Here you are at 19 months and what can I say? You are your own woman. You might be small, but you will never be forgotten, and as your Grandma and Aunt have said - you are just like me and your petite cousin, Emily. Only they would say it in a "HA! You get what you deserve!" sort of way, while I smile and think "everything is going to be just fine". Because, Helen, you might as well know, I understand what it's like to be in a roomful of people where everyone is bigger, and I understand that sometimes you have to speak just a little bit louder, be a little bit more clever, or be willing to dig in your heels just a little bit harder than everyone else.
Calvin Coolidge is credited with saying:
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."
and that last sentence has stuck with me since I first came upon it sometime in high school. And I do believe, Helen, that you sense this too.
How else could I explain the way you do not back down? Not for a second. When your daddy comes around the corner chasing you, and you sense that he's going to swoop you up any minute, you are completely willing to spin on your heel and charge right.at.him. with a look in your eye that says to me "old man, you're going to need more than speed and power to get me!"
And the moment before he gets you, you reach out and take his glasses so he can't see (a move you have perfected to an artform). And then the two of you laugh, and laugh, and laugh.
Some would call that being aggressive and playing dirty. I call that surviving a world that's a whole lot bigger than you are. And Helen, even little people have to find a place to fit into this big world, and I think you're finding yours, and it is closer to the center of the action than the sidelines.
You have an ability to follow the letter of the law, if not the spirit. At least twice now, you have hit someone when you are mad, only to be told "no hitting". And what is your response? You kick the person you are mad at. This, by the way, results in you being picked up and moved to a space where you cannot hit - or kick - anyone, and you screaming indignantly. What can I say, Helen? I understand, but we don't do physical violence in this house. You have also been known to hit Connor and then when he calls you out, you look up very innocently, continue hitting him - only a little lighter now, and say "pat pat pat". AS IF?!? Connor is not fooled, and neither are your dad and me, but I suppose it's worth a try. And to be fair, if Connor falls and hurts himself, you are the first to run to him, give him a pat, and give him a kiss.
Weaning? This is not going well. You see, I stopped pumping at work quite some time ago, so I'm pretty sure my body does not make milk during the day anymore. Monday - Thursday, I nurse you around 6:30 AM when you wake-up, at 4:30 when I come home, and right before you go to bed at 7:00. During the day, you willingly take a bottle from your au pair. But on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday when I am home? You get downright mad at the suggestion that you should get your milk from a bottle (or a sippy cup, or a straw cup, or a cup with no lid...) so instead you walk around nipping at my heels ALL DAY saying "nurse, nurse", and because I guess you thought I didn't understand, you now pat your breast as well.
I understood. And as I've told you many times, I'm done making milk in the daytime. It'll work out for both of us at some point.
You love to hang with the big kids, and when you think you've figured out what they're doing and you join in, you are thrilled. You will follow Connor pretty much anywhere he goes, and you will also follow his directions, which is not always a good thing.
You love to paint. You probably paint a little every day. You always ask for "mo" paint, even when you already have plenty. And then you get mad if the paint distributor tells you to finish with what you have.
You have added "'Cot" (Scott) to your line-up of bye-bye's at night, so now we say good-night to Mimi, Zozo, Dada, Tonr, and 'Cot. During the day, you've started to ask for Lolo (Laurie) too. Still, when the phone rings, you ask if it's your Mimi and this week, you added "Hel-low" to your vocabulary. You also have the funniest little "doodoloo" for Cock-a-doddle-doo. Even your dad admits it's very cute.
These days are passing very quickly, Helen, and I'm very much looking forward to our summer together.