Sunday, March 3, 2013

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

Dear Ann Peyton,

One more month until you're FOUR. I cannot...CANNOT...believe that. You've been such a wonderful one year old, two year old, and three year old; I can't imagine you won't be such an amazing four year old.

Your favorite thing right now, probably, is playing dress up. You love to go through the costume bin in the living room and pick out random accessories and outfits. You also have a couple of puffy costume dresses that you call "princess dresses" even though they aren't a specific princess. A new thing, though, is that you're going through a phase where the color of a dress makes it a princess dress (for example today you're wearing a smocked aqua dress that you picked and so you're Jasmine (it's really not green enough to be Jasmine, but I'm not telling you that!). Of course, that's preferable to me  than Jasmine's actual attire (and cheaper since we own it!). I'm sure it won't last long. 

You are, of course, very imaginative. I seriously explained to you the other night that if "Ariel" was a real guest, this would not be appropriate, but since she's an imaginary friend it's fine to tell her "This is my room, Ariel, and we are going to leave the music on while I go to sleep. Please do not turn it off again."

We finished Charlotte's Web and it was so, so special. When we neared the end, it became incredibly bittersweet, not only because of Charlotte's impending death, but because it marked an end to a beginning of something I hope lasts your entire childhood. Your first chapter book, one hundred and eighty four pages read together, daily. I'm savored every word on those last pages.

We went on a field trip the other day and you wore the school t-shirt, converse, and "prissy" plaid ruffle pants that go with a smocked top. You still don't own jeans. I'm very glad you're not interested in them at all :)

You fancy yourself very courageous these days. During a storm the other night, you told me "Momma and Annie and Baby Graves were scared of the thunder. Of the three, Annie was the bravest". Of the three?? Seriously, you make me laugh so hard.

Speaking of making me laugh, you came out of the bathroom the other day and announced loudly "Stinks like girl poop!" Oh my goodness.

You and Graves are getting along so, so well most of the time. Like, it's hard for me to believe we're finally at this point. I know you've always adored him, but you're getting to the point where you think he's (mostly) fun to be around. I love that y'all are becoming more like "peers" and the two years difference doesn't seem near as big as it once did. The other day y'all played in the den while I showered/dried my hair. I'm not sure if this says more about how far they've come behavior wise or how far I've come anxiety wise. But there were abundant thanksgiving for progress on both fronts!

Some days, of course, are not so good. You told me the other day that "he smells like throw up and we need to get rid of him". I explained that first of all it was poop, second of all we needed to get rid of his diaper not him, and third of all it's really unkind to tell someone you want to "get rid" of them. You also told him, at a point of extreme frustration, that "we'll just give you to someone else". I told you never, ever to say that to him again. It was a little funny, though. I will say, you seem to have a very um, fluid concept of families. You have also told me that "if someone is done with their sister baby we can just get her". I'm pretty positive you were referring to our wonderful friends the Howies, with Alaina being the precious sister baby. There are days that it's hard for momma, too and I hope dearly that one day you will have a sister baby. Sisters are so special and I'd love for you to have one.

But brothers are so special, too, and I wouldn't how realized just how much were it not for you and Graves and your beautiful little bond. You care for him so sweetly. In the last month you've started doing more and more things for him. You peel his oranges at dinner and today at lunch you feed him some corn on a spoon. He's SO over me and Papa spoon feeding him anything, but of course when you do it, he eats it up (no pun intended). You were pretending to be Jasmine and you asked me "Do you think little girl Jasmine ever fed baby Aladdin?".

A few weeks back, you heard me say "You're such a big boy. But you're still my baby." And you told me "He's my baby, too. He's both our baby." I seriously cried. And after school one day you told me "Bud told me he missed me." [I smiled and nodded.] "I mean he didn't speak those words, but..."

 We've been dealing with more big feelings from you lately. I mentioned it briefly last month, but this month has been trying on that level. You start crying over little things and can't really get ahold of yourself. It's really not a "fit"- trust me, darling, I know your fits. It's more sad than angry and you keep telling me things like "something is making me cry" or "I don't want to cry" and the most difficult for me "Momma, make me stop crying". I've felt very inadequate at points this month and it's hard because I know that it's not really my "fault", but you do get this from me. This intensity of emotion. 

You had an especially hard time when your little class on Wednesday nights at church changed rooms. It took me two evenings to figure out that that was what was upsetting you. I told you that I knew change was hard, but that it was the people and what you were learning about that was important, not the room. The first night I let you come to our class and that was a disaster, so the second night I stood my ground and we discussed and discussed but I told you we were sitting on a step in the Kindergarten area until you went in. You finally caved in. I called Minnie later and had to tell her the story because it was the epitome of my childhood- very strong, very real emotions compounded with a stubbornness that would make a mule giggle. We'll see how it plays out, but isn't it so interesting when things happen like that?

Sometimes, you drive me CRAZY with your constant questions and big emotions, but you also bring so many smiles to my face. Like today...Graves pooped on the floor in the thirty seconds it took me to run get a diaper from the laundry room (after his bath which he had to have b/che made such a mess with lunch). You, Annie, as the voice of optimism in this day said: "Well, Momma he *did* learn a new word 'Say "poo poo" Bud'". 

We love you so much.

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. This is THE weirdest thing, but your dress is a 12 mo. (?!?!) I bought it at a craft festival and it's obviously "homemade" and I knew the sizing was weird. Papa swore you'd wear it to Kindergarten. He was close! Also, you picked out your headband yourself ;) 


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