16 months

 

Dear Claire,

A few days ago, you turned 16 months old.  I’m just getting around to writing this because things have been….busy.  Very busy.  We’re moving!  Your dad got a job in Houston and we’ll be moving there at the beginning of November.  Your Grandma’s pretty upset about it, since she won’t be able to see you every weekend, but I think I talked her down.  Don’t worry, you’ll still see her.  And, you’ll get to see your Aunt Addie, Uncle Dayne and cousins more too!  In fact, your cousin Lily is very excited that we’re moving.  She said that the best part of us moving there was that if you ever need a sweater, she won’t have to drive “all the way to Austin, Tx” to give it to you.  She’s three, and she won’t be the one driving, so that’s good for your Aunt Addie too.  Lily’s also very concerned that we get a house with dogs, and no amount of arguing with her will convince her that the dogs are ours and come with us.

So there’s the move, and the election, which has been on everyone’s mind lately.  Your dad has friends over all the time, and a lot of them are *gasp* conservative so I only let them come in the garage, not all the way in the house.  And they sit out there and argue to the wee hours of the morning.  But you sleep right through it.  All that hot air warms you up, I think.

You’re getting your eye teeth early.  The doctor asked, at your 15 month appointment, if you had been hitting or biting us lately.  Your dad was concerned the doctor saw bruises, but the truth is, you haven’t been doing that.  Apparently you have a high tolerance for pain.  I tried to tell you that the other day when we were driving home and you were SCREAMING, but you weren’t listening.  Because you were SCREAMING.  I kept saying, “Claire, you’re supposed to have a high tolerance for pain.”  Then I gave you some bourbon.  No, I didn’t.  But I kinda wanted to.  For the pain.  Yeah.

You don’t like to spend time away from your dad and me, but when we come to pick you up, you act very nonchalant.  We walked in the house the other day after you SCREAMED the whole way home and as soon as you saw your Dad, you stopped crying and broke into a huge smile.  You walked up to him, but didn’t give him a hug or kiss.  Nope you stood in front of him, jabbered a little bit, and walked away.  It’s like you were announcing, “Hi.  I’m here.  I had a terrible ride home, but fear not, father of mine, I’m still cute. Kthxbai.”

 

 

You STILL aren’t talking (and now readers all across the nation [oh, who am I kidding?  All across the city] are groaning), but I’ve decided to get over it.  You hear fine, you make noises, and you know signs for just about everything you could want.  We started watching Baby Signing Time again since we got the third and forth DVDs, and it’s like everything is clicking.  You picked up the sign for “please” after one episode, and you’ve figured out that the sign for “water” is a W on your chin, not just an emphatic “Food.”  You’ll talk when you talk, and I have a feeling that I won’t be able to get you to shut up once you start.  Yesterday we were driving home from the babysitter’s and I started talking to you.  It was the only way you would sit quietly and not SCREAM.  I was pretty impressed with myself that I could talk, non-stop for the 25 minutes it took us to get home.  Then I realized that you’re due to inhearant something from me and this might be it.  I can say, “Yes, she has her father’s ears, but listen to that kid talk.  That’s all from me.”  One day, you’ll walk up to me and ask for milk, just like that, “Can I have some milk, please?” and then I’ll fall over.  So maybe don’t do that, ok?  Let’s start with just a few words.

 As usual, you’re adorable and you’re getting more so every day.  Sure, you’re a little….headstrong [read: stubborn as hell] and independent [read: defiant and ready to just push boundaries any chance you get], but that’s what makes you OUR daughter.  I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but your dad and I are pretty stubborn and defiant people.  We knew you would be too.  And we love it.

 I hope you keep that strong will forever.  You’re a powerful force, and someone that people should keep their eye on.  You can do anything because you don’t believe you can’t.  You push limits and push back and you’ll never be the girl who sits in the corner, worried.  But, if you are, know that your dad and I are always right behind you, getting you out of trouble (well, once.  You get one free pass to jail kid, then your on your own), and loving you so fiercely that there’s no question.  You will do great things, kid.  I just know it.

 I love you, bug.

 Mama.

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