Sunday, April 10, 2011

letter to the puddin cup at 18 months

hello my little darling puddin cup,

on friday, you turned 18 months old.  i used to dream about what you would be like at 18 months.  you know...back when you were only 6 weeks old and you would stay up all.night.long?  i'm sure you don't remember that.  but i do.  daddy and i would divide the night up.  i would stay up with you until 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning, and then when i could not stay awake 1 minute longer, i would wake up daddy and he would take over until morning.  at the time, i knew that i would look back on those quiet nights with you...swaddled in a pink bundle...fussing and squeaking and waking at the drop of a feather...walking you and rocking you and bouncing you and swaying you...and wish that i could go back and experience your tininess, your baby noises, your eyes of wonder, your burp rags, your flowery gowns and your swaddled little body again.  if just for one night.  sometimes...during those sleepless nights, i found myself wondering what you would be like as you grew older.  mainly i wondered if you would ever stop spitting up everywhere...and if you would ever sleep.  i thought...surely, she will decide to agree with life at some point.

and you did.  you just took your time adjusting.  and that's ok.  i'm sorry i wasn't more patient with you.  i'm sorry i let it bother me that you never slept.  someday, maybe you will have a baby of your own...and you will call upon me...and ask me why she won't sleep.  and i'll be able to tell you..."my dear, sweet annslee...enjoy this time, because these precious months will soon be forever gone and will be nothing but a memory.  and yes...puddin cup, she will sleep.  eventually."

you amaze us all.  you are strong and tough.  you know what you want and how to get it.  we hope that you will be able to channel this steel will of yours and use it for good.  right use it to get the things that you goodies and breakables from the cabinets.  you will go after what you want, with a determination and perseverance unlike any i've ever seen before.  you are a stubborn one.  and we are not sure exactly how to tame you.  you are sort of like a wild horse.  beautiful and strong.  wild and free.  only needing someone to break the part of your will that will get you into trouble while allowing you to run free to be who God created you to be.  i have no doubt that whatever dreams you set your mind will find a way to not stop until they are a reality.  you don't cry when you fall.  you pick yourself up and you keep going.  you got your first owie the other day.  it was a big, bleeding scrape on your knee.  you looked at it...looked at me...touched it...and then got up and continued on your way.  your older brothers and sister would have surely cried.  not you.  not my tough one.  every few steps, you would bend down, lift your skirt, and check to make sure your owie was still there.  like it was your badge of honor.  you would look at me and point to it and smile.  and i would say, "yes...your owie is still there."

you love to explore.  we started going on "yes" walks together every morning around 10.  you were no longer content to be confined to the house.  you wanted out.  out into the discover what God had for you.  because i spend the majority of the day telling you things like, "no no annslee" and "stop" and "don't touch that" and "hurry up...we have to go here or there," i decided you needed at least an hour of "YES!"  you quickly became a fan of these morning adventures and will go get your shoes and point to the door around the same time every morning.  you know it's your turn.  we head out the back door and i follow you wherever you want to go.  i don't ever tell you "no."  some of your favorite things to do is walk out to the swing in our backyard and point to it and say, "uh."  that means you want to swing.  shortly after i get you point to the swing next to you and say, "uh."  that means you want me to swing too.  then i follow you down the driveway and you go to the neighbor's front yard.  you touch the palm branches.  you stroke them over and over.  i touch them with you and tell you what they are.  then you walk to the cedars.  you softly touch them and guide me to do the same.  if there are pink azaleas on the ground, you pick one up and carry it in your hot, chubby hand until you are content to drop it and leave it in it;s new spot.  you make your way to our front yard.  along the way, you bend down and touch the concrete beneath your feet.  i imagine that you wonder why it feels so hard and rough in comparison to the soft grass.  you dig in the dirt of the flower bed beneath our oak tree.  you stop and look at sticks and you eventually lead us back home.  you love that you have been able to roam free and you love the fact that i have entered your world.  even if it was just for an hour.  and do you want to know something?  i love it too.

you are happiest when you have possession of 3 pappys.  you want one in your mouth, and one in each hand.  you love chocolate milk and will go to the refrigerator and point to the door when you want it.  you will also point me in the direction of the kitchen when you are hungry.  your first real word was "ball."  you say ball all the time.  every time you see get very excited and repeat "ball...ball...ball" until we all see it too.  we think that the basketball is your favorite.  you have watched you big brother shoot hoops in the driveway.  you will go and pick up the basketball (which is almost as big as you), walk until you are standing under the 10 foot basket, and then drop the ball.  that is the way you shoot baskets.  this makes your daddy and brother super proud.  it makes the rest of us smile.  you like to make us laugh.  once you realize you can get a will repeat your performance again and again.  you say "uh oh."  you say "daddy and "mama"...but only if we ask you to.  you will make faces on command. you point to everything you want. you know many of your main body parts.  you know what we are saying to you.  you stand up when i ask you to and you lay down when i ask you to.  well...sometimes.  if you want.  you will go get your shoes when i ask and you will follow simple instructions.  if you feel like it.  :)  you have 4 teeth in the front and are just now cutting the upper and lower molars on your back, left side.  you eat great.  you split veggie sandwiches with me and you don't even crinkle your nose up in disgust at the spinach in them.  the other morning, you drank my coffee...and you like it too.  you sleep with the special blankie that honey made you, and your snuggle bunny.  you like to play with dolls...pretending to feed them a bottle and sweetly rock them.  and you love music and dancing.  you dance like your momma...keeping the beat, and moving your limbs in coordinated movement.  you captivate us all.

you are small, but powerful.  i have seen you knock your 10 year old brother out of the way without batting an eye.  you are wearing 12-18 month clothes, and size 3 diapers.  everything about you is little.  well except your eyes.  you have big, brown eyes and blond hair...a combination that is unique and striking.  you capture attention everywhere you go.  when you walk walk with purpose.  you are precious and you are our puddin cup.

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