Monday, December 7, 2009

Dear Cadence, month 29

Dear Cadence,

My what a thoughtfully talkative little lady you have become! People ask me all the time how old you are, and can't believe it when I answer that you're only 2. You are extraordinarily articulate, and, as has been pointed out of numerous occasions now, you are ahead of many adults in that you seem to actually think about what you're trying to communicate. If someone doesn't understand something you've said, instead of merely repeating the same thing on into infinity you'll take a moment to think about how to rephrase it in hopes of making yourself clearer. 9 times out of 10, you are able to successfully make yourself understood, and truthfully I generally forget that you're 'supposed' to be too young to be listened to. You have a lot to say, and most of it is very worth hearing.

(though you do occasionally prattle off in gibberish, and which you call "just talking", but even that is fun to hear, if only because it's cute.)

Want some examples of the conversations that show how aware of the world you are, and how much thought you put into what you say? How about this one, the day after you and I baked some chocolate chip cookies together, and you were enjoying the fruits (sugars?) of your labor: You started the conversation by reminding me that "You and I made the cookies, and you put them in the oven!" but then went on, as you enjoyed the cookie, to analyze that "There is sugar all over this cookie! I can taste it. The Brown sugar, but not the white sugar."

Or this one, when I took a bite of annie's:
"Now she can have annie's, Too!!"
"You mean the baby?"
"Uh-huh. if you eat it, then the baby can eat it too."

Or, perhaps most impressively, this one: "when the baby comes she'll be little and you'll have to hold her. You won't be able to carry me so much anymore, 'cause I'll be a big girl."

One thing you did tend to repeat ad nauseam at the beginning of this month was "When I'm bigger, I can eat peanut butter?" and really, I think this was more to keep tabs on the situation, continually checking in with it. You developed a bit of a peanut butter obsession, I think because with the kitchen being open to the living room as it is here, less of our food prep escapes you, and you've watched Baba prepare himself many peanut butter sandwiches to take to class. Due to my own food allergies, we've been holding off on exposing you to the major known allergens, mostly as a precaution since you, thankfully, don't seem to display any allergic tendencies.

We had been planning on introducing peanuts only after your third birthday, however, in light of your obsession, we decided to look at the reality of that a bit more. Upon realizing that you had actually been accidentally exposed to it twice (that we know of), and knowing that it's usually the second exposure that will tell you if there is going to be an adverse reaction, and taking into account your lack of said allergic tendencies...We weighed the odds, and decided that we could go ahead and let you try some, as long as it was done safely.

With the benadryl and phone on hand, I let you taste a fingeritp-full of peanut butter one afternoon, and kept checking in with you about how you felt, which I think amused you more than anything, and then the next day we let you finish the last quarter of Baba's sandwich, and again obsessively watched...and thankfully, there was nothing but giggles and dances and declarations of how much you loved it. YAY!

You are so stunningly grown up sometimes, Cadence. I realized I totally forgot to write about how, back when we had hour long subway rides every day, you'd begun to dabble in basic addition and'd ask how many stops we had left, I'd say seven, and after the next stop I'd ask you how many we had now, since we had seven and were now taking one picked it up remarkably fast, and even then did addition to figure out how many stops we'd already passed (ie this stop plus the five we'd passed since the question first arose is six!) and I began to fear for my ability to help you with your homework when you're older...Have I mentioned yet that you'll probably be best served by asking Baba for help on your math homework? My brain just doesn't work that way. Never has, neither does your Papa...I get it from him, you must get your math-brain from your baba, too. And this was all like three months ago. Aia!

You're also grown up enough to call us out when you catch us not following our own rules. Like yesterday when you saw Baba go into the bedroom with the rice crispy treat (which you made!) he was eating, and you shouted for him, "No food in the bedroom Baba!" and made sure he came back out with it. Or when we were in Connecticut for our early thanksgiving with Nainai, Grandpa, Audrey and your uncles, and the three of us shared the big king-sized bed. As Baba and I whispered in the dark about our plans for the next day, you suddenly, somewhat huffily, said loudly: "Guys, you need sleep now."

You're just growing up so much, all around. You deduce things on your own that we don't expect. For instance, every time we come home, you run down the hall and try to beat me to the door; your goal is to knock and have Baba let you in before I reach the door with my keys. One day, you turned to me and explained that you usually use the palm of your hand, but that this time you were going to use the "bone part" of your hand to knock on the door, since it would be louder and easier for Baba to hear. I was impressed, but assumed it was something you and Baba had discussed. Turns out, though, when I asked him, he didn't even know about our was all you. I didn't realize you knew that your knuckles are harder because of the bones inside them...

And your problem solving skills are ever impressed a lot of people with them the other day when we were on the set of a music video. A friend of mine is a producer, and invited our family to be extras in a new music video she's making for Prince Royce's bilingual version of Stand By Me. You captured plenty of attention just by being your cute little self, more for the fact that you were smiling at the camera, and in fact they asked you to stay and film an extra little segment! Everyone was super impressed with how well you took direction...they had a bunch of (fake) candles which they wanted the littlest kids put into a circle, on specific markers. You were by far the youngest kid there, and I don't think anyone really expected you to be able to do it, but you did it, perfectly, with ease. Then the director asked the other kids to hang back and let you move all the candles by put them into a very straight line instead of the circle that time, but you did it very well, and moved just the way they asked, you even turned the way they directed you to turn when you got them, and walked where they asked, turned, smiled on did an excellent job. (Someone commented to Baba that you took direction like a 12 year old!) Anyway, the problem solving came in while you were resetting so all the kids could move candles together once more. There were three candles left, and you wanted to get them all in one trip, but they were too big for your hands. you tried several times to grab them all, and then paused for a moment before tucking one under your arm and picking the other two up with your hands and off you went. The crowd was terribly impressed. That's my girl.

All in all you had a lot of fun on that shoot, and have said you want to do that again...I think coming to set with me over the summer gave you a familiarity with the set environment, and you had fun getting to 'play' with all the people working there. Maybe we will do more, if the opportunity arises, as long as you truly are having are definitely old enough now to tell me if you want to or not, whether you enjoy it. If we go that route, rest assured it will only be to the extent that it is both enjoyable and beneficial...if you stop having fun or it starts being detrimental to you, that'll be it. I have no need or desire to push you into performing or to be a stage mom myself. You're my awesome Cadie-Lady, and that's all I ever need you to be.

My little lady who has developed a strange new defense mechanism; I think it makes you feel too vulnerable to simply apologize if you've made a mistake, so you'll inform us before hand that you're going to "jump and say sorry!"...and then you'll do just that, taking a grand leap and shouting an enthusiastic "Sorry!" in a rather extravagant gesture which may or may not seem genuine in the moment, but is oddly endearing.

I can't believe that by the time I write my next letter it will already be 2010, a date that always seemed so futuristic when I was growing up, and that seemed distant even when I first thought about your future, about sending you off to school, and the preparation needed to give you a good start. We're working on trying to get you the best options we can, and hopefully before next year is out you'll get to start off with a preschool program that fits you and your awesome, unique way of perceiving life, and maybe a dance class or two, just because you seem to want that and I can't see any cons to letting you do so. So here's to the end of a crazy year, lady b, and looking to the future and all of the exciting adventures it will bring!

Love always,

PS-If you're wondering why there are so few pictures with this letter, it's because my little point-and-shoot camera finally bit the dust shortly before Halloween, and when we made the move into the dorm, we somehow managed to pack the charger for the big SLR into the storage unit, and the battery died, so we had no camera at all for several weeks. Baba just gave me my birthday christmas present early, and it was a fantastic little high end point and shoot, hence the few cute shots here.