Letter to Camille: Sixteen Months

Hello sweet sleeping Princess, and Happy Month 16! You finally seem to have quieted down after another coughing fit. I’m so sorry you’re still going through all these winter/childhood illnesses, and I wish there were more I could do for you. This cold is pretty nasty, but somehow you still manage to be your sweet perky self (aside from your weekend napping lapse), and for that I am grateful. We’ve had a good month, little peanut.
I mean, even in the doctor’s office, look how sweet you are. Your Daddy took this pic with his cell phone camera during a recent visit to our pediatrician. We were back in a room, waiting for her to come in, and you were sitting in the kid’s chair reading a book. Chilling. I can’t say this lasted for long – soon you were bored and ready for the next thing, but it was super cute.
Not even your cold will keep you from wrestling with me every night. After dinner, when we’re playing on the living room floor, at some point you’ll start crawling all over me, sitting on my head, laying across my stomach, and just generally wrestling. I love it. Then at some point during our tussle, you’ll pull my shirt up and point to my belly button and say, “butt.”
And I laugh. We tell you over and over that it’s a belly button, but why waste all that energy when it’s more fun to call it a butt?
I’m amazed every day by the new words you’re learning. You’re still a voracious reader, but your favorite thing to do these days while reading (or maybe it’s our favorite and you just play along), is to point to things. We’ll ask, “Where is the ball? Do you see a bird? What does a cow say?” And you answer so well!
You’re getting really good at animal noises. So far you seem to have mastered dog, cow, sheep, duck and horse. Just last week, I realized you had learned another one -my favorite by far. We were at Nikki’s house and I was changing your diaper in Nate’s room. You kept pointing across the room and making this bizarre gurgling noise. I couldn’t decide if you were feeling congested or had a lot of drainage or what. I picked you up and headed around the room trying to figure out what you were pointing at that caused you to make such strange sounds. Finally, we landed on a ceramic pig and you got all excited. You were snorting! IT CRACKS ME UP! Every time. Every single time you do it I laugh. It’s hilarious to me. Thank you for all those good belly laughs!
You really enjoyed hanging out with your friends Nia and Nate. It’s so much fun for me to see you interacting with other kids. One day, you and Nate were playing in his room when he suddenly took your hand and asked you, “Walk? Walk?” Then he started walking with you around the house. I swear, it was so cute I actually teared up. Yes, your mama is a softy. I manage to compose myself quickly enough to grab the video camera and capture this bit of your stroll.

Cami and Nate from Ginger on Vimeo.
I do believe you are starting to develop little friendships. There is a mom at baby school who’d been telling me for a while that she thought you and her daughter Christina were friends. I thought it was a cute idea, but I wasn’t sure if you were old enough to really start preferring one child over another. But now I feel differently. Last week, I walked in to your room at baby school at the end of the day. You and all the babies were in your chairs in the table while the teacher cleaned up the room. You didn’t see me at first, so I quietly watched as you turned toward each other, and you stretched out your arms and she did the same. You folded into each other in an embrace and giggled. It was ADORABLE. The teacher was watching too, and said, “they’ve been doing that for the past 10 minutes.”
Unfortunately, I also think you may have some foes too. Earlier this week I found what looked like a bite mark on your back. Alarmed, I asked your teacher and she seemed shocked, and said she didn’t see it happen. Then she made me feel worse by saying, “What we’re having a problem with is hitting.”
I asked, “Is Camille doing any of the hitting?”
She said, “No, but sometimes I wish she would. Not that I want her to learn to hit, but we have some bullies in this room.”
I was horrified. I know kids hit and bite at this age, and I don’t want to be a parent who overreacts to every little thing. It’s part of growing up and learning to co-exist, right? But the way she said it, I just pictured you being terrorized by these “bullies” all day. I wish you could tell me about it so I’d know the extent of the problem. But for now I guess I will just keep a close eye on you, and if we find more marks we’re going to have some decisions to make about daycare.
Meanwhile, you really seem to have a handle on this walking business, and are setting your sights on running. You do this cute thing that is somewhere between a walk and a run. It’s kind of like a gallop. You know you can move your legs in a different way to go faster, but you haven’t quite figured out how it all works. You are precious!
And when did you get so big? Just look at this pic of us going down the slide in Forsyth Park yesterday. Your legs looks so long! Soon you’ll be zooming down that slide on your own.
I love this picture of you and your Daddy. I took it by the fountain yesterday when you were getting tickled. You liked it.
Are you excited about this Thanksgiving holiday? I am! We’ll leave Wednesday to visit Uncle Jeff and Aunt Michelle and meet your new cousin!
I showed you this picture the other night, and said “This is Stella. Can you say Stella?”
You said “Ella!”
So smart!
I’ve been worrying about your cold, and wanting to be sure we don’t give it to Baby Stella. So as much as I’d like to watch you interact with your new cousin, I’m afraid you’ll only be able to watch from afar this time. But soon enough, I hope you’ll be great playmates.
I love you sweetie pie. Thank you for being the kind of girl who makes me laugh and warms my heart every day. Thank you for being my daughter. Sweet dreams.