Letter to Camille: Twenty-Nine Months

Twenty-Nine MonthsHappy Twenty-Nine Month Birthday sweet girl! Just a few minutes ago, I
put you in your crib and watched you scoot as close to the wall as you
could – just like you do every night. You reached a hand through the
rails and began rubbing your open palm over the lavender plaster bumps on the wall.
Apparently, this has become a self-soothing technique and I think it’s
so cute because it’s so … you. You came up with it. It wasn’t
something we suggested, and nothing a sleep book could suggest, it’s
just something you decided you enjoyed. And that makes it cute.

weekend, when we visited Nana and Granddaddy you slept in a
pack-and-play. When I laid you down to sleep I thought about your
plaster wall and wondered if you’d miss it. If you did, it didn’t show,
but we still discovered another of your adorable self-soothing
techniques. Not long after I’d closed the door, I heard a whispering
sound on the monitor. We turned it up and tuned in. You were sleeping
with your beloved Foofa doll, and I realized you were singing one of
her songs.

You’ve become quite the songbird lately, and that’s
one of the many things I’ve enjoyed about this last month. Your current
favorite songs are Jingle Bells (which you originally sang as
“Tinkerbells, Tinkerbells…”) and Rudolph. Yesterday, I also got an
earful of a Yo Gabba Gabba song about using inside voices. Except the
only part you would sing was, “OUTSIDE VOICE! BIG AND LOUD!” Over and
over. Silly girl.

But I think you love making monkey noises even
more than singing. I’m not sure how this began, but I’m sure it has
something to do with the fact that your Daddy is a very convincing
monkey. He makes us both laugh with his antics, and you like playing
along too. You regularly tap us with your magic wand and say,
you! I turn you into monkey!” and we have to hop around sounding like
monkeys until you tap us with the wand again.

All this monkeying around has become quite helpful for getting you to
go upstairs for a bath. In the past, you weren’t always too keen on
beginning your bedtime routine. But one night, Daddy exclaimed, “Let’s
be a monkey family!” and started climbing up the stairs making monkey
noises. You bolted for the stairs to join him faster than I thought
possible. Now, every night we head upstairs as a monkey family
(sometimes an elephant family and robot family too.) I got this video
one night when we were all going bananas (pun intended):

Monkey Family from Ginger on Vimeo.

It has been fun watching you play with your cousins this last month, as we were lucky enough to visit with Jones over Thanksgiving and Stella last weekend. At Nana and Granddaddy’s, you were such a good sharer, and even wanted to include Stella in your play. She tolerated being your patient as you tried out your new doctor’s kit.

Dr. CamilleAnd even sat still long enough to join you for a tea party!

Tea for TwoI began to have visions of what these gatherings will be like in the future, or at least what I hope they’ll be like. Nana and Granddaddy have a play room upstairs, and I can picture you two bounding up there together in a fit of girlish giggles to play with toys, watch movies together, and just be buddies. I imagine one day, when the pack and plays have been sold off at yard sales and are a distant memory, you two will even have slumber parties together in that room. I enjoyed my cousins growing up, especially the days we spent together at my Grandparent’s farm, and I wish the same for you, too.

Camille, one of coolest things about having you in our lives is how you help us rediscover the wonders of childhood. And few things were more wonderful for me as a child than Christmas. Watching you discover this season has been so fun. From decorating the tree, to Christmas parades and stockings, you’ve soaked up every bit of it. And Santa Claus hasn’t even come to see you yet!

Decorating with DaddyDespite the trimmings and holiday lights, it definitely doesn’t feel like Christmas right now. The temperatures have been in the 80s the last several days, and at first I was really annoyed. I get frustrated enough that we don’t get any snow, and feeling like I’m going to start sweating in December is like adding insult to injury. But after I came to terms with the fact that I cannot change the weather, I decided to embrace it. Apparently you had the same thought, because yesterday morning you said, “Mama, I want to go to beach.” And I thought, “Why not?”

It was a little strange listening to Christmas music on the way to build sand castles, but I didn’t fight it. There were only a handful of other people there, parking was a breeze, and as we walked over the sand dunes we could see dolphins in the water. It was perfect.

Beach in DecemberYou split your time between playing in the sand and chasing away the birds. They wanted some of our snack, and when they got too close you’d jump up and run at them, waving your arms wildly and yelling, “Go away birds!” I caught you in mid-yell in this photo, and it makes me laugh.

Go Away Birds!Oh sweet girl, you make me laugh so much. Best of all, I think you’re happy too. Today, as I got you out of your carseat to go to a Christmas party at your preschool, you announced, “Mama, I’m happy.” That’s really all a parent can hope for their child, and I’m so glad you’re happy. You make me very happy too. I love you sweet pea.

Winter Beach

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