Letter to my wild bird: 34 months.
May 21, 2012

Dear Charlotte,

There are only two months left until your birthday and you are marking the countdown by learning all manner of new tricks.  This month alone, you have learned how to make my harmonica make different sounds, how to plant and water new flowers, how to write several letters in your first name, how to clean and bandage a bad toe blister, how to use scissors to cut along a line or make paper snowflakes, how to push yourself back and forth on the tree swing Daddy built for you in the backyard, and how to pull a splinter out of Momma’s hand with the tweezers.

I’ll tell you what, kiddo.  That bit of skin you took with the splinter made it one of the most painful splinters I’ve ever had.  Considering the screaming fit that occurred several months ago when you turned up with the mother of all splinters in your hand, I thought you would benefit from pulling out splinters because you could see that it’s really No. Big. Deal.  That’s what my parents did with my sister twenty years ago and it seemed to work.  But man was it difficult to keep a straight face while you were ripping a quarter-inch stretch of my skin along with it.  Your grandparents must have wills of steel.


The day of your aunt’s “big party.“  Sadly, the only photographs of you I’ve taken in two weeks.  Goal for this month: TAKE. MORE. PICTURES.  (And have more fun!)

Over the past few weeks, you have also made HUGE strides in French.  You are, for the first time, developing sentences independently and drawing from your own vocabulary.  You’ve even begin using words that we read in books or that you hear from other Francophones but not from me.  I loved watching you acquire English.  I constantly wondered what your next word would be and what ideas you would most fervently express.  My favorite part of giving you a second language has been the ability to re-experience this phase.  It isn’t often in parenting that we’re given an opportunity to re-live the past.

It’s been a busy month for our family.  We hosted a bridal shower for your aunt.  We handled several impromptu family gatherings.  And now that the worst of my morning sickness has passed, we have been working long hours in the garden and catching up on housework (and doing housework that was years overdue to begin with) and making an effort to get out more frequently on field trips, to parks, and to the farmer’s market.

As a result of this flurry of activity, this month has been exhausting.  After three or four solid weekends of yardwork, your dad took a couple days off work to help us finish last-minute preparations for the bridal shower and on top of the thirty-something hours your dad had already spent working that week, the three of us put in a solid thirty hours of hard physical labor in over the following three days.  We scrubbed windows and moved mulch and trimmed shrubs and chopped down a dead tree and It. Was. EXHAUSTING.

After everything was done, we crawled into bed, a heap of sore limbs lying together beneath a whirling ceiling fan, and your father and I agreed: it’s harder to do these things with a two-year-old.  The windows have to be washed twice because after the first time, you came around and spritzed them all with your spray bottle of water.  The wheelbarrows of mulch were harder because your father wheeled you down to the mulch pile with him, then walked at a snail’s pace with you back up the road to the house before dumping it.  The food was harder to prepare because you kept sneaking off with little bits of it and the yard was harder to maintain because you kept digging muddy holes where we’d just laid down grass seed.  Your dad is looking forward to going back to work on Monday and sitting down for a few hours.  I’m looking forward to taking you to the aquarium with friends and not talking AT ALL about the yard.  You’re a force to be reckoned with, honey love.

But no matter how much trickier it might have been with you tagging along, there’s nobody else Daddy or I would have rather put in a month of yardwork and housework and family gatherings with.  There’s nobody else’s questions we would have rather answered incessantly.  And there’s nobody else’s frustrated tantrums we would have rather dealt with at the end of a tiring day.  Nobody in the world.

We love you more than bears love honey, (and everybody knows that’s an awful lot),
Momma and Daddy

** Charlotte is two years and ten months old.  I am fifteen weeks pregnant.


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  1. By momiss on May 21, 2012

    Sweet!  I can remember after weekends like that feeling like I could kiss the ground at work!  lol


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