Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy Birthday to You: Two and a Half!

Dear Anabella,

Today you turned two and a half years old.

It's been six months since my last birthday letter and needless to say you're still very cute.

See all the diapering paraphernalia in the above photo? We're almost done with it! It's been a real test of our parenting patience because, as you have been with most of your developmental milestones, you're keen to do it your own way, on your own terms, and most importantly on your own time. But after countless moppings of countless floors, you're almost there.

This past week as been one of the toughest yet in my rather short parenting portfolio because as you got closer and closer to being diaper-free, you suddenly decided that all this potty business was a lot of work and it would be much simpler if you just didn't pee at all. Ever. So you held it and you held it (15 hours of no peeing at all on one tortuous day). But then, as soon as I realized I just had to leave you alone, you decided you were ready. You're not 100 percent there yet, but you're close.

It's worth jumping for.

Potty trials aside you remain the sweetest human I've ever met. You're funny and kind, and empathetic. You are always quick to ask, "Are you okay?" to anyone who seems like maybe they are not. One of my favourite Bellaisms at the moment is when you proclaim that you're going to do something and then you look at me and with an upward flip of your chin you say, "You okay with that?" Why yes, adorable child, I am.

Tomorrow we're heading away to the beach for a full week and I can't wait to have you all to myself for nine days. Away from the bustle of our city life, I plan to relax and drink you in. You're changing so fast these days that I bet you have a few tricks up your sleeve that I haven't had the pleasure of discovering yet. It's okay to keep your secrets for a while, believe me when I tell you, I live for the moments when you open up and share them with me.

I love you.


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

If I Could Turn Back Time

It occurs to me as I sit down to write that I almost never have anything to say here that's not at least indirectly about my daughter. It also occurs to me that I should think about changing that fact. Not because I'm worried about boring you (if I am, go away), or because I think I'll ever run out of things that I want to say or share about her (never gonna happen) but because one day she's going to have a full life of her own and she simply won't be around as much to provide such a wide and compelling (it is to me - shut up) body of subject matter.

This week we moved one step closer to that inevitable and rather ominous day when my baby flutters from the nest. Dramatic? Yes. But I have to make these stories interesting somehow.

This week Bella moved out of her (and my) beloved toddler room at daycare and started preschool (same daycare, different room, new routines, fewer and different teachers). Because I'm prone to rambling - if you're reading me you already know this - I'm going to make a really concerted effort to keep this post short and sweet. In fact, I'm going to leave it up to one picture (truly worth a thousand words) and one anecdote. The two together, I believe, sum up exactly how this milestone of a transition has gone so far.

The Photo:

Taken by her Daddy on her first day, in response to my question, "Bella, are you a little nervous for your very first day of preschool?" This is Bella's way of saying, "Oh HELLS no. BRING IT."

The Anecdote:

It's dinnertime on her first full day in her new "classroom." The whole family is sitting together chatting about our day.

Me to Bella: "Did you have fun at preschool today, Bella?"

Bella to Me: "Yeeees, I had FUN at pweschool tahday."

Bella: Pauses for a beat, thinking...

Bella to Me: "But tomorrow I'm going to be a toddler again, right Mummy?"

Me: Heart explodes into four hundred thousand shards as I realize that in fact she is not.