Thursday, April 26, 2007

Letter to Carmen - Baby Today, Toddler Tomorrow

I can't believe it's been a whole year. Sometimes the days were long, sometimes the months were short - all I know is that suddenly you are an independant little girl with an attitude and personality and charm and a wicked sense of humour!

Now you want to hold the spoon at breakfast. You crawl up to my feet and pull yourself up using my pantlegs to get my attention. You carry my keys around the house and try to open every drawer and cupboard by jingling them around the handle. The cuteness is astounding.

You clap your hands in the right parts of "If You're Happy and You Know It". You wave goodbye to your daddy when he heads off to school in the morning, or to me when you are leaving the room. In fact, if Daddy tries to leave without waving goodbye, you get downright angry! Every morning, you scramble to the edge of the bed and yell "Dahhgay" while whacking the mattreess to get Bella to come over. You are a creature of habit, just like me.

You and Bella have a love-hate relationship - you looooove Bella, but we can't be sure that the feeling is mutual. When we are out walking together, you reach for the leash from the stroller to hold on to her. When we are out giving her a ball huck, you want to hold the green chucker between throws. If I kick the ball to Bella, it sends you into peals of laughter and fits of giggles that are SO contagious! When we are home, you gravitate towards the tags on Bella's collar and yank on them, while Bella stares up at me, big brown eyes pleading, "Make her go away, puleeeeez?" Her food dish is a favourite spot for you, as is Bella's doggy bed, full of slimey dirty doggy toys that you insist on stealing and chewing on. I just hope it is serving your immune system well!

For your birthday, we decided to have a small party. Mostly I just wanted to make you a fabulous cake like all the other moms I know. Maybe an Elmo cake, or a Daisy flower or something ridiculous and fancy. I slaved over a Lemon Poppyseed Cake the night before, zesting organic lemons, limes and oranges. I beat eggs, sifted flour, fluffed butter, you name it. The morning of your party I found that it had turned into a Lemon Poopyseed Brick unfit for human consumption. Devastated, I trudged off to the grocery and bought an organic BOX o' cake. This cake called for milk, oil and eggs. This cake turned out superbly. This cake amazed the guests - even when coated in day-glo yellow frosting and bathtub rubber duckies. But you? Not you. As I set the blazing cake down in front of you, we blew out the candles and cheered. You smiled and pictures were snapped. I set a piece before you and... you barfed. Not a single morsel of cake entered your mouth! Apparently you have inherited your father's disinterest in sweets!

You are absolutely infatuated with other kids and love to be around others. Not that you aren't a bit of a bully - usually you stick your fingers into eyes and mouths or pull hair or bite - all in the name of love, I'm sure! One of the gifts you got on your birthday was a little stroller with a baby in it and it is definitely your favourite new toy. That poor baby has been dragged from one side of the house to the other, and I can hear you crawling around with the baby, your other little hand slapping the floor "THUNK slap THUNK slap THUNK!" Quiet, you are not.

Crawling up the stairs is now a piece of cake, and cruising around with the edge of the coffeetable turns into quite the bout of mischief if I have forgotten to pick up the opened mail, a glass of water or the diaper bag. You love banana pancakes and hummous with pita, Cheddar Bunnies and the lentil mush that your babysitter, Daniela, sends home with you every once in a while. I'm hoping that you are turning into a foodie like your Daddy and Mommy.

You are quite the acrobat and have hurled yourself headfirst off the diaper change table while my attention was on the "business end"... a few minutes and massive amounts of vomit later, your Daddy and I rushed you to the ER. Your daddy drove with a furious calm while I bawled and tried to keep you awake in the back of the car. Once we got there, you were fine. I think we lost years off our lives. I'm sure it won't be the last time!

You love books. You love dogs. You love books about dogs and will sit with your Baby Einstein "Dogs" book forever, turning the pages and saying "Gog gog gog". You love when I stick my tongue out and pant with the "Dogs pant when they are warm" page. You love when I count to four on the "There are many different kinds of dogs" page.

One of the cutest things about you is the way you will sit for half an hour in front of the buckle on your diaper bag, carseat, highchair or backpack carrier and try to put it together. You are obsessed with figuring things out and anything that keeps you IN you want OUT of. I hope you will be a problem-solver, a figurer-outer. I hope you will like math.

But whatever it is you blossom into, I know I will love you forever.