goes beyond our similar facial features and wild, curly hair, though. You are a know-it-all, bossy little kid. You crack me up. If Indigo is doing something you know he shouldn't be doing, you call out to him with your nickname for him, waggle your pointer finger back and forth, and say, "No, no, no!" Then you look to me or Daddy for approval. I love that you are trying to help. It's adorable. But I must warn you to not become a tattle-tale. Sometimes breaking the rules is okay. Of course, sometimes you tattle on yourself, which is perfectly acceptable (and hilarious).

You have such a matter of fact attitude about telling your brother what to do, and about picking out books to read, and about walking from here to there and back again. You are full of confidence. I love that about you. But remember to be humble, too. Remember sometimes other people will struggle with what you find easy, and remember to have compassion when they need help to get there too. Sometimes you will want to help, and that is wonderful, but do it gently, kindly, and without making them feel badly about needing help. This can be a fine line to walk, but I know you will figure it out with grace and charm. Hopefully more quickly than I did. And remember that there will be times when you will require their help, and that you should accept their help with the same grace and kindness.

But all of this is rather serious for an 18-month-old girl, I suppose. You are still a baby. Or perhaps not. A toddler. You still shriek when you don't get your way. You still throw your sippy cup on the floor when you are feeling tempestuous. You still cry in the morning if we don't get you quickly enough. You still toss food on the ground instead of saying "All done!" and waiting for us to remove you from your high chair.

But soon you won't need the high chair. Soon you won't have a crib at daycare. You'll have little benches to sit on and cots to nap on.

In the morning you and your brother sometimes blow each other kisses. I wake up with a smile on my face on those days. We'll hear you say, "Where Mommy, Daddy?" and Indigo will raise his arms up in a questioning manner and say, with his voice dripping concern, "Oh, no!" I love it. And I also feel bad, so I scurry in there, or send Daddy in while I steal a few extra moments snuggled in bed. And you both break out in grins and start jumping up and down, so excited to see us.

Watching you two interact more and more has been the highlight of the past six months. You give each other hugs and kisses. You chatter to each other and make each other laugh. When your brother is crying, you get so worried about him, and you rub his back like you've seen me and Daddy do many times. It is perhaps the sweetest thing I've ever seen. Never mind that you, too, are unhappy it's bedtime. When he cries you reach out to comfort him. When he calls out for his Elmo or his "bankie" you bring him Elmo and his favorite blanket. You are such an amazing little sister to him. He is so lucky to have you.

Worried about your brother crying upstairs.

You saw Daddy blow his nose one day, and you just had to do it. Now if the box of tissues is within reach, you grab a few, hold them to your nose, and blow raspberries to make a similar sound. Then you delicately hand the tissues to me to dispose of. You are so into imitating everything we do. A clean diaper fell on the floor, and you picked it up and tried to shove it into the diaper pail. If you find scrap paper on the floor, you bring it to the trash and put it in. You like when we give you a paper towel to "clean" your tray, and you enjoy studying mail. I even got you to help Swiffer the floors once. I will have to think of other ways to have you help us around the house, while you still enjoy it!

I can't wait to see what the next six months bring. What new skills will you learn? What new funny phrases will you utter with complete seriousness, sounding older than you are? What will scare you, and what will intrigue you? The summer is coming, and with it such adventures!

Just stop calling me "Mom," okay? It's "Mommy" or "Mama." At least for a few more years, please.


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