Dear Paisley: Month 24

March 24th, 2012

Dear Paisley,

Last night we were out to dinner with a few friends, trying a new pizza place that opened in town. We got there at 7:15, already past your 6:00 dinner hour, but your mood was great and I was hopeful that the berries and orange in my bag would tie you over. It did not. You weren’t interested in the snacks at all, nor the bites of pizza shared by Jill while we waited what turned in to two hours for our pizza. By 8:30 you were in full-on melt-down mode. Without shoes, I took you out on to the sidewalk and you gleefully ran up and down Douglas. I asked you to turn around to go back and you melted again. Jill showed up offering you a cookie and you went running down the sidewalk. Back in the restaurant we went and you saddled up to the table with a relatively normal-sized chocolate chip cookie baked on site. I cringed, a little. But figured a few bites of the cookie wouldn’t kill you. Moments later, the cookie was gone and you were telling me “I need some more.” Well, you most certainly didn’t, but try convincing you. You slid down out of the chair, reached in my person, found my wallet, and removed my credit card. Then, you walked to the register where on the tippity-tippy-tip of your toes managed to slide the card on to the counter. Me, daddy, the entire table, we were all cracking up! You didn’t get your cookie and we eventually had them box our order and we ate it at home where you immediately went to bed without any dinner and no signs of a pediatric diabetes.

Phew! That was a mouthful, but the story had to be told! There is a line that gets crossed when you are hungry that there is just no turning back from.

We saw it recently on our big Koskies Do Dallas road trip to visit Christie and Ada and attend the Naranjo wedding (us, not you!). What a fun trip we had! It was your longest time spent in a car and you really did well. We had a lot of new toys, made frequent pit stops, and no amount of milk, fuzzes, and coaxing lured you in to a sleep. Round trip you never fell asleep. Damn it. You referred to Ada as Londyn all weekend, and had a blast playing with her and Christie during a sleepover while mommy and daddy wore short dresses, nice suits, and stayed up WAY too late! That Sunday morning, we had the best brunch I’ve ever eaten at a place called Enchilada’s. Stuffed to the gills, we pointed our wagon north and set out for what would be a seven-hour trip, with pit stops along the way and one lasting almost an hour at Oma’s house. As we neared Wichita, you became fussy, then angry, then downright inconsolable. We knew you were tired, we knew you were tired of being buckled in, and we knew we all just wanted to get home and have some dinner. Oh, dinner, food, as in OMG WE HAVEN’T FED YOU!! Your dad and I had this realization with 15 minutes left in our 7 our road trip. We’d never once fed you. We weren’t hungry on the road so we never stopped to eat. You requested your “ma-roni & cheese” when we got home and by God you got it!

Your moods, your independence, and your reliance on things to be a certain way have really shown themselves in the last month. I mean, this isn’t news, these traits have always been there, but the first light of your second year is dawning and the myth of the terrible twos is proving itself to be true.

Fiercely independent is an understatement. You’d simply do away with us if you could. I mean, you’ve even taken to trying to change your own diapers! Sitting down for my Biggest Loser date with Grandma Lori last week, you announced you needed a “die-dow change.” You got out your wipe and a diaper, laid them on the floor where you then laid down on your back. You proceeded to pull up the tape on your dirty diaper and then pulled the diaper out from under you… flinging little gumballs of poo alllll over the living room. I thought Grandma and I were going to pass out from laughing; daddy jumped to action in complete disbelief.

One place you still seemed to need us a little bit was at gymnastics, and now that’s over. We finished your last few weeks of gymnastics last week and in those final three sessions saw you really take to it in a way you hadn’t in the weeks prior. You were more confident in some ways, finally swinging on the rings in your last class and doing your “apple turnover” flips without much assistance. You even love showing off this awkward sideways-fall-down-somersault! However, one place where you insisted on “hands” was on the balance beam. You were fine to walk sideways, do soldier kicks, or just make your way across the ten-foot beams as long as you had one of us to hold you. On your last class you received a bright orange ribbon for completing the toddler gymnastics course. You were pretty proud of it and told me several times that you got a “wibbon!” The next day we opened the car door and it blew away.

You showed a side of yourself this month that we’ve really not had much opportunity to see before. You, my love, are an incredibly empathetic little girl and it warmed my heart to see how much love and compassion you hold. I had surgery to remove my left ovary. That day Grandma Lori came over early so that we go to the hospital and you spent the entire day with her. You didn’t come home until 6:00 that night and when you did you were just dirty as you could be. Sweaty, humidity-induced curls, dirt smudges across your face, black nails. It made me happy to see that you’d played so hard in our finally warm weather! However, when you came around the corner and saw me lying on the couch, under a blanket, your expression was very concerned. Daddy picked you up and simply explained that mommy’s tummy was hurting and that you had to be very gentle with me. In that moment it became your mission. You walked over to me and tried to climb on the couch and we helped you sit in a spot that was far enough away from my stitches and swollen abdomen, and you snuggled right up with me. You spent days, and even two weeks later keep telling me, “mama not feel well,” “mama needs med-cine,” and “mama tummy hurt.” All of these things were true and with each comment you’d softly rub my arm and contort your face in to an expression that made me think you had sympathy pains. There were about two days when you wouldn’t look at me, talk to me come to me, and I think you were mad that I’d thrown off our schedule so much and couldn’t really do much with you. You got your pay back when you crawled across the bed one morning, reached for a book, and shoved your fist through my stomach as leverage. We both screamed, me in agony, you in shock and fear. I’m fully recovered but you’re a hard sell and you keep insisting that I hurt and need medicine.

Finally, on the way in from the car one night, you put your tiny little hand on my face and said, “Mama, you boo-ful.” I love you!

I’ve said in my last few letters that you aren’t a baby anymore. You really aren’t, this time I mean it. Baby days are gone, you are a little girl. While tiny in stature your personality is much, much bigger than you are and much, much bigger than I was prepared to take on this early. We just laugh because your personality is a Xerox clone of mine. Lord help us all.

I love you little bug–