Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dear Gwen: Month Twenty-Six

Dear Gwen,
Today, you are twenty-six months old. Last month, I opened your newsletter by mentioning that I was actually writing it a few days ahead of time and using Blogger's handy-dandy "scheduled post" option to have it post on the right day, since we would be away on our Circle Tour at that time. I said: "I'm hoping you don't pick up any brand new skills in the lag time between writing and posting this newsletter, making it completely obsolete."

Ha! Ha ha ha ha. HAAAAHHHH. Ha.

On that circle tour, you learned how to sing the entire alphabet. You learned how to identify (and request) Raffi music. You learned how to fall asleep in a big bed, by yourself or with me beside you. And my favourite - we were at a playground with your Uncle Mikey and for ten minutes we watched you attempt, over and over, to climb up a certain structure. Every time, you would say "Need help" and I would help you. Then, suddenly, I reached out my hand to help you and you no longer needed my help. Through sheer persistence and willpower, you had taught yourself how to climb up alone.

Oh, Gwen. You are SO my daughter. And I am so very proud of you!

Your love of music and singing continues. You sing along to just about anything familiar these days. I was quite impressed to see you listening to Raffi's "Wiggle Your Waggles Away," and following all the sung instructions for the actions: yawning, clapping, stomping, wiggling, and so on. You follow Raffi's instructions a whole lot better than you follow your parents', but I suppose that's no surprise.

We've made a bit of progress on the "all by self" requests by declaring certain things "Mama's job". For example, it's Mama's job to put you in your carseat and buckle you in safely. It's YOUR job to tell me what you did that day, or what song you want to sing, or whatever other question I can think of to distract you. You seem to accept this. Of course, you use this to your own advantage as well, and are very good at telling us what is Mama's job, what is Dada's job, and what is Gwen's job.

Actually, you're pretty bossy these days. "Imperious" is the word that springs to mind. It's partly my fault, since I let you get away with it more than I should, for the sake of keeping the peace. But we need to get on top of it, because it is already not uncommon for you to order us around like servants, directing us as to what chairs we should sit in for dinner, demanding that we put our feet down from the coffee table, and insisting that you want your milk not in THAT cup, in the OTHER cup! All of these commands, of course, are issued in tones of near-hysteria, as if you cannot BELIEVE the low quality of help on the market these days.

It's clear that you are a very bright little girl, and your literacy skills are growing rapidly. You can identify many letters by sight, and you are starting to understand that the letters form into words and the words have meaning. When we read our bedtime stories, you will sometimes point to a word and ask what it is: "What that means?" You will sometimes do this for an entire series of words on the page. It's so amazing to see this curiosity at work. We also do the trick of not reading the last word in a rhyming stanza, and you usually supply the correct word, even if it's something unusual that you don't say in day-to-day life, like "squeal" or "bray". I always congratulate you on your excellent reading: I know you're not actually reading, but I figure a little confidence building couldn't hurt!
Speaking of the pre-bed routine, I'm happy to say that you have gotten back to a more normal sleep schedule after the havoc wreaked by our Circle Tour. And there is an immensely entertaining addition to our routine! For your second birthday, your Grannie and Grandpa bought you a very adorable pair of jammies that come with a tutu. You are IN LOVE with this tutu, and put it on not just over your ballerina jammies, but over EVERY pair of jammies. And then you tell me, "I'm a princess!" and do a little dance routine for me. Sometimes you insist that I get up and dance along. In addition to being terrifically endearing, it's kind of funny to wonder where you learned about being a princess and how to do ballet steps, since neither your father nor I have ever seen you being exposed to such things. It really makes me wonder if ballerina princess code is in all little girl genes.

This stage definitely has its challenges, and it can be hard (maybe impossible?) to know whether we are doing the right thing in any given situation. Even still, I wouldn't trade this phase for the newborn phase for one spit-up-covered minute. All the newborn snuggles in the world are not worth watching you tuck your doll into her bed, kiss her goodnight, and whisper secret things to her before climbing into my lap for a story, or being on the receiving end of your running hugs when I get home from work, or hear you realizing some of life's greatest truths: "Mama not have a beard. Gwen not have a beard. Dada have a beard. But Gwen and Mama not have a beard."

I love you so much, Gwen, and I love being your Mama. I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer brings for you and your adventurous spirit.


1 comment:

HereWeGoAJen said...

Ooh, the Mama's job is a good idea. I see how it could backfire though.


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