Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Letter to (Thirty One Month Old) Ann Peyton

 Dear Ann Peyton,

You have been so much fun this month!  It hasn't been without it's challenges, though.  One thing I've really learned this month is that for my emotional health and yours, I've *got* to choose my battles.  You've had peanut butter sandwiches for dinner probably more than is advisable and you wear pajamas or a diaper almost exclusively on the days we are at home.  Your bath water typically feels more like a swimming pool than what I would consider a comfortable soak and I've loosened up on my TV rules.  But I've decided that all those things are so minor and not worth fighting you on.

You've gotten so independent lately.  Not only do you want to get in the car by yourself, you do most of the buckling of your car seat, too.  You put your arms in the straps and you can nearly do the buckle across your chest.  You just need us to help you click it and do the buckle between your legs.  You get really upset if we try to rush you and help you along.  You also want to put on your shoes and socks and take your diapers off by yourself.

Not only are you independent, but the concept of possessing something has really caught on with you.  We heard you tell General the other night to "GET OUT!" of your room.  This command was followed quickly by "This MY room, General."  I immediately made a mental note to begin discussing that you do share a room with your brother (fortunately not with your kitty, though). You also saw some of our posters that Minnie took over to her house for Mickey to work on.  You told her "Those MY pictures.  They go to MY house".  I'm thinking sharing is about to become an even bigger issue.

You are doing pretty well with sharing toys with your brother.  We've taught you that it's okay to go get a stuffed animal from him, if you ask him first and bring him a new one to replace it with.  Usually he "says" okay (we tell you that he's alright with the trade), but recently we've started telling you that you need to let him play with the toy he has.  We know the day will come when he says "No" more often that "Yes".  This whole process is kind of funny because often times you will tell us that he wants something else if you want what he has- for example, "He not want Flopsy, he want the lion."

Six months in with Baby Graves, and you made your first verbal breastfeeding observation (with the exception of some occasional nursing sessions with MonkMonk) this month. Graves was crying and you told me "he wants you to feed him".  I asked you what I should feed him and you said "Your belly button!".  It was really funny and cute.

As much as we are seeing little bursts of assertiveness in your personality, you are still a very compliant child.  We no longer discipline you daily because you no longer require it.  You know the rules and for the most part, you follow them.

Papa recently shared with me that he's concerned that you'll be a "follower" because in most settings with your peers you do take on that role now.  I'm not concerned about it really at all yet, but it is something to think about.  There's no reason we think you should have a huge, loud personality and we would never try to change who you are. There is something so beautiful about an introvert.  Your godfather and one of your grandfathers are TRUE introverts. But they are also true leaders.  You can be sweet, have a quiet spirit and a gentle nature, and speak softly (something about you that other parents with toddlers often comment on) and still be strong in your convictions and faithful to the Truth.

These recent observations have also made us realize the importance of the people you surround yourself with, who, at this point (and for a good, long while!) are the people we allow you to surround yourself with. We are so thankful to have so many Godly friends with young children your age who we don't particularly mind you imitating.

One of the most hilarious imitations you do is that you have started occasionally calling Papa "Daddy" like most children your age do.  He typically responds by saying "Who is Daddy??? I'm Papa" and you giggle and do it some more just to play with him!

You've finally started to show some interest in potty training.  We're nowhere near having fully arrived, but you're making progress and spend lots of days mostly in panties with only a few accidents.

I've put up all your Summer clothes and got out your Winter things and not surprisingly, you can still wear a couple of things from last year.  I was not shocked at all by the dresses, but there are a few leggings and tops in a 12-18 mo. that you can still wear and that kind of baffled me.  You are growing, though, albeit slowly, and are getting more and more precious by the day!

Annie, I love you so much and as I told someone recently, parenting has been *the* biggest adventure of my life.  The gift of loving you, learning about you, and learning how to guide you, discipline you, teach you, and serve you is more than I deserve.

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your elephant jammies are a 24 mo.

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