Oh my dear, sweet, perfect little girl.
How are you already only six months away from turning 2?!
When I used to get asked the question, “If you could have ONE magic power…” – I would always wish for the ability to fly. I’d even dream about getting a running start, then soaring high above the trees. And while I’d love to be able to see this beautiful life from an aerial view, my answer to the magic power question has changed.
You see, my Cameron Kate, I would give anything to have the power to stop time right in its tracks. To have a pause button on life. And not because I’m not looking forward to the future – everyday as your mama gets better and better, so I am ALWAYS excited about tomorrow. But I want a pause button because I want to make sure I’m really able to drink in every ounce of your 18-month-old self. I want to remember every part of who you are today, I don’t ever want these memories to fade away.
I want to remember your sweet, sing-songy voice; the way your hand feels when you ask me to hold it; how you try so hard to string words together to make sentences; how you look at us and say “hi” when you know you’re doing something you shouldn’t be; how your head comes up just below my chin when you ask to sit in my lap; how you are so incredibly ticklish on your neck; how you have to kiss Bailey before going to bed and as soon as you wake up; how you make me appreciate all of the little things in life – pointing out every bird who flies in the sky and ever stick that decorates our lawn.
So I feel like if I could just hit pause, I would better remember this time in our lives. This time that I am so head over heels in love with being a mom – YOUR mom.
Eighteen months is a magical age. Everyone told me it was special, and now I know they weren’t lying. But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the tantrums. Oh the tantrums. And the attitude. And the occasional hitting and biting (which you usually do with a sly smile on your face… testing the limits, little stinker). And how we now have a time-out corner both upstairs and downstairs. And how many times I pour a glass of wine and take about five deep breaths before I attempt to calm your storm of emotions. But I do get it – tantrums are inevitable and it’s how your eighteen-month-old little body reacts to a hurricane of feelings.
Regardless, though, every other part of your year-and-a-half personality more than makes up for the trying times. You, my bug, are the sweetest, silliest, most adventurous, smartest, most beautiful little girl I have ever known. I am so proud of the little person you are becoming.
You just had your well checkup – you’re officially 25 lbs, 2 oz (60th percentile) and 33.5” tall (95th percentile). Your pediatrician, Dr. Barry, adores you. I can see it in her eyes. Especially when she walked into the room and you said, “Hi Docka Bawwy.” You had her wrapped around her finger in an instant, an affect you have on most people.
Your language development has literally exploded. The questionnaire for your well checkup asked if you were saying 10-15 words… your dad and I joked that you know 10-15 body parts! We tried to count – you literally say at least 100 words, and I am not exaggerating or bragging. (Of course, I think you’re brilliant!) I say all this because there was a time during which I was a little concerned about your verbal development. But now you are off the charts. I’ll never forget the first time you strung together two words – “Bye bye, Bay-yee” when I was hanging up the phone with MY mama, your “Bammy.” And I’ll also never forget the time you woke up one morning and all of a sudden started saying three-word phrases, your first of which was, “Diaper. Poop. Shooo-weee!” You haven’t stopped talking since. (I wonder where you get that from?!)
You say most words well, but there are a few exceptions where you have your own interpretations, and I love them. For example, you call yourself “KK.” Your water is “yaya,” – always has been, and I wonder if one day you’ll be thirty years old asking a waiter for yaya with lemon in Applebees. You are OBSESSED with “pit-a-boo,” love your new “Daisy DUCK” from Grammy and PaPa, and love “Bay-Bay” (Bailey) more than life itself. In fact, when you wake up in the mornings, one of the first things you say is, “Bay-Bay kiss?”
You also know ALL of your classmates’ and teachers’ names. When I pick you up from school, we often have to stand there and say bye to every single child. “Bye bye, Joseph! Bye bye, Nora!” and on and on and on. You love school and love your teachers, especially Miss Erica. She calls you her little sidekick.
I recently had my first parent/teacher conference. I’ve had many of these as a teacher, but this was my first as a parent. Your teachers say you’re doing great, always a big helper, and developmentally beyond your age. However, the thing they said that stuck with me most was that you are very motherly. That when kids are upset, you’re the first one to walk over and offer them a hug, or even hand them your beloved Melvin. When they told me that, I thought my heart was going to explode.
Speaking of Melvin, he and Ellie are still probably your favorite “friends.” But there’s a new kid on the block – Brownie – a pink dog (go figure) who helped you stay calm during your big girl checkup this week. When you go to sleep at night, you have about nine stuffed animals you HAVE to sleep with. A lot of times, when we put you in your crib, we’ll watch you on the monitor while you play and hug and kiss and giggle with your friends before eventually lying down, inevitably with one under your head like a pillow, and one under each arm.
As awesome as it is to watch and listen to you drift off to sleep, it’s not so awesome to greet you in the mornings. You are usually G.R.U.M.P.Y. When you wake up from nighttime sleep and naps, it takes you a long time to come around. Your dad will agree with me when I say you get this trait from him.
Speaking of sleep, you take one nap a day – this nap is usually decent at school, ranging from one to two hours… but not so much at home. You’ll usually only give us forty minutes, on the dot. As tough as it is sometimes to only have a quick break from your boundless energy, I usually embrace the extra face-time we have, since I feel so absent from your life as a full-time working mama. Good news is, hopefully the whole full-time working mama thing will be changing soon. ☺
You’ve become even pickier in your eating habits, which “Docka Bawwy” says is quite typical for your age. Most nights you go to bed without even a bite of dinner. You love peanut butter, hummus, oranges, crackers, and any kind of sweet. You mostly love WHATEVER your dad and I are eating. If we’re eating something, we’d better be ready to share.
Anytime we’re in the kitchen cooking, you have to cook, too. You’ll pull out the pots and pans and spoons, and slave away. I honestly think you believe you’re contributing! Hopefully this means you’ll be better in the kitchen than I am. ☺ In fact, you LOVE pretend play. Anything where you’re acting something out, pretending to bathe your babies, feed your dogs, having a tea party, etc… I love watching that imagination grow! Mostly, though, you love being “oww-side.” Other than asking if you can give Bailey a kiss in the morning, your other most popular request is if you can immediately go outside the moment I turn on your bedroom light. Now that the weather is nice, we try to spend a large part of each day in the backyard, on the back porch, out at the fields at Wake, or, your favorite, at the “pay-goun.”
You also love Kindermusik! We go on Monday nights, and it’s one of my favorite things to do with you. It’s so, so fun, and I really think it’s helping you absolutely flourish.
You definitely have a fearful side these days – we’ve been battling bath phobia on and off for months. One day you’ll cry if we even say the word “bath,” and other days you’ll cry when it’s time to get out. It’s a mystery to us! You also have quite a bit of both stranger and separation anxiety. It, too, comes and goes. Most days, you prefer being a mama’s girl.
And truth be told, I love being your number one. ☺
One day, my sweet girl, you’ll know what this love feels like. A love that hurts so good. While I do wish I had that pause button, I also dream of the day when your own daughter is placed in your arms – because then, Cameron… then you’ll know that I really mean it when I say that you are the sunshine in my life, the best part of my day, my heart beating on the outside of my body.
Happy half-birthday, Cameron Kate. I love you to the moon and back and more than anything in this world.