Sunday, September 8, 2013

Letter to (Four Year and Five Month Old) Ann Peyton

Dear Ann Peyton,

You've had a great month. It started out with a visit from Cookie. She was only here for a day, but you had the best time swimming with her and Conrad (and Graves!). You talked about her so much the next few weeks (e.g. you'd hold up a finger puppet and say "Look, a little nurse, like Cookie!").

Another big thing was that Papa and I went on a week long trip to New York to try to figure out where we'd live when we move. You and Graves stayed with Mickey and Minnie part of the time and with DeeDee and Grandpa Randy the other half. You spent your time with Mick and Minnie telling them the rules and jumping in puddles and swimming at the Yacht Club and eating Newk's pizza and getting pedicures from Minnie. Minnie was so tired by the end of it and she told me that she sort of snapped at you and Graves one night because y'all were splashing sink water around WAY past bedtime. You told her "Minnie, you've never talked to me unkindly before tonight". Of course, Minnie was a bit undone by that. At DeeDee and Grandpa Randy's house you got to have a couple of play dates with Cousin Simeon and you went to the park a ton and even got to pack a picnic! Suffice to say, y'all had a blast. I thought about you so much on the trip, sweet girl. The things you'd love and the things I'll get to show you soon. You were constantly on my mind.

I have to tell you, you are SO excited about New York. I'm not sure how much you really comprehend about it, but you tell us things you're excited about doing and you talk about it often.

We also took a short trip to Granny's. You had so much fun eating fried chicken and sitting on the back of the (parked, of course!) pick-up truck. We also saw Ellis and Minda and that was a joy. You did have a terribly difficult time leaving the little playground we found on our walk with them. That kind of thing (stopping something fun) seems to be something you really struggle with lately.

You're also getting in gear for school. You mentioned one day that "I'm a momma dinosaur and I have to pack a lunch for my little boy dinosaur (Graves) to take to school". You're so sweet! We also got you a Charlotte's Web "literature tee" like Papa's as a little back to school present. You adore it and want to wear it all the time!

Speaking of Graves, you two are finally adjusting to him being out of the crib. I finally threw in the towel and decided to just let y'all play until you fall out. Naps are different and he still plays by himself until he falls asleep, but at bedtime I don't try to keep you out of the room until he falls asleep. It's working pretty well, actually! I even found y'all snuggling on the floor asleep one night. A different night I heard you call out "He wants to put on his bathing suit...just for fun". It was about eleven at night. Um, no. One night he fell asleep really quickly and you were so upset he couldn't join you for your "Night Party". The other morning y'all slept really late and I said "Whoa, you guys slept so late". Graves said "Late. Work." I said "Oh, Graves, you're late to work?" You piped up and said "Well, I'm about to be late for TARGET!".

You guys have gotten pretty good at mess making. I had to have a discussion with you that included the directive never, ever to take the drawers out of your armoire. A different day, you and Graves stripped the bed and you told me it was because "The Little People princesses tee-teed on it". Points for creativity, at least! You guys even got into the (what I thought were pretty inaccessible) "special boxes". Luckily, we (you) found Graves's baby hair from his first cut.

I told you one night that we had to clean up her little towers tonight because "I like my living room straight before we got to bed". You told me (in the sweetest, most not defiant way) "But it's not just *your* living room, Momma. It belongs to all of us". And you had a point. 

The other day you set up your little little play camera on the buffet and you and Graves  ran to do a "family picture". Then you screamed "Wait, Bud, we forgot our little children!" and y'all got Wilbur and Hulk and did a retake.

You've gotten obsessed with your little backyard kiddie pool. In fact, we offered a couple of times before Labor Day to take y'all to the big pool, but you just wanted to swim in the backyard. One afternoon I could tell it was about to rain but we got about ten minutes of swimming in. Summer was almost over and the reality of not having a yard next year is on my mind a lot and I think the five minutes I spent in a chair under the little overhang by that door were maybe the most well spent ones I had that week.

One thing I'm struggling with is how it's hard with you to tell what is stubbornness and what is a complete and utter fear of failure. There are times that I ask you to do something simple and it's not that you're lazy or defiant; I genuinely thing that you believe you can't do it. That's hard. I'm trying to be encouraging, telling you that you can, but also reminding you that even if you try and fail, it's okay and that's how we all learn.

Annie, I love you so much and even the hard days with you are such a blessing. You make me smile so much and I'm so incredibly proud of you.

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. The "dress" you're wearing is a top that goes with pants. It's a 4T and it's clearly huge on you as it makes a perfect...dress. Also, you were dressed up for Meet the Teachers. I let you wear pink sandals in the picture, but you changed into shoes that coordinated a little better later (after many tears and much gnashing of teeth).

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