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Monday, October 20, 2014

Letters to Emmy : Ten Months

So that's all this blog has become, then? A collection of monthly letters? 

I guess. Sigh.

I'M BUSY OKAY? (I'm really not any busier than anyone else. More tired, maybe. But as much as I love to write and document our lives, blogging is the last thing on my mind at 9pm when the girls are sleeping and I'm ready for bed myself.)

ONWARD, as they say. (Who says this?) (I might be delirious from tired. This may be a weird letter.)


September 12 to October 12, 2014

Dear Emmers,

I say "Emmers" and sometimes write "Em" or "Emmy" or "Emme" but the truth is, we call you Emmeline. I stressed out about your nickname before you were born - EmmY or EmmE? Emma? Maybe even get really crazy and go Linny? But it didn't matter, because you're simply Emmeline. Maybe when you're older, one will naturally fall into use, but even Carys just calls you "Emmeline."

You're ten months old and you all of the sudden look so different (after looking pretty much exactly the same from about four weeks old til last week). You look older - a little less baby chub in your cheeks, maybe. A little taller, a little leaner, a little more like a toddler, a little less like a baby. It's kind of bittersweet, to be honest. I love seeing you grow and am excited to continue to learn about you and your developing personality, but....but....WHERE IS MY BABY?

In your ninth month, you started clapping and added the "b" sound to your babbling repertoire. Carys delights in both prompting you: "Can you say, 'ba ba ba, Emmeline?" and singing your praises: "Emmeline can talk now! She can say 'ba ba ba!" You also flap your hand in an approximation of a wave that I'm going to go ahead and call waving, even though it might just be...you know...hand flapping. You've also really gotten into opening and shutting things, as well as putting objects into other objects (you've been pulling everything OUT of objects for a while now). Earlier this month, you started standing on your own and you'll stand for a minute or two before realizing that you aren't holding anything and sloooooowly sinking to your knees. (Since I'm writing this after October 12, technically this next part should go in the next letter, but: two days ago you took steps!)

You have discovered climbing and can climb the slide, just like your sister did at your age, climb two flights of stairs (maybe more, who knows, but we're limited in stairs at our house), and - and this is killing me - you can climb onto the big Rubbermaid tubs that we use as baby gates (our set-up isn't actual baby gate-able without spending a ton on a custom configuration, which would be awesome if you want to send a bunch of money our way) (but let's be real I'd probably use it to buy more adorable kid clothes and not fancy baby gates). You grab the opposite side and pull yourself up on top of them. Then you're stuck, because you don't really know what to do. Often that "what to do" involves leaning over the edge, reaching for something on the floor, until you topple off. And then you cry.

Carys is trying to teach you how to turn around and slide down on your belly, but until you master that, it's a constant internal mom-mind battle of which is more irritating and dangerous - having to pull you back from the stairs (which the tubs are blocking off) every two seconds or having to pull you off of the tubs every two seconds. For now, the tubs remain, because falling a foot off of them trumps falling down an entire flight of stairs. And for those wondering how you fall at all: do you not have kids? THEY ARE FREAKING FAST. You'll be contentedly sitting one million feet away from the tubs playing and I'll think it's safe to grab your sister a glass of milk and then as soon as I step foot in the kitchen I hear a thump and a wail. I would have thought by now you'd learn, but the lure of that piece of fuzz on the carpet remains too great, and reach for it you must.

OH. I wish I had this on video, but I have to include it because the memory is too utterly adorable to forget. You and Carys were in bed with us one morning and Carys decided she wanted to take her pajama top off, and you completely tried to copy her and tried to pull your own shirt off. And got completely tangled and stuck. Why is a child pulling a shirt off so stinking cute? I DON'T KNOW. The copying! The attempt! The getting stuck! All of the above.

One other thing I wish I had on video is this hilarious double-take head swivel. I can't even explain it, but you look away then look back again and your head is all wobbly and then you burst into giggles and it's amazing because your giggles are like sunshine and happiness personified.

I've mentioned this before, but you still have absolutely zero interest in baby toys. You want nothing unless your idol - your big sister - is playing with it. This creates a problem since often your idol - your big sister - does not want you to mess up her castle or elaborate line-up of figurines or steal her crayons. The technical rule of the house is that if it's somewhere you can reach it, it's up for grabs, and if she doesn't want to share with you she has to move.   But the living room floor is the best play space in the entire house, so that's usually where playtime happens, which means you usually are trying to steal all of her toys while she tries to shield them from you. Almost always, she ends up relenting and throwing you a bone - the least-liked item in her pile. Merida (why no love for Merida, Carys?). The odd-shaped block that won't stack. The white crayon (which I have to take from you since, you know, you haven't realized that crayons aren't food). But while you're "playing" "equally" with her, you're just in heaven. It's all you want in life.


You just love your sister so much.

So very much. And the feeling is definitely mutual. She considers herself your protector and your guardian and, above all, your friend.

Your fourth tooth is coming in, and it's the OTHER side top one, so you're going to look like a vampire as soon as it fully emerges and I kind of can't wait.

Bathtime with your sister is your favorite time of day, since you get one-on-one time with her in a confined space where she can't escape you. You love splashing and you love laughing at her as she splashes you. You don't mind getting your hair washed...too much...which I attribute to starting swimming lessons at six months old (I haven't mentioned those much, have I? You take swimming lessons once a week and it's mostly water familiarization at this point, but you have fun.)

Reading before bed is your second-favorite time of day. I adore the way you react to books. As soon as I sit down in the rocking chair and pull out the stack of books, you start reaching for them and giggling to yourself. You're like a teenage boy in possession of a stolen copy of Playboy. And you giggle all through reading them, and you turn the pages yourself. I've recently really tried to up the number of books I read to just you (versus you and your sister) and I'm so glad I made the effort, because you just love it.

Still dimpled, blue-eyed, and blonde (with some pretty strong hints of strawberry blonde in the right light!). Still insanely happy and content. Still so sweet.

Still a crappy sleeper, but we'll just leave that at that.

I love you more and more every day, kiddo, more than I ever thought possible.  This quote I read once in regard to having more than one child is so cheesy (SO. CHEESY.), but it's so true:

Love doesn't divide, it multiplies.

And dear lord has my capacity to love multiplied times a million since you entered my life. You're my sunshine, baby girl.

I love you.

You are such an amazing and essential part of our family.

(Photo above by Scarlett Crews)