Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dear Mia: Part 8

You are 14 months old now.

I think you understand most of what I say to you at this point, which means all these months I've been wondering if you understand what "no" means, now I can answer that you do, even if you play dumb 99% of the time. I'm on to you.

Every day you are saying more and more words. Just for my own records, here are the words you say now (although I may be the only one who understands them): Mama/mommy, Dada/daddy, Nana, Papa, Elmo, water, puppy, buddy (we refer to your stuffed animals as "buddies"), night-night, shoes, socks, hat, up, down, off, more, meow, doggy, woof woof, hair, nose, eyes, arm, knees, ball, baby, apple, airplane, moon, pizza, Mia, Kassie, Lulu, poo poo, potty, Abby, read, hi, splash, bye, car, no, ready, glasses.

You know your own name which is the happy accident of giving you an easy name. You look at yourself in the mirror and I ask "Who is that?" or I ask you what your name is and you say "Me-yaaaaa."

If you can't say a word you just won't even try. We'll coax, "say Timmy!" over and over and you'll just stare at us, then we say, "say Mia!" and you'll parrot back "Me-yaaaa."

You are still an early bird, waking up at 6 or 6:30 every morning. I never thought I would consider 7am to be sleeping in, but here we are. You wake up with boundless energy, and I cannot even fathom all the other parents who claim their 1 year-olds occasionally sleep until 8. I would be convinced you were dead if you slept that late. 

Now that you are sleeping through the night like a normal human being and are generally fun to be around, the question of when to have another baby enters my mind. Sometimes I think, what if you are awesome enough all by yourself? Maybe I don't need another one. Maybe I want to focus all of my love and devotion on you. I always thought that if I had one kickass kid I would obviously want another one, right? But you are so amazing that I'm afraid of having anything to distract me from you. Obviously I KNOW that the "something" distracting me from you would theoretically be another kickass kid, but I have not met that kid yet. I have not fallen in love with them yet, so I can't quite get on board with it.

I watch videos of when you were a chubby baby and I thought that would make me yearn for another newborn to snuggle, but all it makes me want to do is go back in time for 5 minutes to snuggle you again. At this point I don't want ANOTHER baby, I just want to relive YOU as a baby again.

The idea of going through those first few months with a newborn and ALSO having a toddler makes my palms sweat. But sometimes I close my eyes and remember the moment I first saw your face or the first time I heard you laugh and I have this twisting in my stomach that tells me I KNOW I will do it again. I just don't know when.

You still undeniably have my eyes, but as your face becomes less the round cherubic face of a baby and more the lean face of a child, the fact that you are your father's daughter is overwhelming. You look less and less like me and more and more like him every day. The eyes are mine, but everything else about you is him.

Your hair is the lightest shade of brown (the longer it gets, the lighter it seems, and I cannot believe that last summer you had dark hair and that I was convinced you were going to be brunette) and your eyes are still the same dark blue as the day you were born, but now they have the faintest flecks of brown around the pupil. I'll give it until your second birthday until we really determine what color they are.

You love to dance and listen to music. You turn in circles to "Ring Around The Rosy" and clap your hands to "If You're Happy and You Know it." We've been going to a music class on Wednesday mornings where you shake maracas and march around the room. You mostly just love to be around the other children...

You LOVE other kids. You stare and point and laugh in their presence or often you walk right up to another kid and just stand right in front of them as it seems this is your understanding of how to make friends.You try to share your toys with unsuspecting kids who may not want to play with you, which almost breaks my heart with how pure and unashamed the action is and because I want EVERYONE to want to be your friend.

You love to give kisses. You kiss everyone I tell you to. You give your dad a kiss, then turn your head to me for a kiss, then back and forth. You kiss your stuffed animals then pretend they are kissing each other. I had no idea a kid so young could pretend things like that, but you also like to pretend to give your babies bottles (it's amazing how girls are little mommies right from the beginning) or you pretend to put sunblock on me as I put it on you or you hold objects up to your ear like they are a phone and say "hiiiiiii."

We finished breast feeding on your birthday. I was so worried that it would affect your nighttime sleep, but you could not have possibly cared less. I am confident that it was the absolute right time to stop now. You had gotten so wiggly and you would pinch me and slap me, I can't imagine still doing it at this point. And now you are chugging whole milk like a champ.

You love Elmo more than life itself. Nothing else captivates you like putting Elmo's World on TV. I have nothing to expand on here, I just figured it was worth noting for my own memories.

You still love being outside. You love to go to the playground and climb to the top of the slide. The anticipation of going down is more fun for you than actually sliding. But you go down holding my hand. You love to swing and play in the sandbox. You love playing in the water. I can't wait to take you to the pool and the beach this summer because you don't mind getting your face and head wet and you don't care how cold it is. You just want to be in the water. You take my hand and put it in saying "posh (splash)."

You are in a phase where you love climbing and jumping too. You have a skinned knee at the moment, and I see many more in our future. You love to get up in my bed and just throw yourself around. You are not a delicate flower. You fall down and get right back up again, and I admire that so much about you.

Mia, you are rough and tumble. You are feisty and strong-willed and independent, but so so sweet, and I love you with such intensity it could knock my off my feet. I remember hearing before I had you that having a child was like having your heart walking around outside your body, and that is exactly what this is like. I am vulnerable with you out there in the world, but I couldn't be more happy and proud to watch you grow and learn and dance to your own beat. I never want you to stop doing that. Not ever.