As I write you this letter, I can't lie - I am getting a tad bit emotional. In the past 4 months I have been able to spend every single day with you. I am wearing my stay and home mommy hat, and gone are the days of daycare. We are together ALL the time. We have formed a wonderful friendship/mother/daughter relationship. How can it get any better? Yes, you are learning new things all the time, but you have being teaching me too. Every day I experience a rainbow of emotions, and I wanted to share a glimpse of what it is like to be your mom.
Love. Oh my gosh. How and where does it come from. Why is it so powerful?? I just want to hug and squeeze you all the time. I wake up every single day to your voice on the monitor. I get to see your crazy bed head hair in the morning. Sometimes you wake up and want me to hug you and snuggle you, and other days you scream "I get dressed" before I even get into the room. Sometimes throughout the day, you surprise me with a kiss out of the blue. You melt my heart, truly, madly, deeply!!
Fear. You are at an age where you are doing and trying it all. This has made me somewhat over-protective, nervous and fearful. A month ago, we went to the park. It was a new park and had a section for bigger kids. I watched you navigate through the steps as you climbed to the tallest slide, and I held my breathe as you sat down unsteadily on your bum to slide down. I had to remind myself that you are at the age, where I need to learn how to let go. I can't hover over you and protect you from every little thing anymore. As I watched you squeal in delight down the slide and land on two feet, I felt so proud of you. I have to realize that you are driving through life in a precious state of innocence. It's an incredible thing to watch. You are in awe of bubbles, you could run circles in the grass - just because (gasp) and you jump of the diving board at the swimming pool because daddy does (you have no idea that you can't swim and that your water wings are doing all the work). This part of being a parent is the hardest. At the end of the day, when you try something new, you shout "I did it" and I yell back I am so proud of you. Your large dimply grin is all I see, and that love feeling pours back in.
Patience. Being 2 1/2 means you are opinionated, you are discovering what is right and wrong, and you are learning boundaries. When we tell you it's time for nap time and you say "little longer" it's cute, but we know you are trying to figure out how to make us forget your nap time. Your antics win us over temporarily, but when it's really time to nap, and you start throwing a fit and screaming on the floor yelling "No nap" I really have to dig deep for patience. You are still learning, so I try to calmly talk to you. Disciplining is hard. Our approach is this: when you get frustrated we realize you don't have the mental capacity to understand how to communicate your feelings. Hitting me or throwing things is sometimes the best thing you can think of to show us how you feel. I usually pick you up, and say "look at me, look at mama. I understand how you feel, but hitting me is not ok." I usually ask for an apology and you will comply through wet soggy tears. Your tantrums are short, but it's really put my patience to the test. Especially now that your brother is here, I really have to dig deep on those days where I am unrested or just exhausted. I try to remember these are just stages. Stages you must go through to discover who you are and mold your personality. The least I can do is take a huge deep breath, and try to stay calm.
Admiration. Wow, I admire you, Jillian. You have become such a wonderful big sister. When Weston came home from the hospital, you were unsure. A few weeks after that, you were displaying signs of jealousy, but mostly you acted as if he wasn't here. However, with over half of my time tending to your brother I admire you for adapting. You have become a much better self sufficient kid. I also credit your independent streak, but you want to do things on your own. You like to get dressed and pick out your own outfit. You can play on your own. You like to climb in and out of your booster chair, and same goes for getting in and out of the car and stroller. If I accidently do something you wanted to do, you will shout "No, I do myself." You help me with chores such as emptying the dishwasher, or putting away laundry. You help daddy water the flowers. I admire your tenacity, and I love watching you mentally thinking something over and then figuring it out. Most of all I admire how much you love your little brother. I came into my bedroom one day to find you sitting next to Weston stroking his head. Other days I will see you sharing your favorite blankie with Weston or letting him play with your bunny. You get jealous still (but it's usually far and few between). I have become a champ at holding you and Weston at the same time.
There are so many things I want to remember in the last 6 months. I have decided the best way to document all the new things you have been up to is to just jot them down in random order below.
*Nicknames I call you - lovie-dove and lovie, sweetheart, bug, jilly-bug and booga
*At 28 months you started to sit in a booster seat (good-bye high chair)
*At 30 months you started sleeping in a big girl bed
*You still are a wonderful eater - you eat almost anything, and we feed you whatever we eat.
*Favorite toys: princesses (Rapunzal is your favorite), puzzles, your dollhouse, playdoh, dress up and your dolls
*You can count to 20 and say all your ABC's
*You are obsessed with gummy treats - little fruit chews
*You still love your blanket
*You jumped off a diving board into the deep end with your water wings!
*Your favorite movies are: Tangled, Tinkerbell, Shrek, Finding Nemo and Cinderella.
*Your favorite cartoon is Bubble Guppies
*Your friends are: John, Ava, Oden, Colton, Haley, Kellan
*You make friends with new kids everywhere we go!! Seriously, you are the first to chat it up with someone and you certainly aren't shy to say hi.
*Milo and Bacon are you best friends!
*You went to Disneyland for your second time
*You love to help me cook or bake (making cookies is the best time together)
*Speaking of clothes, you like to change clothes 4 times a day, it's exhausting
*You can't stand to wear shoes
*You are obsessed with the colors pink and purple
*You love to sing and dance, and if jumping was a sport you would be #1
*You love playing Ring around the Rosey
*You don't like the splash pads but love the pool
*Funny things you have told me: Go Away Mom, and Calm Down mom
*You mimic everything we say, which is really helping your vocabulary