As you may recall from this post last month, I’ve begun participating in the Letters to Our Daughters project with some wonderful photographers whom I met through Clickin Moms. Each month, I will be posting photos and writing a letter to my girls. I love having this opportunity to speak directly to my daughters, to tell them things about our lives today so that they can read about them in the future. Although I am sure I will often write to both my girls, this month I have decided to write just to Alexa (and next month just to Avery). After you’ve read my letter below, please follow the links on each post and make your way around the circle, starting with my friend Colie James’s letter to her daughter HERE.
My little baby girl, it seems as if you have grown so much in the last month since I started writing these letters. Your vocabulary and ability to communicate has simply exploded. Before, you had just a few words, often just the (repeated) first syllable of a word – mama, dada, yeahyeahyeah. But now you regularly repeat things that you, answer questions and tell us what it is that you want. “Do you want water?” “Wawie!” “Juice?” “Jus!” “Ball? “Ball!” It’s incredibly cute. And the most adorable thing is that, when we hand you what you’ve asked for, you often tell us, “tank you.” I really didn’t think you could get any sweeter, but you did – those two words make me melt! My current favorite, however, is when I ask you, “Where is your belly?” This is what your response looks like:
You’ve also gotten much more outgoing. It used to be that you would stare at other people, and cling on to me if they smiled at you. Now you are returning those smiles and offering a little wave as well. You’re not quite as outgoing as Avery, who is spending our Hawaiian vacation approaching every child and parent with a, “Hi, I’m three. My name is Avery. Do you want to play with me?” But you are definitely not shy in the same way any longer. Recently, we were having breakfast at a crepe cafe, and you were done with your high chair. I let you walk around while I drank my coffee and you would walk a bit past people around you (mostly cute guys, actually), turn your head back to look at them and give them a big smile. And your smile is amazing – it just melts everyone. Even guys whom I’d expect to be too cool to flirt with a baby stopped whatever they were doing to look at you and pay attention.
You’ve also learned how to express your displeasure. You want to be understood and if you are not, or if you are not given what it is that you want, you let us know. You can stick that lower lip out like nobody’s business. It’s meant to tell us that you are unhappy, but it’s so cute that I confess I get a more than bit of pleasure out of seeing it. You sometimes stomp your feet as well, though I find that cute and hilarious too. Since those methods aren’t working as well as you’d like, you’ve stepped up your game and begun to yell. On the airplane, that proved pretty effective for getting my attention, at least, though you still had to be buckled in for take-off and landing. Sorry, kid – your mom is a stickler for rules and safety. You may as well get used to it.
(I have a feeling your grandma will be mad at me for posting that photo instead of giving you whatever it is you wanted.)
You’ve also become much more adventurous these days, climbing and exploring and getting into more things. You continue to take shoes out of the front closet and arrange them about the living room. And you are quite obsessed with your purple jacket, cheerfully yelling “jacket!” whenever you see it and insisting upon wearing it around the house. I’ve never seen a baby so interested in wearing a jacket. We were at the playground recently and it was so fun to see how you’ve learned to play much more independently. Once you learned how to climb the steps to the slide, you were happy to do it again and again, circling around, up the stairs, over the bridge, and down the slide once again. Though you spent much of the time at the playground, trailing after your sister and her newest friend or checking out the many dogs (“dog! dog! dog!”), it was great to see you making your own fun as well.
I have to say that this stage that you are at is perhaps my favorite. You are so sweet, so charming, and so interested in discovering and exploring the world. All these accomplishments are exciting and I love to see them, but I love that you are still my baby. You are still in frequent need of snuggles and holding, still able to fall asleep in my arms. Earlier today, here in Maui, I held you in my arms on a lounge chair and you fell asleep on me. That is my very idea of paradise – vacationing in this wonderful place, with my beautiful family, and my baby girl asleep in my arms.