Monday, February 4, 2013

Letter to (Three Year and Ten Month Old) Ann Peyton

Dear Ann Peyton,

Life is so much fun with you, sweet girl. Your stories and the conversations we have brighten my days so much.

I say this every month, but I so love your little imagination. It seems we always have an extra family member in the form of an imaginary friend- a character from a book or movie, usually. Other times, you pretend to be the characters. You're usually considerate enough to choose characters who have a brother- lately Fern and Avery from Charlotte's Web or Marie and Fritz from The Nutcracker so Graves can join in the fun, too. Sometimes, though y'all pretend to be a bride and groom/princess and prince.

The other day you told me and Graves a rather long pre-nap story. One scene included the three of us and Cinderella walking together in a rain storm. Graves (in the story) said "Walk! Walk!" and Cinderella said "Now Annie's Momma, I'm going to put Baby Graves down gently so I don't drop him" and then she held her umbrella over his head. I laughed so hard.

Another day I heard you in your room-- "Cinderella, you need rest. It's been a long time since you've taken a nap." [Tucking Little Person Cinderella in]: "You know that you are my little sunshine." You also told me that  "Cinderella got a bed net for Christmas. It will protect her from bugs that could hurt her".

Then one night you had a terrible dream. Papa and I could not get you to tell us what was wrong. Finally, you told us you had seen a ladybug on the window in your room- a GREEN one. I know it frightened you terribly, that imaginary green ladybug, but Papa and I had to chuckle. We were legitimately getting concerned about whatever unspeakable thing that had appeared at your window. The next day you told us you'd "be brave" during naptime.

You are constantly sweeping in an imitation of Cinderella and want to eat nothing but apples (even though they make her "sleepy") so you can be like Snow White. 

We've been reading Charlotte's Web and you seem to enjoy it. You come up with the funniest questions and responses. For example, "Is Charlotte a girl spider or a WOMAN spider?" Goodness.  You've also been known to tell me that if imaginary Fern leaves our house you'll "sit in a chair and cry". That's what I mean when I tell people I have a sensitive child. I love it, but it breaks my heart a little, how much like myself you are in that way.

You told me recently, after Graves bothered some of your doll stuff, that you wanted to get a new baby. I asked you what you meant and you said "Take him to somebody else's house and bring me another baby". I said "What do you mean another baby?" And you said "Like a SISTER BABY!" I explained to you that a sister baby would likely do the same sorts of destructive things and you told me "Well, I don't thing a sister baby would have done this."

That said, y'all have been getting along so much better lately than you have in...well, really since he's become mobile. Y'all play together without fussing or fighting for longer and longer periods of time and I'm so glad you two are both learning more self-control and are getting better about sharing. I've known how deeply you love him for a long time, but it's wonderful to see you enjoy each other so. It's one thing to love someone, it's another to like the.

You've also become such a little mother these days. The other night Papa told me that your were singing to him while I was away at a meeting. Y'all were eating dinner and you began singing to Baby Graves, "If you don't ea-at you won't grow bi-iig, and the-en you wo-on't gro-ow Baby Graves. You ha-ave to ea-at Ba-aby Gra-aves!" So sweet. You've also got several of his little picture books memorized and I'll hear you say to him "You want me to read to you now, Bud?" And you'll do just that. 

You have a CD- a Kindermusik CD that's one of your favorites- and it has lion noises on it. It's pretty scary- it seriously sounds like some lions are eating some monkeys or something. Anyway, it scares Graves. You told me the other night that you weren't going to listen to it "ever again" because it scared him so much. You have such a sweet heart. 

I can tell you've started to pick up on the things I worry about, too. You heard me talking about Graves's verbal development with a friend at church who is a retired speech therapist and on the way home when y'all finished your Cheerios you said "Can you say "all gone?" and he says "gone gone!" and then you told me "Momma, he did great. He talks and talks now." I know you wanted to make sure I wasn't worried and I know you were so proud of him, too.  

A new funny thing you do is that if Graves has a dirty diaper and you smell it before me you'll say "Momma, I think there's a little skunk in here".

You are such a music lover. I hope that and your love for reading will stick forever. You're getting good at recognizing music.  I'll ask you "Is this Tom Petty?" "No." "Mumford?" "No." "Bruce Springsteen?" "Maaaaaybe." Now I just need to teach you to own it . Not much worse than an under-confident child, afraid of being wrong.

By far your favorite music is classical and you tell us often that's what you'd like to hear. We'll be playing music and you'll request "classical" in your sweet way. At one point, Papa turned on some instrumental music that really wasn't classical and you were adamant about knowing the difference. 

This last week you've been all sorts of emotional and just had so many little meltdownsReally out of character for you these days. I'm not sure how much it's related, but I've been a bit out of sorts and I wonder if we're feeding of each other. It's going to be a long road, darling girl! 

A long road and one, I'm sure will be filled with many more tears for the both of us. But a road I would never trade for anything in the world. A road that is a blessing to walk with you, hand in hand. 

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your cheerleader dress that you wore for the Super Bowl today is a 3T. 



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