Monday, August 13, 2012

Dear Mia: Part 9

Mia, you are just about 16 1/2 months old now, and you are a complete whirlwind. I read a book recently that described a character as "half girl, half hurricane," and Mia, that is you to a tee. You are wild. You dance and sing and spin around and shriek with laughter, but if I sing you the wrong song you shout "No. No. No." and shake your head so hard you might fall over. You are spunky, feisty, a spitfire. You are one extreme and then another. You are laying in my arms sucking your thumb cooing, "hi, baby," and then you are up attempting to climb on top of the coffee table.

Everyone comments on how verbal you are for your age. You seem to learn a new word everyday. It only takes you hearing a word once sometimes for you to catch on. There are some words that you mispronounce that I never ever want you to learn to pronounce correctly, like butterfly ("blah-fly"), elephant ("eh-flat"), umbrella ("blah-la-la"). Lately when I tell you I love you you answer back, "Blah blue (love you)." I die.

You have started combining words; "all better (when I kiss your boo boos)," "all done," "help me," "push you," "hold it," and "no throwing (said while throwing things)."

Which leads into the most frustrating thing we are dealing with with you, which is how quickly you get frustrated. Your ways of coping with this are by throwing things or by banging your head on things (on purpose, in case that was unclear). We are working on this by trying to give you alternative ways of coping and by rewarding you with stickers if you make it through a meal without throwing food. But it is most embarrassing when you throw things at other children when you don't want to share (and sometimes when you do want to share but they don't want whatever you are sharing). The only way to deal with this seems to be by exposing you to more kids, but I worry about any casualties we may have in the process.

You are still a pretty picky eater, but I tell myself you will eat when you're hungry, and you do. You love fruit, any fruit will do; bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, apples, pears, grapes. You still don't like vegetables, so we still feed you your pureed green beans at dinner. Again, the cashier at the grocery store probably wonders why I'm still buying baby food, but you eat it without complaint, so I'll keep offering it. Other than fruit you like yogurt, oatmeal, vegetarian "chicken" nuggets, pizza, macaroni and cheese, hummus, rice, and the weirdest one: pad thai.

We took you on your first airplane ride to the beach a few weeks ago. You were a great little traveler and the week at the beach was everything I hoped it would be. You were fearless in the water, running right into the waves. You loved playing in the sand and collecting shells with Grandma. You are an absolute water baby.

You slept better than I could have hoped. One day you woke up at 4am to start the day, but other than that you were a dream.

You fell completely in love with your grandparents on this trip. All day long you shouted "Da-ma!" "Da-pa!" whenever you saw them (which was about every 5 minutes) as if Elmo and Justin Bieber had just entered the room. And I know your grandma and grandpa just ate it up.

Your memory has begun to blow me away. While we were in Florida you kept saying "Horsey! Riding!" and I would ask you what you were taking about and you would say "slide!" and the only explanation we could come up with was that you were recalling a carnival we went to on the fourth of July where you rode a merry-go-round over and over and went down a big slide riding on a burlap sack. It's awesome to feel like we are actually creating memories with you, no matter how short-lived.

You love stickers and Abby Cadabby and Elmo and reading and bouncing on my knee while I sing to you about riding a horse. Every day you ask to have a "pony" in your hair. You love your slide and your swing. Your hair has become bleached blond by the sun and you seem to favor your right hand when coloring and using a fork. You love your cousins and our neighbor Kassie. You give kisses on command. You love bathtime and animals. You can count to six if we prompt you with "what comes after 2? etc." You recognize the letters M, O, and A. You can point to, name and make the sounds of countless animals. You blow me away, kid.

I reprimanded a boy on the playground for throwing wood chips in your face. Afterward I was surprised at myself. Surprised at how quickly I had scolded him, at how confident I felt in my words, and then at how afterward I wanted to cry because I never ever want any one to be mean to you. I texted your dad wondering if I was this upset in such a situation where you came out completely unscathed, what will I be like when someone truly hurts you someday? I might break someone's arm.

Mia, not to mix weather metaphors here, but you are complete and absolute sunshine in my life. Hourly I look into your face and can't believe how cute, how sweet, how spirited and FUN you are. I am so so proud of this little person you are, and can't wait for more...