Not a Baby Anymore




I haven’t written an outright letter to you here for a long time. In the journal I keep to you, yes, and all I’ve written about here is you but not to you. Not for several months. In a way it’s easier to do it by the light of the computer screen. When I curl up with the book I write to you in on the couch or in bed it’s so so easy for my hand to start falling off the page as my eyes get heavy. I haven’t mastered doing all I want to do while getting enough sleep. You got my genes in the sleep department and are up often before the sun, which means early to bed for me is wise, yet up til that last moment of falling asleep I’m trying to do one last journal, read one last page, catch up on one last Homeland.

You are an astonishing being, my little one. Your joy, your vivacity, your love. You give hugs all day: to me, to Daddy, to Mamgee, to Griselda, to Dashiell, to your stuffed animals and dolls. It’s my instinct to stay close to you all the time, but I’m seeing that now when we go to the park you like to venture out on your own. I stay nearby but not on top of you, and I love this and also am already missing the you-needing-me-all-the-time thing and still very much learning to trust that giving you space is helpful, not neglectful. When you disagree with me there is nothing quiet about it. Big lesson for me in boundary-keeping. Someone put it so well when she said if I can say No it teaches you that you can say No too. In the big way–as in you can go through life and not be always trying to make everyone else happy.

Aunt Kristina posted about you and Dash on Halloween. You forgot about your costume once you were in their backyard and chasing chickens and climbing into the wheelbarrow. Somewhere you got an extraordinary sense of adventure and ease in your body. Mamgee (as in your grandmother) and I like to say that you were a yogini or an acrobat in a past life: you seem fearless but mindful, extreme in some of your feats but so full of grace. Your memory took me by storm today. We read a book we haven’t read in a long time. There’s a page where a boy is singing into a microphone.  A month or more ago I told you he was singing music. You pointed to him today, having not even seen him for weeks-the book has been up on a high shelf–and said your word for Music.

One of my favorite mama bloggers writes to her girl and includes favorite books, what she’s saying, new things she’s doing. I’m going to shamelessly borrow and do the same. My mind spins at all that is new for you every day, and I won’t remember it all here. When you were tiny I wrote every day. I mean to so many more days than I do, and writing this I realize even if it’s only thoughts jotted down I want to get back do writing more. Daddy asks me after you go to bed what you did that day and I always have a list of at least 6 things for him. Then the you that was you evolves to the you that is you and I can’t remember the 6 things from a week ago.

What’s new:

you SING. Twinkle, twinkle. And Freight Train , which from the moment you heard it you wanted to hear again and again and again. You don’t sing the words but you have the tunes down perfectly. You sing them on our walks, you sing them in your crib before you go to sleep, you sing them when we’re just hanging out and you suddenly feel like it. You’ve added Row Row Row Your Boat to your repertoire as of yesterday, preferably while carrying the laundry basket and/or dancing.

Words: apple, orange, banana, pear, noodle, cottage cheese, water, bagel, this, mama, dada, Obie (your grandmother’s dog), airplane, bird, dog, lambie, bath, book, diaper, wipes, ball, rice, gorilla, grapes,music, truck, up, hop and the zzzzz of zucchini….these are some–there are always more– and they’re in various stages of enunciation–RICE is clear as a bell, DIAPER is buh buh but they’re all there, as are the woof-woofs and bawk-bawks  for chicken and dog and horse and bird and cat and sheep and cow and owl. Owl might be my favorite. I have a feeling lots of mama with babes your age are reading this and saying, YES, me too, but for me it feels new and special to you.

Favorite Books (subject to change tomorrow): Good Night Gorilla, Hop on Pop, House is A House, Goodnight Moon, In the Night Kitchen, My Friends

What we Do: go outside. a lot. it’s mostly what you want to do. You walk, run–with that way you have of arms up and shoulders back–ride on my or Daddy’s shoulders, sing our Cars and Trucks and Motorcycles jingle. We go to every park we know where you head down the slide face first, climb every surface you can, and can’t let 10 minutes go by without returning to the swing. We read–it’s the only thing indoors that holds your attention for very long. I was so nervous a few months ago that you didn’t like books because you barely focused on them–just another way I see most of my worrying is for naught. We snuggle. You are a cuddler, and Daddy and I joke that we are the Mushies so we gave you no choice.

What it’s Like to Be with You:

like that cool light wind that’s blowing today. like seeing the mountains on a very clear day. like hiding under a favorite blanket on Christmas. like being in an open field that you realize has paths leading everywhere.

I so want to be the best mother to you that I can be; you are the most wonderful girl.




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One Response

  1. Mom/Mamgee/Francie says:

    Tears are spilling out all down my cheeks, Melanie, and I can hardly see to write this! I can feel my mom being moved as well. Such a gift to one’s child, the plumpest of cherries on top of the ‘none such’ sundaes that you give her every day..

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