Letter to Camille: Thirty-Five Months

Camille at 35 monthsHappy almost-three-year birthday, my love! In just one more month, you will be three, can you believe it? This has been a wonderful month of “firsts,” and I have delighted in sharing all kinds of new experiences with you.

Earlier this month, we spent a few days in Hilton Head with Elsie and her family, and you experienced your very first sleepover. Elsie was sleeping in a room with two twin beds, and her parents, your Daddy and I were very curious about what would happen if we put you in the other bed in Elsie’s room.

That night, we tucked you both in and strategically placed a baby monitor on the nightstand between your two beds. As soon as we shut the door, you two began chatting, and the conversation went on for 45 minutes. And this wasn’t just a case of the two of you talking independently of each other – you were having full-fledged conversations. Who knew two-year-olds could carry on conversations for that long?

We couldn’t catch every detail, but it seems that a majority of the discussion revolved around poop. This made me laugh, because I imagine when you girls are 13 you’ll talk about boys and bands and hair and clothes and whatever else girls are into at that time. But when you’re two and in the middle of potty training, I guess that’s what’s on your mind. I was quite pleased to hear Elsie announce, “Camille, we put our poo-poo in the potty. We do NOT put our poo-poo in our pants!” I wanted to reach through the monitor and give her a kiss for that. I hope her advice will always be so sage.

A few moments later, you laughed and laughed when telling Elsie about a recent trip to a swimming pool. “Someone pooped in the pool!” you giggled, and repeated this over and over.

You girls finally fell asleep and all seemed well until 3 a.m. And 4 a.m. And 5 a.m. and so on. You kept waking each other up, therefore waking us up and making us all a bit cranky. But I must admit, it was worth it to hear you girls enjoying each other so much.

The next night, as we were getting you ready for bed, I tried to impress upon you the importance of sleep. “Camille,” I said, “we need to go to sleep tonight with no talking.”

You looked at me with a truly pained expression and pleaded, “But mama, we need to talk!

Me: “And what do you girls need to talk about?”

You: “We need to talk about band-aids!”

But of course. I had no adequate reply for that except a laugh. Obviously band-aids are an issue requiring the listening ear and advice of a trusted girlfriend.

Safety FirstYou experienced another first on that trip – your first bike ride. There’s a great restaurant just an easy 5-minute bike ride from the beach house, and our friends were kind enough to loan us some bikes and a helmet for the trip. You loved the ride and loved the restaurant too, where Elsie introduced you to the “smurf.” It’s basically soda with blue coloring, and it was a hit.

DancingCamille, I must tell you how proud I am of the way you’ve handled a very HUGE milestone in your transition from baby to girl this month. You have finally given up your pacifier. It wasn’t easy, and you still miss it, but I’ve been proud of you for handling this difficult reality so well.

We’ve been talking about the Paci Fairy for months now, and each night you’d repeat the same mantra, “I’m not ready yet.” You knew that if the Paci Fairy came in the night to take your pacifiers away, you’d get a camera. You wanted that camera, but not more than you wanted your pacis. I began to wonder if we’d ever be able to make this transition without force.

Then we went to Boo’s house last weekend to celebrate Jones’ birthday. We put a paci in the suitcase, but that night when you went to sleep, we forgot to give it to you. AND YOU FORGOT TO ASK FOR IT. You slept peacefully all that night and the next night too. So even though you hadn’t told us you were ready to sleep without your paci, we decided your behavior was indication enough. So we told you the paci fairy came and surprised you with your camera.

It was great fun watching you take pictures at Jones’ party and seeing what the festivities looked like through toddler eyes. Here’s a peek at a few of your photos:

Photo CollageDespite how well things went at Boo’s house, my concern was that you would really miss your pacifier once we got home. You are a creature of habit, and a pacifier is a big part of your evening routine. Sure enough, that first night back you asked for your pacifier. When we told you that you didn’t have a pacifier any more, you fell on the floor and sobbed. And this seemed different than a typical toddler tantrum. You were really, genuinly upset.

We held you and let you cry until you calmed down enough for a bedtime story. But once we tucked you in, the tears started anew. For nearly a half hour we heard you through the baby monitor, lying in your bed and crying. Nothing we did seemed to comfort you, but you finally fell asleep and slept through the night.

And miraculously, that was it. The next night, and every night since, you’ve asked for your pacifier, but seemed to understand and accept the finality of our answer. I’m sorry you had that one night of heartache, but I’m also proud of you for rebounding so quickly. You really are my big girl.

Yet another first this month – you watched an entire movie from start to finish in one sitting. We haven’t tried this often, but the few times in the past we allowed you to watch a movie, you just didn’t have the attention span to stick with it. But on a whim, I set our tivo to record Tinkerbell for a rainy day.

And when that day came, you watched that movie with rapt attention from beginning to end, and immediately wanted a repeat showing. One very positive (in my opinion) benefit of your new Tinkerbell mania is that you took off your beloved Burger King Crown! You said, “I don’t want to be a Princess right now, I want to be a fairy.” And for the next week, you donned this flower wreath instead.

My Fairy PrincessYou will still occasionally switch back to a crown so you can be a princess, but you have enough other crowns that we were able to dispose of the Burger King crown without protest. Hallelujah!

You continue to exercise your new vocabulary, and this month your word usage made you seem quite philosophical on occasion.

One night during your bath, you pointed to my can of shaving cream and said, “Mama, what is that?” I told you it was shaving cream, and you said, “Oh! That’s incredible!”

A few days later, we were at The Crab Shack watching people feed the baby alligators. As one alligator snapped up a treat, I said, “Did you see t
hat alligator eating, Camille?” To which you replied, “Yes! It was beautiful.”

Yesterday we were swimming, and you were jumping from the pool’s edge into my arms. After one leap, I said, “Got ya!” And you added approvingly, “That was wise.”

Four FrameWhat a big, exciting, fun month we’ve had! I may accuse you of hyperbole from time to time, but I mean it when I say that I love you more than you could know. Thank you for another good month and good memories. I love you, my sweet big girl.

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