Letter to Camille: Fifteen Months

Hello sweet sleeping bear! You’re all snuggled down in your crib with the mandatory two pacifiers (in case you lose one during the night) and a stuffed animal. Tonight it’s your stuffed dog, or “oof oof” as you call him.
You are so cute.
Can I just tell you how cute you are?
So very cute. And very big.
Aside from our episode of bronchitis, the last month has been a lot of fun. You are walking and talking and feeling quite independent. In fact, walking is one of your favorite things to do – right up there with eating and reading books.
But I wasn’t prepared for this little independence streak to come so soon. Not only do you love to walk, but you want to do it ALL BY YOURSELF THANK YOU VERY MUCH. We’ll be strolling along the sidewalk, and all I see in front of us are land mines of cracks in the concrete and the curb and all sorts of tripping hazards. I reach for your hand to help keep you steady and you yank it away with a little “Uhhh!” A little grunt of protest. You shake your hand like I have tried to give you cooties.
When we went to the beach with Nana, you were thrilled with all the wide-open space in every direction. You played in the sand a little, and tolerated us putting your toes in the water, but most of all you just wanted to walk and walk and walk with the ocean breeze in your face.
And although you’re walking pretty fast now, it still takes us a long time to get from point A to B because you have to stop all along the way to clear the ground of small objects. Acorns. Leaves. Pieces of trash. You often stop when you spot these in your path, stoop down and pick them up, then hand them to me or your Daddy. You’re my little cleaner. Making the world a tidier place one acorn at a time.
You’re also talking more now, and it’s adorable. But I’ve begun to notice a pattern lately. Like a true southern belle, you have a way of turning one-syllable words into polysyllabic ones. I think you’re developing a southern drawl. For example:
Bah-wel = Ball
Mah-wer = More
Here are some more (mah-wer) of your favorites:
Burr = Bird
Boot = Book
Dye-a-purr or Bye-a-purr = Diaper
Bey-purr = Paper (very similar sounding to diaper)
Fzzz = Fish
Chzzz = Cheese
Shzzz = Shoes
Bah-bum = Bottle or cup
Ba (or Bot) = pacifier
Meh-moh = Elmo
You also really like to say “Gah!” but I haven’t figured out what that means yet. We both enjoy communicating. I think it’s really cool that we can actually talk to each other, even in such a rudimentary way.
This month I rearranged a couple of the kitchen cabinets, and made sure there was one you could play in without destroying anything. It has tupperware in it, along with your bibs and a basket of toys too. It keeps you occupied while I cook. You love this cabinet because it’s the only one without a shelf, and has the added benefit of being large enough for you to climb into. Which you do. It’s your little Cami den.
One thing you don’t like AT ALL – having your hair washed. Every night you enjoy your bath until Mama has to ruin it by shampooing your hair. You cry and sob and cry. The thing is, I probably wouldn’t feel like I had to wash it every night if you didn’t LOVE to run your hands through your hair when they’re covered with food. This happens at nearly every meal. You’ll get your hands good and gooey, then just reach back and start working the food bits into your pretty golden hair. I got this picture of you one recent day after lunch. I didn’t do anything to enhance the look -you get all the credit for the ‘do.
But two of my favorite things you’ve really caught on to this month are hugs and eskimo kisses. You have been giving wonderful hugs for a long time, but now you understand the word too. You’ll give us hugs when we ask, and you LOVE to hug your animals. If you’re holding one, I can say, “Camile, will you give Tigger a hug?” And you’ll grasp him to your chest and rock back and forth like he’s a baby. But you don’t just wait for our command. Nearly every time you pick up a stuffed animal, it gets hugs. We call an eskimo kiss “uhga muhga,” and you understand that too. I can say it, and you’ll lean in with a little grin on your face. It warms my heart every time.
Thanks for being such a sweet, fun, and loving girl. I love you so much sweet Camille. Uhga muhga.