Letter to Camille: Thirty-Three Months

Easter afternoonHello sweet sleepy-bee, and Happy Thirty-Three Month birthday. I’m listening on the monitor as you roll around in your crib, trying to settle down for the night. I know you’re sleepy – we had a big afternoon! Our church had a spring fling/cookout at Hull Park and you played and played and played some more.

Once again, this month I am both amazed and amused at the development of your language. I feel like you understand nearly every word I say to you, and you constantly surprise me with a new word or phrase, some even outside your native language. The other day, your buddy Elsie was sweet enough to bring you a piece of pink cake, and you took one look at it and shouted, “Rosa!” Not realizing your school had been teaching you colors in Spanish, I asked you to repeat it. “Rosa!” you said. “It means pink!” And sure enough, you know several other colors in Spanish too.

The other day we were walking across a sandy playground when the wind started whipping the sand in our faces. Instead of the mono-syllabic moaning or complaining I’d expect of a 2-year-old, you stopped mid-stride, raised your hands to cover your eyes from the sand onslaught and declared, “IT’S HORRIBLE!”

I felt badly for laughing at you, but that just seemed like such a dramatic, grown-up thing to say!

So CoolAt other times, it’s not a new word that surprises me, but rather the context. Like tonight, at the park, you were wearing your swanky flower sunglasses. As you climbed up a playground ladder, your Daddy and I commented on how cool you looked. You paused, looked at us and said matter-of-factly, “I look like a nurse.”

Where do you come up with these things?

Sea grassI also love your tender heart, which is a beautiful thing to have even if it causes you distress from time to time. You cannot stand the thought of someone or something in pain or peril. We were riding in the car the other day when suddenly you cried out, “What happened?!? What happened to that bug???!!!??”

We were driving past a billboard for a local pest control company which featured a graphic of a termite with bruises and scratches, looking rather abused. You were clearly upset by this, so we tried to diffuse the situation by just saying, “Well, he got a boo-boo.”

These billboards are all over town, and each time you see one we go through this conversation again, starting with, “What happened to that bug????!!!??” And usually ending with your attempt at reconciliation. “He’s crying for his Mommy and Daddy! I will blow him a kiss. That will make him feel better.”

The day of your school Easter Party, I watched you during circle time as your teacher read “Miss Spider’s Tea Party.” When she got to the part where the spider began to cry because no one would come to her party, you began asking “What happened, Mama? What happened to her? She’s so sad!” Your teacher told me you often get upset during story time whenever the object of the story faces sadness or conflict, even crying as she reads until the matter is resolved.

Circle Time at SchoolI love your tender heart so much it nearly breaks my own.

However, I must admit I have exploited your sympathies a bit when it comes to eating vegetables. I blame it on an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba in which the vegetables on the plate are crying because they want to go to the “party” in Brobee’s tummy. So, for example, last night when you didn’t want to eat your asparagus, I just said, “Oh no Camille! The asparagus is crying! It wants to go to the party!” And you ate every single bite. I hope that doesn’t make me a bad mother, but I’m pretty sure you understand it’s all part of a game we play. 

Looking for eggs!This month you really enjoyed all the Easter celebrations, culminating in the family Easter egg hunt at Grandma Lou’s house. We all spent the weekend at Boo’s house making cupcakes and dyeing eggs in anticipation of the big event. Here’s a video recap of our fun weekend.

Easter Weekend 2009 from Ginger on Vimeo.

As much as you enjoy hunting eggs, I think it’s cute that you haven’t gotten competitive about it yet. At Grandma Lou’s there are three “prize” eggs that have money inside, which is a big deal to the older kids. You found two of the prize eggs (the older kids were told to let the little ones find them this year). One was a big ceramic egg, and soon after finding it, you took it back out of your basket and handed it to me. “It’s too big,” you said. Sigh. How cute that you aren’t all wrapped up in getting the biggest prize egg.

Found a Prize Egg!In fact, you taught me a lesson about my own competitive nature this month. I was watching video from your school egg hunt, and cringed as I listened to myself giving you instructions. You’d found 4 or 5 eggs, and decided to stop and open them. As I watched all the other kids racing around to get the rest of the eggs, I urged you to put yours away and keep hunting. But later when I thought about it, I realized it was bad advice. Why should I make you want to get more and more eggs? Why should I care if the other kids got the rest? If you were satisfied with 4 eggs and were ready to enjoy your find, why wasn’t that good enough? I’m sorry I got pushy, and I pledge to work harder on enjoying the small pleasures of life like you do, and not constantly look for something more.

Beach ChairIn many ways you seem so grown up, but there are still parts of your babyhood you’d like to cling to awhile longer. Like your pacifier. A
long time ago, we restricted use of your pacifier to naptime, bedtime and in the car. This month, your Daddy and I decided it was time to take away the car pacifier, and the first car ride without it was brutal. You cried so hard and we all felt just awful. But remarkably, the next ride (and nearly every ride since), you asked for it, but didn’t get upset when it was denied. Thanks for being such an agreeable little girl. Next up, getting rid of the night-time and naptime pacifier. I hope your accepting nature kicks in there too, but I know it’ll be tough.

First Kite!You enjoyed two fun “firsts” this month, all on the same day! You had your first pony ride and flew your first kite. You selected a Thomas the Train kite at the store, and were delighted to see it soar in the air. The beach was a perfect place for your first kite experience, and I think you liked it almost as much as your Daddy did.

Kite FlyingThank you for another amazing month, my love. Thank you for filling my ears with your laughter and my arms with your hugs. Thank you for being my talkative, tender-hearted two-year-old. I love you so, so very much.

Easter Family

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