September 7 - October 7, 2012Dear Carys,
And now you're fifteen months.
Fifteen of the greatest months of my life...and I assume, of yours. Unless you're hiding some months somewhere that we don't know about.
While the challenges have become greater as you grow more strong-willed and decisive and intelligent and speed towards those terrible twos, the delights just become greater as well. And don't get me wrong: your challenges? So far, not very challenging (knock on wood). You're just not a pure delight 100% of the time, which you were for so long and which spoiled me. Now you have ATTITUDE. Now you have OPINIONS. Now you have TANTRUMS. Usually those moments are fleeting, and they almost always mean that you need a nap or to go to bed, but you do have your rare moments that make me think, "Dude. Can I have some cheese to go with this whine?" (hardy har har) For instance: when you want me to push you in your scooter for the 151st time, but my back has broken from pushing you the first 150 times and I am laying immobilized on the ground in a full body cast. Or for instance: when you want ANOTHER banana but you've already had 45 for the day and there are no more bananas left to give you in the entire world. Because you at them all. Or for instance: when you've been playing in the water for a hundred hours and have shriveled to the size of a prune and I really must move on with my life and do something else (like, say, eat) so I lift you out of the water and tell you we're done. That one right there? It really gets you. That's chart-topping drama, right there.
It's okay, though, because your angry faces are delightful. They're so over exaggerated and dramatic; I can't help but snicker at them. That fake indignation when something doesn't go your way that you don't really care about, so you can't muster up the energy to be REALLY upset about it, but you still want me to know that you noticed you didn't get your way? That makes me hide my face from you because I'm laughing so hard. Conversely, your happy and surprised faces are hilarious as well. You do this fakey look of surprise where your eyebrows shoot up and you literally gasp, sometimes accompanied by "Whoa!" If I don't get it on video sometime, I will be devastated. Your eyebrows. I love them. They are SO expressive.
And you're not just funny when angry. Not a day goes by that I don't spend half of it laughing at your antics. You are so freaking FUN. I can't even come close to explaining it, because it's all things that you've done before for months...but multiplied times ten. A thousand. A million! You are so silly. Silly is the defining word for this age. And a silly toddler is such a different animal than a silly baby. A silly toddler is so much more deliberate and meaningful and nuanced. A silly baby is just...well, a silly baby.
Your imagination has taken off this month. It's like a switch was flipped and suddenly you get it. You feed your babies with a spoon or offer them Cheerios and make smacking sounds as they eat. You pretend to eat plastic corn. You bring your stuffed animals over to me to have me nurse them (and it has to be *real* under the shirt nursing or it's not right. Ahem. Awkward, yes!). You pretend to go to sleep and then giggle when you sit up and show us that you're really awake. You think it's hilarious to crawl instead of walk. You put diapers on your babies. You pretend to color on the carpet (with the crayon about a foot away), watching me closely to see if I'll fall for it. And when we're playing peekaboo, when I hide, you throw your hands up and raise your eyebrows with a fake worried face and look for me under a piece of paper.
this face this face omg this face
I'm not sure if it's because you're "liberating" them or what, but in the mornings when you wake up, you HAVE to bring your blanket and stuffed animal out of the crib with you. You are always every time without fail holding whatever it is you went to sleep with the night before when I come to get you in the morning. One night you went to bed with two shoes (yes...two different shoes) and I let you because, well, why not? In the morning, you were juggling your blanket, your stuffed animal, and both of those darn shoes. And P.S. - it doesn't matter what blanket or stuffed animal. There aren't any that you're particularly attached to, so if your usual one is in the wash, you're just as happy with a replacement.
We went to a museum and you tried on this flight jacket. It was a big and super poufy...and you thought it was awesome. You were literally strutting around the store wearing it (even though you couldn't put your arms down!). You kept going back to it trying to get us to put it back on you!
You love dressing up - wearing your dad's hoodie on your head or wrapping a blanket around yourself and running around the house, putting on two different shoes, wearing my necklaces, putting a pair of shorts on your head, piling on three coats, wearing a tutu. You think it's so downright silly and you're so proud of yourself.
I seriously cannot explain how hilarious this was. You walked around the house dragging dad's hoodie behind you and looked like Darth Vader from the back.
While you haven't added a lot of new words this month, you keep surprising us and saying things perfectly. Looking at a book, you pointed to a duck and said, "Duck!" I said, "That's right...what does a duck say?" and you answered with "Quack, quack!" You still sign up a storm, and you've expanded the use of some signs in creative ways. If you don't want something to happen, you'll sign "all done." For instance, you hate getting your nose wiped, so you'll sign "all done" if I ask you if I can wipe your nose. If you think I'm going to leave you with your dad, you'll cling to me and wave and say "Bye!" to him, to encourage HIM to go bye-bye instead. When Grandpa took his new dog home from visiting, you waved at the door and said, "Hi!" and signed "more!".
Washing hands OFTEN turns into impromptu splash sessions.
You have a little electronic keyboard in the shape of a cat that you adore, along with your Magna Doodle. We also set up a playroom in the basement for you, and I got a little wooden table and chair off Craigslist to go in it. You love to sit in your chair and color. You also discovered Yo Gabba Gabba, AKA toddler crack. It's the ONLY thing you will sit and watch, so if I need to empty the dishwasher when you're awake - and I need to do so without you climbing into it and pulling out the racks - I now have a trick to keep you occupied for a few minutes.
At 14 months, you were a great eater. At 15 months, you subsist on bananas and Cheerios. I totally jinxed it. Things you ate before with no problem you glance at, then sweep off the table. I just keep offering them and hopefully one day you'll eat more than air for lunch.
We went on a trip to Des Moines this past weekend, and you were sick the whole time with a bad cold. On the plus side, though, it made you sound like Lindsey (Lindsay? I don't care enough to look it up) Lohan and hearing that raspy, sweet little sick voice of yours slayed me every time you spoke. Your dad agrees. I know I should want you to get better and not be sick blah blah blah but I love the sick voice.
Goodness gracious these damn letters get longer every month. If I ever collect and print them, they'd probably fill a dozen thick volumes. Hopefully you still like to read! And specifically like to read boring letters written by your mom containing life stories you've probably grown up hearing about over and over.
Oh, Carys. I don't think there's been a day of your life yet when my heart hasn't threatened to explode with joy and love for you. I just never knew that it would be like this. I knew I would love my child, of course, but the how and the gosh darn extent of it...I had no idea. I really had no idea. There aren't even words to explain the love between a parent and their child.
LOOK AT THAT CURL. LOOK AT IT.
You are my heart.
I love you, kiddy cakes.
Honey bunches of oats.
Once again wearing accessories of your choosing...
total coincidence that they matched your outfit!
P.S. Those eyes? Still blue.