© 2008 denise

Letters To My Daughter: Month 14

Tonight you literally tackled me when I came home from work. While you weren’t actually walking when you tackled me, you crawled really fast and then sort of pounced on me. You’ve clearly been watching football with your daddy again. Only Terry Tate “Office Linebacker” puts the pain on people like that, girl. Next time you pull something like that on me, I wanna hear a “WOOO WOOO!! PAIN TRAIN!!” out of you first.


Little one, you are doing such awesome things this past month that I cannot keep up with your changes. You literally evolve faster than I can type this letter, faster than I can compose the thoughts into cogent sentences, even. It’s so apparent that you are hurtling about a hundred miles an hour to toddlerhood right now, and Lord knows I’m in way over my head over here. Despite my feelings of inadequacy, you have been a source of non-stop comedy for me and your daddy. Let’s review, shall we?

Your Second Halloween. Remember this? You were THE cutest Sock Monkey Baby this side of the Mississippi. Good Lord your mother COULD NOT snap you in correctly into your costume, thus the effect was that you looked a little misshapen in the lower limb areas, which is, oddly enough, common in most variations of actual sock monkeys. I’m sure no one noticed because you were so blindingly adorable with a tail.


The Catastrophic Shit Storm of 2008. Reese, I saved you from putting poop in your gob but I couldn’t save the bathmat from your arial assault. I have managed to restore the general cleanliness of the bathroom, but not without copious amounts of bleach, scrubbing, and perhaps some swearing. As a new mother, I realize these lessons sometimes come hard and fast and often times they are disgusting and horrible and smeared everywhere. LET US NEVER SPEAK OF THIS AGAIN.


Fascination with the Toilet Paper Dispenser and Mad Housewrecking Skillz: you’re quickly earning your street cred as an efficient destroyer of all things tidy and neat. Don’t think for a second that I haven’t noticed you hungrily eyeing up that toilet paper dispenser for the past few weeks. I suspected you were preparing for your inevitable assault, and what absolute joy you would derive from denuding the single-ply sheets from their hapless cardstock core . That toilet paper roll might as well have a huge neon sign on it, garishly blinking “THIS IS AWESOME“. You. Were. Transfixed. I knew that I could police the bathroom all I wanted, but you are crafty and diligent and you would have your way with the toilet paper. OH YES. Now I have the video proof of your calculated and deliberate assailment and the satisfaction it brought you.

The Beginning of The Yap Yap. We’re trying catch you saying Dada or Mama but instead your response thus far has taken the form of a string of the most complicated consonants and vowels and intonations that cannot be phonetically spelled. We have also noticed that you love to talk to, or talk about, everything. You talk to your books, you talk to your stuffed toys. You have conversations with yourself, in your crib, when you wake up every day. You chatter on, explaining what everything is in your lilting baby voice and it really has become one my favorite sounds (next to your father saying “You’re right, honey” or “I’ll clean the kitchen, you just relax”). I think I might look into making podcasts of your conversations so I can take you to work to drown out my cube neighbor or otherwise known as The Guy Who Watches Movies At a Reasonable Volume While Working.


Speaking of books: this next bit will please the book-loving grandmothers that you have. Reese, I’ve never really seen a pre-toddler get SO into books as you have recently. I didn’t read to you earlier in your short life only because the only things that you seemed to enjoy was crying, CRYING LOUDLY, or getting boob. You were always kind of like “meh” and considered books to be in interesting only in the capacity that you could rip their pages out or throw them on the floor or put them in your mouth. Something this month has changed in you, and now… you don’t destroy the books anymore, but you review them over and over again. And your favorites (i.e. any of the “Peekaboo Baby” tomes) are ones that we will read several times a night before bed. You’ll pick out a book, drag it over to me, scramble up into my lap and proceed to look at each page. When finished with the fifth or sixth pass of said book, I try to introduce a new one but you push the new book away in protest, insisting Not this book! THAT book. THAAAAT BOOK!! GAAAH!! So, we’ll “read” your preferred book until I cannot manage the requisite sing-song “PEEKABOO” any more.



So my doctor once told me that the span of four to eight months is considered the “Golden Age of Babies”: named such as this is the time frame where babies start to exhibit interactive behaviors, start to eat foods not originating from boobs, and are not typically mobile (which I’m quickly finding out was a good thing). Right now, the rate at which you absorb and then demonstrate your new-found knowledge is dizzying enough to me, but the really amazing part is how much I’m learning about you. I’m thinking my doctor is wrong. I think the Golden Age is starting right now. It’s like a switch has been flipped recently, and you can so accurately mimic our sounds and motions and routines. Tonight, you watched me do the “cheek pop” with my finger over and over. And you know what? You attempted to make the same sound, using the same motions, and then you laughed that glorious hiccup-laugh that tickles my soul.

This month you’ve learned to grunt (like your daddy), blow kisses (to your momma), wreck the toilet paper, brush your teeth with your special toothbrush, brush *my* teeth with the same toothbrush, and whenever you take a drink of any beverage, you make that “ahhhhhhhhhhhh” sound of utter refreshment every single time. I think it’s the same sound I make when I pick you up out of the crib each morning, hug you tightly, and breathe you in.



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