Dear Paisley: Month 18

January 25th, 2012

Note: I wrote “notes” for this letter to you on October 25, 2011, one month after it should have published. I finished writing it January 25, 2012, four months after it should have published. The notes are choppy. We got busy. I suck. And I’ve thought about this a million times and have kicked myself almost daily for letting FOUR WHOLE MONTHS get away from me without any letters. I love you bug.

I was shopping at Country Bumpkins, this adorable antique/craft store in College Hill, today. The shop owner came up to me and said “You might get tired of hearing it, but I can’t get enough of hearing her call you Mama.” Paisley kept pointing things out to me “Mama flowers, Mama bear, Mama, phone.” So there were a lot of them. I told the owner that I never get tired of it. I waited a long time to hear that word and I savor every syllable.

One of your newest phrases was “I did it!” You say it with all the pride you can muster, whether you put away a toy or walked across the room. I like that you like being proud of yourself, it means you’re cognisant of your own growth. It reminds me that for as little as you are, you’re incredibly aware of yourself and everything around you. I’m glad we talk to you like a person, and not a baby. You did it… and you get it.

We’ve brainwashed you and you’ve been accepted in to the Apple fanboy crew. As fate would have it, on the very night that Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, passed away from pancreatic cancer you walked up to daddy’s computer, pointed to the Apple, and said “Mac!” You also started calling the iPad by name. Your proficiency with this device, and our iPhones, baffles me. I can say yes, the devices are incredibly intuitive (and they are), or I could say you’re a damn child genius (which you’re working on). I think it’s a bit of an intersection of the two. You would school full grown adults on how to operate that thing. You know how to open it, slide between pages, get in to YOUR folder, in and out of apps, and even how to work your favorite apps.

You and daddy are pals. Not that you and I aren’t, but sometimes I feel like our parenting style is like a human mullet. He’s ALL fun and I’m ALL business. It’s not always like that, and you and I have our goofy, fun moments too. I love the relationship you have with him and hope it’s something the two of you hold on to when you starting hating me around your thirteenth birthday. You follow him in to his closet every morning and recently began demanding to play with his belt. He hands you one off the hook on the wall and you carry it around the upstairs. “Dad-dy belt” you tell me.

The two of you also WEEEEEEEeeeeEEEEE. When daddy gets home from work, it’s like playtime to the max. He holds your arms and swings you around and around and you say weeeeee the whole time. If he sets you down, you demand to “wee.” You also love flying with him; he’ll place your belly on his feet and sending you flying. You simply cannot get enough play time with him. It’s good for both of you.

We adopted your very first baby doll. After Ellie left hers at the house over the weekend and we saw how much you were adoring her, I realized that was one toy your arsenal was lacking. Every girl needs a baby! You went to Target with me and we selected a pretty standard cloth-body-plastic-limb doll. You loved her instantly, as if you’d always had her and you just had to go pick her up. She was instantly the favorite to take to bed, car rides, and play with.

You think things are funny. I know this because you tell me “funny!” The way you say it is even funny. Good thing, because you will not survive this house or this family (or let’s be real, this world) without a sense of humor. I’m glad you found yours early. Don’t ever let it go.

I know there are a dozen other stories I could tell you, but four months later, I’m just filling in holes for some very sparse notes I left myself. Life gets busy and priorities get shifited around. It’s no excuse, but it’s the one I have right now. I can’t tell you how important these letters are to me, and how disappointed I am that I let so much time get away from me. Sometimes I think these are my only chance of remembering all the amazing things you’ve done, and here I sit with a four-month gap. I might as well have left the country, or fallen in to a coma. (I don’t know where you get your dramatic personality.) I know I’ll remember the big stuff, but I also know I’ll forget the little ones. Like the lady at the store telling me she liked hearing you say mama. These letters are about capturing the little everyday things you do because they are magical and plentiful. If I don’t write them down, they’ll vaporize as quickly as the moments in which they exist.

I love you bug —