Thursday, March 14, 2013

Claire 2.75

Dear Claire,

It's 8:15 p.m. and your dad just walked into the TV room, shaking his head and laughing, after having to go in your room and scold you most harshly for continuing to talk and bounce on your bed after lights out. We take turns on scolding duty, partly because neither one of us really wants to get off the couch once you and your brother are in bed, but mostly because it is so hard to break your little heart any time we have to walk in and talk sternly to you. You know you did something wrong and you know you deserve the scolding, but your face just lights up when you see us walk in and then crumples so dramatically when you realize we haven't come to praise your ingenuity in coming up with yet another way to bedevil Landon from 6 feet away. So he just walked in, shaking his head, and as he was settling back onto the couch he said with a laugh and some regret, "she's just so damn cute."


It's true, you really are just so damn cute. You are 2 years and 9.5 months old and you are such a little bundle of joy and smiles and laughter and energy and snuggles and happiness and LOVE that I've put off writing this letter since you turned 2.5 because I couldn't figure out how to put you into words. I still don't, but I have to try, and I've enlisted a few pictures from the last few weeks to help.

 

Two is perhaps my favorite age. Two and three. Also four and five, but if I had to rank them, I'd say the period between about 18 months and 36 months simply can't be beat. You are learning and changing so much so fast- in the last year you've gone from a handful of words to hundreds. You know dozens of songs on the radio- just this morning I heard you singing Mumford & Sons "I Will Wait" to yourself while you were getting your baby ready for our errands. You are a sponge. You exuberantly embrace your world and I love watching watching you grow and learn new things.


But you are also my baby and oh how I love that too. A few weeks ago your daddy took you to get your hair trimmed. Mommy was still a little sick with a cold and you tend to handle potentially emotionally vulnerable situations better when I'm not around, so I stayed behind while you quite bravely jumped into a chair at Great Clips by yourself and were trimmed away. You got home, very proud of your "hair tut," and then moments later, as you almost always do anytime I sitting down (or still standing, you're not picky), you stood before me with your baby and blankie in hand and said, "I want to sit in your yap mama." You tell me that and "I want to hold you" at least 20 times a day. That single fact helps capture the essence of Claire at 2.75- you are smart and independent and rather fearless, but you are also incredibly sweet and cuddly and loving and mostly just want to sit in mama's yap. That's you in one adorable sunglass-wearing package. Anyway, on that Friday, you crawled up onto my lap and moments later I felt your head bob. It was 3:30 in the afternoon, you'd already taken your nap at school, but there you were, asleep in my arms. We sat like that for nearly 2 hours and it was one of my favorite afternoons in recent memory.


You get tremendously excited about things. On Valentine's Day Papa and Gigi sent you a card that said something like "Who's the greatest Valentine of all?" and inside there was a shiny mirror.  When you opened it, as I was posing the question from the front, you exclaimed with genuine joy and surprised pleasure, "It's Tair!!" ("Tair" is what you cal yourself, which is a small improvement over Tairbear, which I think you believed your name to be for the first 12 months you were talking.) You still have that card to open and check to see who is the greatest Valentine of all, and so far, you are pleased to find that you remain in the lead.

 

In other bits of excitement, you love tiny things. "Baby" utensils, "baby" crumbs, "baby" food of any kind- anything small is "baby" and you love it. At Sprout's the other day, while we were carefully inspecting our organic produce and you were insisting on holding it all in your front section of the card, we passed by a woman giving out samples of organic dairy free soy yogurt. This sounded appalling to me, but you eagerly volunteered for a sample, and when she handed over the little cup with the tiniest spoon I've ever seen, your voice hit an octave I've never before heard. You held that spoon up high in the air so all could see, exclaiming in a tiny, high-pitched, yet still somehow projecting voice, "IT'S A BITTY BABY SPOON! IT'S A BITTY BABY SPOON!" Such excitement has never been seen in Sprout's and you carefully put the spoon in your purse after eating all your yogurt in order to show Daddy and Landon when we got home (though you did pull it out once at checkout to show the woman scanning our groceries).

 

You are all about accessories. Your pink bedazzled "C" purse goes everywhere, always stuffed with different essentials you pack carefully before we leave. You wear your sunglasses on every outing, and have them on most of the time you're in the house too. Baby is always with you. You rock her and sing to her and she spends a lot of time going night night. She swings with you on the swings, rides with you in the stroller on our walks, and shares your car seat and shopping cart on errands. You are quite sweet with her- always making sure she's "comfy" and that she has plenty to eat (your purse always has a bottle, just in case).  You got a doll bed for Christmas, and while it's great for playtime, at night, baby sleeps best when tucked in your arms.

 

Your family is still your very favorite thing. You do great with school and babysitters, but nothing makes you happier than being with the 3 of us at the same time. You care for us deeply and anytime someone is hurt or sick you crouch down and check on them constantly. If someone is missing you want to know where they are and when they'll be back. You are thrilled when we are thrilled. You complement us constantly. Yesterday your dad had a meeting and was thus, rather unusually, dressed in nice jeans and a shirt. You took one look at him at breakfast and said, "Oh dad, you look so nice." That is you. You still compliment my "knees" every time I wear tights with a dress or skirt and you compliment my shoes or boots every single day regardless of which pair I'm wearing. You love your "Yandon" very much and are always wandering around the house looking for him if you two are separated for more than 2 minutes.


Every day after school when we ask you what you did that day, you answer with the exact same, "I eat all my yunch!" When we ask you what else you did you say, "I will tell you my friends' names" and then you proceed to list your teachers and all the kids in your class. We're glad you're eating and consider everyone in your class your friend, but we have to absolutely pry any other details out of you, which is odd, since normally you won't stop talking.

 

You haven't thrown any tantrums- I think it helps that you're so verbal and you have Landon as your example in navigating toddlerhood. You do have a bit of trouble staying in bed at night- we always get one nocturnal visit with your head peeking around the corner of the TV room. We tell you to go back to bed and you say "alright" and march back and tuck yourself in. At this point, it's just part of the routine. You are wily and have entrapped Landon numerous times into breaking certain rules, and you always seem quite pleased with yourself when you manage it (even as you get the same punishment he gets for breaking them). You eat everything and love going to the grocery store with me. You love books, love to sing, love to help, love to do "work," and love to learn. Your dad says at least once a day that you remind him of me and I take that as a great compliment.

 

You are a joy Bear, a genuine joy. You love your family fiercely and we love you fiercely in return. I can't believe you're nearly 3, but I also can't wait to get to know the 3 and 4 and 5-year-old you're going to be!

Lots of love,
mama

 

5 comments:

  1. So sweet!

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  2. What a sweetheart. "I want to hold you" gets me every time with my daughter (2.25). How can you resist that??

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  3. That girl has such a personality!

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  4. This makes me miss my 2.95 year old baby-girl, who is now 14. She still likes to sit on my lap, even though she's 5'8" and I'm 5'6". And we constantly reminisce about her love of "little tiny cute things" (all T's get strong emphasis). You will LOVE reading these posts in the years to come. I wish I had a blog back then.

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  5. Do you ever still call her the Biscuit?

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