Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dear Cadence, Month 20

Dear Cadence,

Baba wrote on the blog a couple of days ago about a certain incident regarding shampoo. An incident in which a certain little lady displayed a thoughtfulness, ability to problem solve, and followthrough not found in many grown ups. In which there was almost no parental involvement whatsoever, and which melted both the hearts and brains of everyone in the house.

You, at less than 20 months, heard Baba make a statement, interpreted it as a problem, thought of a parallel we had never drawn for you, went, of your own volition, to realize your solution, and held onto your mission even when you got caught up in a totally distracting chaos that could easily have derailed your investigated, and then continued on your journey, and didn't even get discouraged when the door to your final destination was closed before you. You persevered, and ended up triumphant.

What was this journey? You were hanging out in the bathroom with Baba while he was taking a shower, and you heard him declare that there was no more shampoo. Evidently you thought about it, and then left the bathroom where you got caught up whirlwind of the dog barking and mama trying to juggle the phone and the arrival of the cable guy while trying to get your attention and all that...but after checking the situation out and deciding that everything was alright, you headed to the other bathroom, where your baby shampoo lives on the shelf of the bathtub. I emerged from the kitchen and my paperwork-signing duties to find you in the hallway, grasping the knob to the bathroom door (which Baba had closed upon hearing the cable guy in the house) and shouting "Baba! Poo! Baba! Poo!" as I opened the door for you, I noticed that you were clutching a bottle of your very own shampoo to your chest, and I was stunned...had Baba asked you to get it? He didn't seem to realize what your offering was, or even that you had something for him (he can't see more than a few inches in front of his face without his glasses) and with one more exclaimation of "Baba! Poo!" you extended your gift out as far as you could, and beamed with excitement as he took it and thanked you through the flood of melting internal organs.

Cadence; it's official: You couldn't possibly be better in any way shape or form. Unbelievable. And Good Lord, how much we love you...words will never, ever, suffice, even if I spent the rest of my life writing. Which, for the record, I have no intention of doing, since that would mean I'd never get to spend any time with you, which is, frankly, unacceptable. Your my B, and nothing trumps that. :-)

That said, I will steal a few more minutes while you sleep, because though they don't suffice; they are still, certainly, something.

Several times over the past month, it has crossed my mind that I could (should?) just write these letters slowly, adding a line here and a paragraph there over the course of the month in question. That way I wouldn't forget the mindblowing accomplishment that gets pushed aside the following week when an even bigger event bursts onto the scene. But of course, that relates again to the aforementioned always-documenting-never-experiencing dilemma, and anyway these letters end up being long enough as it is...just imagine if I was able to actually remember to mention that you have all but one tooth now...your lower left canine seems to be the only one that remembers that you're my little baby, the rest of them seem to think you're already a little adventurous omnivore who needs to rip and crush up big girl fuel all on your own...a big girl who happily walks from the front yard to the basketball hoop in the backyard to chase leaves and experience life without bothering to fear that Mama isn't three steps behind you.

Yesterday we went to hopscotch's play place, as we do every friday: Peek-A-Book with Robyn at the library, and then whatever peek-a-book families that want to head over to Panera Bread for brunch, followed by a visit to hopscotch which lasts until nap time. Yesterday was significant because you and your friend Kate demonstrated that the experts aren't always right when they say 20 month olds are too young to play together interactively. You were singing together, mirroring each other, going up stairs and down slides and counting in've had simple interactions of this type with various friends in the past, but this time around, you were both actively engaged with each other for an extended period of time, without much awareness of what the grown ups were doing beyond our use as elevators. It was really beautiful to see.

And your vocabulary is exploding before our ears...yesterday you declared that being in your tree swing out back was "fun!" and I have to admit that I am a little proud and a lot glad that you enjoy life well enough for that to be an early word for you to understand.

You tell us you want to eat bananas and play with beads, you tell us to come, you say sorry (98% of the time of your own volition, and often for subtle things we may not have noticed; as I mentioned once before, you're sense of empathy is so strong it's overwhelmingly off the charts...which makes me glad, proud, and totally worried. You're just like me, and my mom...caring so much the line of where to take care of yourself gets lost...I sincerely hope that we can find a way to help you benefit from our experience so that you won't have to suffer the same misfortunes that we have. but anyway, I digress:) which is totally cute because you pronounce it "fry" with two syllables, somehow. You have a beautiful overpronunciation that leaves you with liquid u's and exaggerated recite the ABCs now, not in the right order, but you do get most of them in there...Q is a big favorite. You've adopted the phrase "beep beep" for letting someone (or something) know that they are in your's ridiculously cute to see you holding a stuffed puppy and trying to take a bite of food, but realizing that it can't be done, putting down the puppy and saying to it: "beep beep, sorry" (beep beep, frie-ee.) For a while you were doing really, really well at identifying could recognize 2's, 3's, and 8's no question and without help...unfortunately, when we were at Baba's concert a couple weeks ago, you drew a crowd by pointing out the 2 s on the seat numbers, and I think we gave you too much praise for it because now any number you encounter is 2. (though counting one, two, three before an event has become quite consistently "yi, er, tan..." one two...10? I think you're trying to do it in chinese, but combining "san" with the english "10"...regardless, it's cute, and it seems to work for you, so I won't knock it.

Speaking of Baba's concert, it is certainly worth mentioning that you have been putting in some quality audience member hours. In January we started heading up to Louisville about once a week to visit friends and see shows at the Actor's, of course, made friends and loved every moment of it, but you also began to really understand what it means to be in the audience. Your attention span may not be able to adhere to it completely, but you now know that when you're in a theater and it's dark, you have to be quiet and stay within the confines of your seat. And you seem to actually really enjoy going, too! You've sat through 2 hour + performances with flying colors (and the help of your doll which really needs a name because constantly referring to him as your dutch not-ken doll is a bit clunky)

You clap with gusto (though only when its deserved, you also seem to have discerning taste...) and sway along with music or listen intently to the dialogue...the concerts are a bit trickier, since they don't follow the protocol you've come to recognize...they have benched seats instead of individual ones, they spend a lot of time informally chatting with the audience, and they don't turn the lights all the way out. this usually leads to you being a bit antsier and more restless than you would otherwise be...though at the most recent one you not only made it all the way through, but began bowing back to the soloists as they took their bows. It was very exciting.

Its amazing to think of how different things are now than they were last year. Its been so little time, and yet soo much...I remember when I'd give you an avocado snack every day, how you delighted in your plain baked potato and would line up the pieces...I look back at pictures and already it's shocking too see you so much younger than you are. To realize, hey, that's when you were a baby, ...'cause now your not. and obviously I've known this for a while, I've been saying it for months, but it truly is stunning to have photographic proof suddenly in your face. So entirely bittersweet.

In addition to marking the completion of your 20th month, today marks a new transition for our family, as well...Baba went back to work today. Only part time, and this particular job is temporary, but it is the first time in nearly a year that you haven't had both Mama and Baba with you for the majority of the day. It's going to be rough-for all of us- over the next few months, as we transition from being a full time stay at home family with extended family to enjoy, to working parents, to moving to a new city on our own and trying to earn our keep while Baba earns his degree...But we'll be ok, Cadie B. Just know that we love you more than anything, and we are both doing our absolute best to try to do the best by you, whatever that means and whatever it takes.

we love you so much, little bug.

Love always,


But wait!...I also have to mention your ever growing sense of independence, saying, "no, me!" when we try to help you with things, how you try to take charge of your own care, but once you're tried you're willing to be helped, as long as it's help or a demonstration and not just taking over...and your sense of humor!!! or how you command us to stay put and then say "I be right back! bye!" and run off...and fibbing (but not yet malicious lying)...oi, cadie bug, there is tooooo much amazingness to gather into these letters! it simply can't be done!!

Ok, well, once more...I love you Cadence.

Love Always,