Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy 23 Months, Helen!

Dear Helen,

It's official. We are counting the days to your birthday party. Lucky for you, that number is 7 because Grandma and Grandpa are coming so you get an early party. It's only right, since you never admit to being one these days anyway. If someone asks your age, you either tell them 2 or 4. Connor always corrects you, and you always get defensive about it.

You love people, Helen, and you make friends easily. I went to playgroup with you this month and you introduced me to every child in the room. When we swim at night, you LOVE it when the big girls play with you. Isabel loves catching you when you jump in from the side, though luckily I have you both convinced that it's best for me to "help" with the job. Matt would like to catch you, but you deem him unsafe and will NOT allow it.

Your bedtime buddies now include: 1 hat that you like to stuff your head into, 5 small stuffed puppies, your tiny baby, a bottle for you baby that is as big as your baby, your tiny baby's little knit sack - which is sometimes her carseat and sometimes her bed, two "tissues" - which are actually two little washcloths that Therese made for you when you were born, a sheep, and a book...sometimes two. When I leave you in bed, you typically hold the book and the baby - but perform a careful accounting to make sure everything else is present. When I greet you in the morning, you typically clutch your book in one hand and search for baby before you will leave your crib. You only get by with all these shenanigans because you tend to sleep about 12 hours from the time I drop you off until the time I wake you up in the morning (yes, I wake you up almost daily so I can feed you before heading into the office). On the weekends when I come to fetch you from your crib, you ALWAYS remark about my lack of pants, and insist that I go put "pants on" instead of just my t-shirt. The only morning this was not true was a day you and Connor both decided to coordinate sleeping in until about 8:00. I actually woke up and got dressed before either you called or your brother bounded into my room. What a novel thing - sleeping until I was ready to wake-up, rather than until someone woke me up. You two should plan this more often.

We finally found a book character with whom you can relate. A line in Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" proclaims "And Max said 'No'" and as soon as we get to that part of the book, you start shouting in a very firm voice "And Max said 'No'" until the book either ends or your dad or I convince you to move on while the other continues reading. You often shout it while placing your hands firmly on your hips or pointing your little pointer finger at me for emphasis.

The climbing, the climbing. I can't get over the climbing. You can scale adult-sized chairs with a little determination and wiggle. You maneuver around playground equipment easily, but the stairs? You almost always insist I carry you up them at night.

You love your purses. You carry them everywhere. They often hinder your movements but you refuse to set them down. Regularly, you carry your baby in her bed and the bag she came in and another bag with a bottle for her. Today, you found two nice purses at the park and proceeded to walk around with them, and I am only grateful that it was a friend's purse you stole because it had actual items of value in it, unlike every other purse you have ever held, and it would have been rather embarrassing to have to visit you in jail for stealing at such a young age. It was obvious that you had added Nancy to the list of people who would make a good mom. And by that I mean someone who wears make-up, carries a purse, paints her nails, uses lotion and perfume, and puts clips in her hair. I meet none of these criteria. Your au pair meets all of these criteria, and many others meet at least a couple of these criteria (and yes, I'm thinking of you as well, Ellen).

And speaking of your baby, she is the fussiest baby in the world. You constantly tell me "baby cryin'" and then you give her a bottle which almost always pacifies her. If you don't have her bottle, you will occasionally nurse her, but usually you ask me to do this for you. And then you stick her head in your mouth, which I would think would upset her, but she doesn't seem to mind.

We went to the beach and though you never quite got to sharing Connor's love for everything about the beach, you did find something you loved. Kellee and her Cheetos. And Kellee and her cookies. And oh boy, when you see Kellee coming, you are delighted to sit right by her at the beach because it is obvious that she has this beach-going figured out.

I see you and Connor playing often and I love it. I hear you and Connor fighting too. I'm not so in love with that.

You're back to calling me Mommy sometimes and Elaine sometimes, but recently, you added "Miss Mommy", I guess for those very formal times we share.


1 comment:

  1. And earrings. I believe Helen also likes it when women wear earrings, preferably long dangly ones. I could be wrong, but that was the vibe I got when she was stroking my earring and murmuring softly, "Eah-rings, eah-rings."