Letter to Camille: Twenty-Two Months

Hi sweet bunny and Happy 22 Month Birthday! Right now you’re sleeping all snuggled in the cutest sleeping gown, and you look like such a big girl in it. Until now, your pajamas have been a mixture of shorts and shirts and (my favorite) footie p.j.s. But this gown just looks so grown on you – but that’s mostly because you’re looking quite grown up yourself!
The gown has little strawberries on it, and I’m fairly certain there will be many times in the coming months when you’ll put it on and say, “Elsie!” You must have loved picking strawberries with her a couple of months ago, because you still say her name nearly every time you see or eat a strawberry.
I’ve enjoyed watching you become even more of a social butterfly this month. Being home two extra days a week has given us more time to play with other kids your age, which has been fun for both of us. You interact with your friends even more than you used to, even though you still often play around each other as much as with each other. Your little friend Hart is quite a lover, and I snapped this photo at the park recently when he couldn’t resist a kiss. I can’t blame him, and you liked wrapping your arms around him too.
Sometimes I’ve wondered if you were even that interested in a particular friend, or just liked being around kids in general. I think it’s some of both. You definitely like to be around other children, but you have your favorites too.
I found this out the other day after our last playdate with Elsie. You two played around our house, and then Beth and I decided to stroll you to the park. My heart melted when your little hands stretched out toward each other across your strollers, and you insisted we move your strollers close enough together so you could hold hands as we pushed you along the street. Then when it was time for Elsie to leave, you became hysterical. As her mom buckled her into her car, you cried and kept yelling “Elsie!” over and over again while she peered back at you from inside the car. At first I thought it was cute and funny, but you were just so upset and didn’t seem to be getting over it, not even when I took you inside. I finally had to get down on the floor and tell you quietly that Elsie had to go bye-bye and it was ok, we’d see her later. You sighed, then wrapped your arms around my neck. I think it’s so sweet you have friends and that you love being with people, because having good friends is important in all our lives.
Do you know what else you love? The beach. Oh my goodness you had so much fun the last time we took you to the beach. It was the first time you’d been this season when it was warm enough to wear suits and play in the water, and I wasn’t sure what you’d think of it.
We timed our trip perfectly because it was low tide and little tidal pools had formed along the shore. They were shallow and had warmed in the sun, and you had so much fun running from one to the next, kicking and splashing and laughing, periodically stopping to yell, “BEACH!” I don’t have to say too much about it – this video pretty much sums it up:

Beach! from Ginger on Vimeo.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, because I love the ocean and I’m looking forward to being beach bums together. We’ll definitely go back again soon.
You also love flowers – actually you love any kind of scented thing. You’ll carry a candle (unlit of course) around the house for a long time, sniffing it and insisting we smell it too. The gardenias outside our house are blooming, and their flowers are very fragrant. We were playing in the yard the other day when you discovered them, and I got this great picture – one of my favorites.
You held on to that bloom so tightly and we kept urging you not to pull it off, because if you had it your way you’d pluck them all and take them with you everywhere you go. So instead you buried your face in it, looking like someone whose very breath required the sweet fragrance.
You’re talking so much more this month, repeating whole phrases and with increasing accuracy. This morning, you pointed at the embroidery on your highchair cover asking what it said, and when I told you, you repeated it back with the most perfect “Eddie Bauer.” It cracked me up, as if you were interested in brands or something. But I think one of my favorite things you say is “Hi, Mommy,” because you say it so sweetly. You’ll be playing and then stop suddenly, leaning in with your arms outstretched and croon, “Hi, Mommy.” Then you’ll pull me into a tight hug and hold me there for a while. I love it because it seems so genuine, and I think it’s your way of saying “I love you.” I love you too. Hi, Camille.
You’ve started saying your name this month, and it’s adorable. We’ve been going back and forth between calling you Cami and Camille, but you seem to prefer Camille. You’ll point at yourself and say, “Meal.” I’m sure I’ll still call you Cami sometimes, but I love hearing you say Meal.
Another favorite of yours is music. We have some fun kid’s music CDs in the stereo in your room, and whenever we walk in there you’ll run up to the stereo cabinet and yell “Nu-nic!” for music. When it plays you dance and twirl and laugh, and then you ask to get in your crib where you dance and twirl and laugh some more. If you’re really feeling it, you’ll thrash around in your crib like it were a mini-mosh pit, flopping down against the bumpers and collapsing in a fit of giggles. I need to get it on camera, but I’m usually so busy clapping and cheering you on I don’t think of grabbing the camera in time.
But you also like playing music, and thankfully, I’ve captured that on tape. Your Daddy keeps a guitar in your nursery, and when you see it you say, “Pick?” You love holding the pick, and have grown quite adept at strumming the strings and playing with Daddy. I love watching the two of you play.

Camille Plays Guitar from Ginger on Vimeo.
Sweet girl, thank you for another great month and for all the music you bring to our lives, whether it’s on Daddy’s guitar, or through your own sweet singing, your laughter, or the way you say “peek-boo!” while hiding behind the curtain in the dining room. The other day, your Daddy said didn’t think he’d ever laughed as much as he has since you were born. You bring smiles to our faces every day, and I’m so thankful for another month of being your mommy. I love you peanut.