Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dear Mia: Part 10

You are about 18 1/2 months old now. I started writing this post about a month ago and have had to go back and edit and rewrite a lot because you change to much, so quickly. 

You LOVE coloring and drawing - crayons, pencils, sidewalk chalk, your Magnadoodle, you love it all. You take your sidewalk chalk and walk up and down the driveway, crouching randomly to make mysterious looking marks (your dad calls them gang signs), before toddling off to scout another location. And you spend hours a day standing at the coffee table coloring in your coloring books.

You love music and singing. You try to make your dad and me sing on command by demanding specific songs. You also love to sing them yourself, but sometimes get self-conscious. Your favorites are probably Old MacDonald and The Wheels on the Bus.

You have a made up word that we cannot figure out the origin of, but we know that it roughly translates to you wanting something specific. You point and say what sounds like "mah-san" or "mah-shawn."

A few weeks ago you, your dad and I were outside and we told you we were going hunting for Dinosaurs and Elephants. You walked dutifully down the street, stopping every once in a while to crouch down, swivel your head side to side and shout, "Di-so-wah! Hey you?" (Dinosaur! Where are you?) "Eh-flat! Hey you?" (Elephant! Where are you?) It was exactly as cute as it sounds. It killed me dead. That's all I have to say about that.

You are still the pickiest of eaters. Most days you eat one decent meal and subsist on crumbs the rest of the day. I'm not sure how a person survives on ketchup and milk alone, but somehow you are still thriving. I try not to let it stress me out, I don't want to be the root of any food issues you may have down the road, but it sure is frustrating. Even more frustrating than the picky eating is the food throwing, which may just send me to an early grave, but I'll refrain from ranting about that for fear I may never stop.

We took our first trip to the ER in the middle of September. I was swinging you around by your arms and when I set you down you screamed and then wouldn't or couldn't move your right arm. Your dad and I listened to you scream for about 30 minutes as I felt increasingly positive that I was the worst mother in the entire world. We decided to take you to the hospital and I had visions of a waiting for hours, of X-rays and a tiny cast, of having to answer to a social worker. As I walked in and saw a waiting room full of kids in wheel chairs or with bloody noses, I felt like I might throw up. I couldn't stand the thought of having to sit there and wait while you were in obvious pain. But I walked up to the receptionist and told her through my own tears what had happened. She nodded to a nurse and they both agreed, "Nursemaid's elbow," and a doctor and two residents quickly ushered us to a chair in the hallway and reset your dislocated elbow right then and there. Apparently it's a really common injury among little kids, and 5 minutes later you were offered a popsicle which you reached for with your injured arm, and we were in and out in an hour. But man, I have no idea how I am going to deal with a lifetime of injuries and heart break with you. I want to wrap you in bubble wrap and never let you leave the house.

You recognize most of the letters in the alphabet. You correctly identify several different shapes. If we ask you what color something is, you always answer "green!" You can count to 14, but you always leave out the number 10. You know people's names, but if I ask you, "What is her name?" you always answer "Mia!" You call all balls "b-balls." You call potatoes "peek-a-boos" (which KILLS me every time, and I hope no one ever corrects you). You call ice cream "airplane." You insist that hippos are called "hope-ios" and that Elmo's goldfish is named Lucy (it's Dorothy). My nickname for you is Cuckoo or Cuckoo Bear. You would prefer to be naked. Always. You don't like wearing socks, but you love to have your feet tickled. When we cuddle you stroke my arm, wiggling your little hand up my shirt sleeve to touch my skin. And when my hair gets in my face you very gently try to move it out of my eyes, if you're unsuccessful you take my hand and say, "fix it, Mommy." When you suck your thumb, you rub your ear with the other hand. You've begun to suggest we do things by saying "how bout..." Like, "Mo' mote? (more milk?) No, no, how bout dooce (juice)?"

Your memory astounds me. You recognize that Wegmans is the store where you get cookies. After going to a Toddler Time gym class just once you remembered, a week later, that at gym class there was a slide and balls and you got stickers. You remember the words to countless songs and can recite some of your favorite books.

Oh, I could go on and on...

Parenting books warn against putting labels on children. We're not supposed to say, "Oh, she's my shy one," or "You're such a good girl!" We don't want to pigeonhole our children for the rest of their lives. But I find I couldn't label you if I tried. You are everything. All at once. 

Mia, you are the sun, the moon, and the stars.

I am still trying to figure you out. I will never be done figuring you out.