I recently got the idea from reading someone else's blog page to write periodic letters to Maggie that she will one day hopefully be able to read and appreciate. Ben suggested that I write a letter on her birthdays and half birthdays, but at this stage in her life, she is changing so much that she's almost like a new person each and every month. I've decided to try and write her a letter every three months, so as not to drive myself crazy with a monthly update, but write often enough to hopefully capture some of her toddlerhood on paper lest we forget it. I just wrote one for her 21 month mark and Ben suggested that I post it (I don't flatter myself by thinking anyone else other than Maggie will be interested, but here it is anyhow, hope it at least makes you smile).
You are now 21 months old, just three months shy of your second birthday. People keep telling me to brace myself for the terrible twos, but I am hoping and praying that we’ve already been through all that; that you experienced them prematurely. You can already be so exasperating, but luckily you are also very cute. Exasperatingly cute.
Today I was trying to put away a huge pile of laundry that I had folded. Your little brother started crying in the other room and while I was gone to get him, you decided to play in the mountain of folded clothes, flinging shirts and underwear all over my bedroom floor. I could hear you gleefully announcing with your little lisp that the room was now messy. This isn’t something new to you, unraveling my day’s work faster than I can keep up. I often find you unloading the dirty dishes from the dishwasher, smearing peanut butter and jelly all over the tabletop, or going through the garbage, distraught that I would sweep up and throw away a Honey Nut Cheerio that had fallen on the floor. Your curious little mind is always two steps ahead of me, looking for something new to try or explore. I’m always straining to hear what you’re doing in the next room while I clean up your latest mess. And I have to be quick to intervene when necessary, like when your explorations involve you, a box of Q-tips and Cash’s left nostril.
Sometimes I feel guilty for having another baby so soon. You were only 19 months old when Cash was born, and I feel like maybe we robbed a bit of babyhood from you. That we forced you to become a big sister too soon. But you love Cash and when he’s within your reach you’re always kissing him and cradling the top of his head in your hand. Sometimes in your excitement to be near him, you forget our reminders to be soft and gentle and I can see the tips of your fingers turn white with pressure against his skull. Like you’re trying to make Cash really feel your love. You also love to point out to daddy and me what Cash is doing throughout the day. A baby play-by-play if you will. It doesn’t matter how obvious it is, you will tell us almost every time when Cash is cwying or eepin’ (sleeping) or if he just tooted. Mama? What? Mama? What? MAMA!!! What??? And then you whisper “Cass eepin’”!
Cass is how you pronounce Cash. This is one of the many words that you have created your own pronunciation for. Daddy especially likes to listen to your particular take on the English language and I often hear you reciting sentences at daddy’s prompting where you haltingly declare that you would love a spanking or that you’re a nerd. You also are quickly picking up on phrases that are commonly heard in our household like Oh my Gosh which in “Maglish” sounds like Oh myee Goss! It’s cute, but we’re quickly learning to filter anything and everything we say in front of you. You’re a little sponge, eager to hear, learn, and repeat everything that goes on in front of you.
While I’ve been writing this, you got up from your nap and are now curled up on my lap while you wake up the rest of the way. You look at me and whisper Mom. I ask you what, but you don’t say anything, just put your little hand on my cheek and smile. It’s moments like these that I love you more than anything and terrible twos or not I’m so glad I’m your mommy. Now if only I could teach you how to fold clothes.