Letter to Camille: Twenty Months

Hello sweet snugglebunny all cozy in your crib, and Happy 20-month Birthday! You had a busy day, and seemed quite ready to put on your duck pajamas and get under the covers tonight. You played with your Nana all morning, then went to baby school this afternoon, and then the park! I think you had a good day, but you miss your Nana. I do too.
You two were so cute yesterday. Nana showed you how to make cookies, and you followed directions expertly while standing on a chair pulled up to the kitchen counter. You’d get so excited about cooking that you’d stomp your little feet in anticipation when it was time to put the bunny dough on the cookie sheet.
Waiting was the hardest part, but finally the timer would go off and the cookies were done. “Ookies!” you’d yell as Nana pulled them out of the oven. Then the best part – eating them, of course!
You got to spend a lot more time than usual with your grands this month, which has been wonderful. You had plenty of one-on-one attention from them while we were in Cuba, and both of your grandmothers have since come here to visit. In fact, your schedule has been pretty crazy lately, and I’m afraid it will take your Daddy and me some time to undo all the spoiling. In addition to all the extra grandparent attention (and rule-breaking), we were all sick last week, so you pretty much got your way. We all kind of felt like we’d been run over by a car, so if you wanted to lie in bed and watch Elmo, that was fine by us. None of us felt much like eating, so if all you wanted for dinner were grapes (the purple ones, NOT the green ones), then that was A-OK.
Except, you’re not sick anymore, but you still expect a steady diet of furry red monsters and purple grapes. Sometimes you’ll look at me and ask, “Elmo?” And I’ll say, “No sweetie, we’re not going to watch Elmo right now.” And then you’ll furrow your brow and turn your lips down and moan “Eeeeeelmoooooh!” like I had sliced into your heart. At dinner, I’ll bring over a plate of something sensible including green veggies, and you’ll take one look and shake your head. “No. No. No.” you’ll say. Thankfully, tonight you seemed a bit more compliant, only asking for Elmo once, and actually eating your pasta and peas.
You really are such a sweet, adorable person even when you’re being stubborn. And you’re certainly not stubborn all the time. In fact, most of the time you’re happy, playful, and ready to offer up a laugh or a kiss or whatever your mama might need.
You still love to play pretend, and are still very much into your baby dolls. Your daddy bought you one called “Oscar Baby,” because it’s a baby doll wearing a really cute Oscar-the-Grouch outfit. You love the baby doll, but you can’t stand for any of your dolls to wear clothes. Not even the Oscar outfit! Sometimes your Daddy puts the outfit on the doll at night while you’re sleeping, and when you wake up and start playing with it, you almost immediately begin tugging at the velcro. “Cohz! Cohz!” you say, which is your word for clothes. “Off! Off!” You won’t calm down until Oscar Baby is naked, being strolled through the house in the doll stroller.
You’ve really started mimicking us this month, which is adorable and scary at the same time. I really have to start watching what I say, because I’ll be talking to someone else and suddenly you’ll repeat a word I just said or react to it in some way, even though I had no idea you were listening. You’ve also started taking an interest in cleaning, something you probably would’ve done sooner, except I usually do my cleaning at night. Because I have to be at work all day, I really want the little time we have together in the evening to be quality time, so I wait until you’re asleep to clean. But then I decided I didn’t want you growing up thinking magic fairies come to the house during the night and clean house, because you’d be in for a big disappointment, so I started doing some more cleaning with you around. The other day, you helped me mop the hardwood floors. You carried the mop from room to room chanting, “Mop, mop, mop.”
Later, I walked into your room to find you sitting on the floor, furiously scrubbing the rug with a washcloth like a tiny Cinderella.
One of your favorite things to do this month is play in your crib, of all things! One day we walked into your room, and you ran up to your crib and started yelling, “NIGHT NIGHT! NIGHT NIGHT!” and reaching up like you wanted to get in. I mean, you haven’t fought against your crib in a long time, but I was still surprised you wanted to get in there when it wasn’t nap time or bed time. But you insisted, so I put you in. You plopped down to your belly and said “Night night!” and pretended to go to sleep. If I talked to you, sometimes you’d put your finger to your nose and say, “SHHHHHHHHH!” Yes ma’am!
After a few minutes of this you like to put your stuffed animals night-night in there too by lying them on their bellies and covering them with a blanket. Then the book bonanza begins. You’ve always liked books, but this month your obsession has moved to a whole new level. Now, you like for me to give you books in your crib, and you’ll flip wildly through them like a little speed reader, then quickly demand another. Finally one day I just put a box of about 50 books in your crib, and you went through each one. We do this nearly every day now, and sometimes several times a day. I think it’s wonderful that you love books so much! And you seem so grown up, looking at books all by yourself. I walked out of your room one time, and when I walked back in you were lying on your back with your feet up in the air, holding Charlotte’s Web over your head, looking for all the world like you were truly reading. It was precious.
Another cute thing you started doing this month is saying “Thank you.” I wish I could say we taught you this, but I think it must be something you learned at baby school. At first, I didn’t realize that’s what you were saying, but every time you’d hand me something you’d say “Day-doo!” When you were finished with your milk, “Day-doo!” When you were done with a book, “Day-doo!” I finally figured it out, and I think it’s so cute! I say “Day-doo” to baby school for teaching you that!
We’ve also been working on counting this month, and for about a day you would count from 1 to 5. We got so excited every time you’d get to 5 and we’d cheer and yell – but that sort of backfired on us. Now, you skip right from 2 to 5, because I think you’re ready for all the shouts and adulation. So, we have to work on 3 and 4 some more, as you can see from this video.

Camille Counts To Five from Ginger on Vimeo.
Sweet Camille, thank you for being the wonderful little girl that you are. You amaze me every single day, and I love everything about you – from the top of your little blond head to the tips of your tiny toes. I’m already looking forward to seeing you and your little duck pajamas in the morning so we can start another month of adventures together. I love you so much, sweet Camibear. You are delicious.