Monday, June 25, 2007

fifteen months

Dear Julianna,

Your mama is tired! Lately you and I have been passing some germs back and forth and back and forth and it’s really no fun at all. I can’t imagine how it would be with other kids in the house. A never-ending cycle! Still, I have to admit I keep thinking about how good of a big sister you’d make. You’ve truly become “Mommy’s Little Helper.” You help me sweep the floor, put the laundry in the dryer, pick up the trash, push the stroller, and you even help me eat my ice cream!

Over the last few weeks you’ve become obsessed with books. You ask us to read the same books over and over and over again. You climb up in our laps, basically sitting wherever you can fit if we don’t move over for you (including our heads) and then sign the word “book”. If we don’t read to you at least twelve hundred times a day you are not happy. I have officially memorized my share of children’s books and you are only fifteen months old! We got you a step stool so that you could grab a book off the shelf and bring it over and climb up on the couch to read with us. You will do it all day if we let you.

One book we read about Peter Rabbits’ friends talks about Flopsy and Mopsy snuggling with Peter. I explained to you what snuggling was and now you do it to us/with us all the time. You are such a loving little girl! Sometimes you’ll hug us and lay your head on one of our shoulders or even pat us on the back. It’s adorable.

Your vocabulary is growing so rapidly these days. I can’t begin to count all of the words you’ve said once or twice. It’s got to be getting close to a hundred. Sometimes you say phrases now such as “Up, please!” and “All gone.” Occasionally you still mix up some gibberish and get a wee bit frustrated when we can’t understand you.

You did the most hilarious thing today. Nanna had her knee surgery and when we left the hospital to get you home for a nap we stopped to get some lunch on the way. We ordered you a grilled cheese sandwich and you were soooooo sleepy. We had to sit on the picnic tables outside because there weren’t any seats in the air-conditioned restaurant. Anyway, you picked up the grilled cheese and ate a few bites on your own. (You’re doing much better with that by the way. You no longer cram the entire sandwich in your mouth at once. And while you still take way-too-huge bites, you’re getting there.) So after a couple of bites of the sandwich at lunch today, you held it up and pressed it to your cheek, cocking your head gently to the side as if you were snuggling with it. Then you laid it down flat on the picnic table and laid your head down on it and said, “I love you!”

We’ve made some progress using the potty the past week or two. You definitely don’t tell us when you need to go, but you will willingly go when we ask you to. I know you like the positive attention we give you when you do. If you wake up from a nap with a dry diaper, we can take you to the potty and you will pee. You almost always poop there if we take you when you start trying to go. I don’t think it will be many more months before you are out of diapers altogether and that makes Mama very, very excited.

I’ve also struggled with you a lot this month. Every once in a while you’ll leave me feeling exasperated after you throw your food on the floor or throw a book or your juice cup. Sometimes you even hit at my face and then smile. In addition, I’ve seen a tantrum or two or fourteen. It’s so hard, Jules. Harder than I ever thought at times. I want to do the right thing, to teach you to behave properly, to show you you’re still loved, but also get you to stop embarrassing the living daylights out of me. I was almost to the point of tears one time this month in a restaurant bathroom with no changing table, poop overflowing your diaper all down your pants and you were just picking up stuff off the floor or grabbing at the toilet. These days though, it’s so much easier to see that all of that bad stuff is totally worth it. You’re worth it, Doodle. Your smile makes me giddy; your laugh is infectious; and your hugs give me the absolute bestest feeling in the world! I love you girl.


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