Thursday, March 27, 2014

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

Dear Ann Peyton, 

We made it through our first full month in New York City. You've had a few rough patches, but overall I'm so happy to say that you love it here. 

The hard stuff first: you had a really rough night one night after we had been here for about a week and a half. Honestly, it's been your ONE really hard night as far as missing home. You cried and cried and said you wanted to go back to Mississippi and it was hard not to cry with you, honestly. 

You were so worked up and then you started crying over being hungry still and you threw Graves's paci over the gate because he was falling asleep and you wanted him to watch you do acrobatics in your bed instead. I sent you to time out and when I finally got you calmed down you told me this elaborate story about how the (imaginary) princesses thought an owl was a bug, but you explained it was a type of bird. What a night. I couldn't stop thinking "HOLY HELL, NO BROWNSTONE IN THE WORLD IS WORTH THESE CONCRETE CO-OP WALLS" because damn, it was a loud evening. 

That same week you also decided you were really frightened by the subway. You busted out your favorite coping mechanism (total denial of reality). You would say "This is a bus. We are ON A BUS." At one point Graves finally goes "This a subway, Silly". I understood your fear, but it was hilarious. And when Papa discussed the subway later with you, you kept nodding and everything and then you said "But Papa, I just need to tell you one thing: I rode TWO buses today" (you rode one bus and the subway). We ended up conquering the subway fear by simultaneously helping a pretend princess conquer the same fear. 

Okay, now the fun, sweet stuff. 

We made out first family trip to Manhattan several weeks back and you and I got to go to "Family Saturdays" at the ballet. We both had SO much fun!

And we got to see the "weather star" that day. Let me have this New York City book that you and I both love. As we were getting ready for the move, I made it regular read in a rotation with a few others about the city. For some reason, you quickly fixated on this page with the "weather star". Anytime anyone would ask you what you were looking forward to, you'd saying "building a snow man and seeing that weather star in Manhattan". It's a very old book and we honestly weren't sure the star even existed anymore. It was obviously with great joy that Peyton and I were able to show it to you (Especially as you're our child who is not as easily impressed, doesn't emote as much, ect.)

I also love how quickly your perceive things about life up here. You were playing with a little toy phone and asked me what a certain button was for. I told you I didn't know and you could decide what it was supposed to do. Well, you decided that it was for "calling people far away" and you told me "but not like Papa, he's just at Manhattan" (this was before we ever went to Manhattan). 

You and Graves made up this funny game called "Chick-a-Peyton" Chick-a-Peyton is where you and Graves bring tiny pieces of paper in little coin purses from my mom to the sliding doors in our apartment and order imaginary fries, chicken nuggets, and milkshakes.) Y'all have such great imaginations. 

Speaking of, there were two full weeks where we were here and (due to some unforeseen events) our stuff wasn't. One of the hardest things was being stuck with virtually no toys. But you guys have such great imaginations. We got an Ikea delivery and y'all had so much fun coloring on, and playing with, the cardboard from the boxes. You made a car and then you made a computer. You even drew an apple on the back of the screen like on Papa's laptop. You also drew a picture of you and Bud getting married on once piece. At one point, you guys had four Little People and several different sized pieces of cardboard. You assembled the scenery and are started a production. I was (and am!) so proud of your creativity. 

We did finally get y'alls room set up and you've told me so many times how much you love your new room. It is a bright, cheery place and I'm so glad you enjoy it. I hope it feels like home to you for as long as we're here.

You and Graves are just the sweetest. One day the four of us were walking outside and you wanted to hold Graves's hand. He said your hands were too cold to hold. You told him "I just want to be close to you and hold your hand, Bud." He shook his head. You said "I can put on my mittens" and he obliged. You are such a little problem solver. A few weeks ago,Graves got sad about eating a grape tomato he was pretending was a person. You went into mom mode and told him to "just pretend your tummy is his house".

Graves told me the other day that he's now a grown up. I told him that he certainly was not. And you told me "But, he's a daddy to George". Y'all love pretending to be a momma and a daddy and I love watching y'all. Also, Graves told me one day that he was pretending to be "Coney" and you told him "you be Coney Prince Charming" and he said "Okay, you be Cookie Cinderella". 

You've gotten very into babies lately. You told me that when you grow up you want to be a momma. I asked you why and you said "so I can read books to my little children". I almost cried. 

Oh, I have to tell you this! After almost five years, Darth finally let you pet her. Then you asked me "Why's she such a scared kitty? That just the way God made her?" You are really starting to ask "big" questions and I can tell the wheels are spinning more and more about what faith means. 

Annie, you are such a blessing. I love that you're my little buddy, my best girl, and in so many ways a small version of myself. You are simply the best. I could never ask for more in a daughter.

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your outfit is a 4T. 

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