Letter to Camille: Twenty-Eight Months

28 Months OldHello sweet sleeping angel, and Happy 28-month birthday! I’m sitting on the couch as I type this, listening to your sweet, satisfyingly deep breaths on the baby monitor, and thinking about how much I love you.

This time 28 months ago, you weren’t even 2 hours old. And now, all these months later, you’ve become very interested in the idea of being in utero. This began a couple of weeks ago when you saw a picture of me when I was pregnant with you. Your Daddy explained you were a tiny baby in mommy’s tummy. You bring it up quite often, but especially after bath time. We take you out of the water, wrap you tightly in a towel and cradle you in our arms, and then we call you our tiny little baby.

“I’m a tiny baby in mommy’s tummy!” you say.

Then we begin this elaborate nightly game of pretend. “Oh look at this tiny baby!” we say. “She’s so tiny I bet she can’t even talk yet!”

“Hi!!” you chime brightly.

“Wow! She can talk!” we remark, followed by something like, “but I bet she can’t count to ten.”

“One, two, three…” and you count to 10 perfectly.

“Oh my goodness! But I bet she can’t count to 10 in Spanish!”

“Uno, dos, tres…” and so on.

“But could she possibly make monkey noises, too?” And of course, you oblige.

Hayride SmilesI am constantly amazed by the things you can do, baby girl! You are so smart, and your creativity is starting to blossom too. You’ve been playing pretend for a while now, but recently you’ve taken things up a notch by coming up with alternate uses for ordinary toys. For example, you’ve been playing tea party for months, pretending to sip imaginary tea from a cup. But the other day, you turned your cup upside down and pressed the open side against your neck. You wanted me to do it too.

“Like a doctor,” you said. I wasn’t sure what you meant.

“How is this like a doctor?” I asked, pressing the cup against my own neck.

“Listen to my heart,” you said. “Sounds like a drum.” Then I realized you were pretending the cup was really a stethescope – smarty!

Super ModelYou’ve also begun expanding your musical expression as well. A few months ago we captured audio of you singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in the car. Well, a couple of weeks ago Daddy snagged this great audio of you singing and playing piano too. We were at church and you were banging away at the keys and came up with this Twinkle Star – Barney – Baa Baa Black Sheep mash-up. I especially love your intensity halfway through the song!

MixwitMixwit make a mixtapeMixwit mixtapes

That recording also makes me laugh because of the way it ends. “That’s mine!” is probably your favorite phrase these days, perhaps second only to “I want to watch Maisy Mouse.” Sometimes you’re very serious about possessing something, but sometimes you’re just being funny. You’ll hold my hand and exclaim, “My fingers! These my fingers.” I’ll be holding you and you’ll point to my forehead and say, “These my eyebrows.” In the audio recording, I’d just walked out of the church’s kitchen with a bowl, and you had to stop your performance to declare, “That’s mine. My bowl.” Silly girl.

You’ve also become quite the backseat driver these days. You understand the basics of traffic signals – green means go, red means stop, and you seem very interested in the lights. As we approach an intersection, you almost always yell out, “Green, Mama! It’s green!” But you say this no matter what color it is, even though I know you know the difference.

“Camille – what color is that?”

“It’s red, Mama,” you’ll confess. “Might turn green,” you add. Then when it does, I hear outbursts of “It’s greeeeeeeeeeeeen!” from the backseat.

Your backseat driving is cute except for those few times I’ve almost believed you. If we’re sitting at a red light and I’m adjusting the radio or something, you’ll yell out, “It’s green, Mama!” And I’ll come close to releasing the brake as I look up, only to find it as red as it has been.

“Camille… what color is that?” I’ll ask.

“Red, Mama,” you say in a conspiratorial tone.

I love all of our little games, peanut. You definitely keep us entertained, and I think it’s so much fun to communicate with you, whether we’re being serious or just being silly.

Sweet as a FlowerSpeaking of serious things, something very important happened in our country last month. You may have slept through the celebration, but I’m hoping you’ll still reap the benefits of the choice our nation made to elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. I know he wasn’t your first choice. The night before the election, I asked you if you wanted to vote for John McCain or Barack Obama. You said, “O’Mama.” Thank you sweetie, but I’m not qualified to lead this country. Fortunately, I think Obama is.

I felt he was the right choice for reasons that had nothing to do with race (hello healthcare plan, I’m looking at you), but I am also very proud that our country has elected an African-American President. I hope one day you’ll ask me about this, ask me where I was when it happened, ask me what I was thinking and feeling. I hope you’ll ask questions because it will seem so odd to you, just like the idea of segregated schools does to me. I still find it hard to believe my parents went to school during a time when people of different races weren’t permitted to learn in adjacent desks, and they were there to witness desegregation. We’ve come a long way from those times, and I’m proud to feel I was a tiny, tiny part of this most recent step forward. And I hope his election will not only bring about political reforms that improve your future, but is also a sign of social reforms that will result in a more accepting, more just society.

You deserve it. You deserve a future as bright as your sweet smile, and trust me, that’s really bright. I love you little bear, and I’m so thankful to be part of your yesterday and today, and can’t wait for tomorrow. I love you.

Sweet Face

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