Letter to Camille: Twenty-Seven Months

Swinging GirlHi sweet girl and Happy 27 month birthday! You’re
all snuggled down in your fleecy pajamas for the first time this
season, thanks to a cold front that has our temps dipping into the 40s
tonight. Your Daddy and I refuse to turn on the heater just yet,
because we know it’ll get warm again in a matter of days. Actually, the
cool weather is wonderful, and arrived just in time to for some fun
fall activities.

Tonight, we went to our neighborhood Fall
Festival and had a blast. You and your friend Will loaded up in the
wagon for a short walk to the park where the neighborhood association
had a bouncy house, free food and drinks – even yummy chocolate cupcakes.

Yummy Chocolate Cupcake
But best of all were the FREE PONY RIDES! You were quite smitten with
Snickerdoodle, the gray gelding who was carting kids around the square.
It took all your willpower to wait in line for your turn, but we sang
the “Have Patience” song and you persevered. I was actually a little
surprised by your eagerness – I mean, you love horses, but you are by
no means a daredevil. You know those little cars in the mall that you
can sit in and pay 75 cents for them to move gently to and fro? You
like sitting in those cars, but I can just go ahead and save my
quarters because you DO NOT want it to move. You don’t even like it if
the car next to you moves. “ALL DONE!” you say, and demand to be
removed, lest your car suddenly lurch to life.

As we waited in line, I
watched the bouncy horse carriage with some trepidation – could you
really be expected to hang on to that contraption? Would you get
halfway across the square and decide you’re “all done,” except Mommy
and Daddy wouldn’t be there to pull you off the carriage?

But you didn’t hesitate to jump onto the bench with Will and the driver to head off into the sunset on your sturdy steed.

I Heart Snickerdoodle from Ginger on Vimeo.

look incredibly calm and even nonchalant about the whole thing, but
spent a good deal of time tonight talking about Snickerdoodle, so I
think you had a really good time.

Sweet girl, your
transformation from baby into little girl grows more and more complete each day. When you were younger, you used to love going to
Michael’s craft store and looking at the racks and racks of little
plastic toy animals. We’d let you pick out one treasure, and now have a
nice collection of the creatures in your toy box. So last week, when I
needed to run to Michael’s, you agreed to come with me on the promise
of a new toy animal.

Like usual, you were delighted to see the
animals and spent a long time picking up penguins and polar bears,
trying to pick just the right one. After selecting a lion, we moved on
to the next aisle, where you spotted a pink feather boa. That
poor lion didn’t stand a chance. Once you took hold of those soft, hot
pink feathers, you gladly agreed to put the lion back in exchange. I
think your pink feather boa is very cute and sassy, and it’s also
further proof to me that you are indeed turning into a little girly

The Girl Likes Pink
I’ve previously mentioned your growing affection for princesses despite
the fact that your Daddy and I never really tried to nurture that
affection – until now. Yes, I must admit to you – your Daddy and I have
begun exploiting the whole princess passion for our mutual benefit,
most notably in the area of potty training.

We’ve tried to be laid back about this whole potty training business.
Many months ago we bought you a training potty and didn’t push the
issue, but you seemed curious and would sit on it for a bit. But
suddenly back in May, you used it. Three times in a span of two days!
We felt this was a sign you were ready for potty training, so we
started encouraging you. But for whatever reason, you
didn’t use the potty again for about 5 months.

Then a few weeks ago, you decided to use the potty again! Elated, we
really turned up the encouragement. As we would talk to you about how
GREAT it is to use the potty, we’d talk about all the other people you
love who also use the potty. But what you seemed to really latch on to
was the idea that princesses go tinkle in the potty too! “Like
Cinderella!” you say. “And Belle! And Jasmine! And Ariel!”

I can honestly say I’ve never seen a princess go tinkle in any of the
Disney movies, but I’m fairly certain I’ve heard no mention of diapers
either, so I don’t feel that I’ve lied to you in any way. We’ve just
tried to help you see that going potty is a very princess thing to do. I even bought you princess underwear and let you wear them around the house. What a big girl you are!

Go Dawgs Go!I’ve had many, many reasons to be proud of you this month, and one of them happened while I watched you play with cousin Stella. In general, you’ve been having a difficult time sharing your toys. “Mine!” is one of your favorite words, and often seems to play on a loop when other children are around. A couple weeks ago, we were visiting with baby Stella when someone brought out an old keyboard for your entertainment. You love to bang at the keys on a keyboard and announce, “Mille working!” So I sensed trouble when Stella crawled over to see what you were up to. I reminded you about the importance of sharing, and you made room for her to type alongside you. But soon, Stella had crawled on top of the whole keyboard, preventing you from reaching any keys. You sat back and looked at her, and I was ready to intervene if you got angry. After all, Stella is much too little to know better.

But instead, you leaned forward and gave her a big hug. Then you turned away and found another toy. What a sweet, sweet girl you are.

Stella Smooches
This month has had a lot of high points, but it’s been a really hard month too. Last week, Grandma Lou passed away. It’s hard for me to write about, and even harder to imagine explaining it to you. She was your great-grandmother and was one of the kindest, gentlest souls you could hope to meet. She accepted me into the family and always made me feel welcome, but there’s nothing that warms my heart like watching someone love you. And Grandma Lou did love you.

Grandma LouAt her funeral, her hairdresser came over to talk to us. She recognized you immediately from all the pictures Grandma Lou brought to the salon. Said she felt like she watched you grow up through Grandma’s stories and photographs, which were always shared with pride and love. I’m so glad Grandma Lou got to meet you, and I’m so sorry you won’t likely have your own memories of this wonderful lady. But your Boo, your Auntie, your Daddy and I will tell you stories so she can still be a part of your life, because she’ll always be a part of ours.

Your Daddy and I briefly considered not taking you to the out-of-town funeral, because we weren’t sure how you’d handle the situation or how we’d be able to handle it as well. But I’m so glad you were there. Through all of our heartache and tears, you were often like a ray of sunshine to brighten the room. We spent several days at Grandma’s house, and you really had a great time there. It’s what Grandma would’ve wanted.

Swinging With My BooBoo introduced you to the swing set she used as a child. I showed you which trees grow those delicious blueberries you enjoy every year. Your Daddy took you to the creek to look for bullfrogs. Boo showed you how to climb the old fig tree. And you helped us smile.

Climbing TreesI’m so thankful for you, sweet Camille. Thankful for your tender kisses, your wild laughter, your funny faces and your curious spirit.

I love you more and more each day.

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