Thursday, January 8, 2015

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

Dear Annie,

The second half of your year as a five year old has been mostly delightful. You are such a sweet, sensitive, fun little girl. I was telling a friend the other day, you are very complex, but you're also very predictable. To me, at least. That's a really nice asset for a momma with my personality. We certainly have our bumps, but for the most part I see them coming these days. 

You've had a great time- dates with Papa to a simulated moon trip at the Natural History Museum, running free across the fields in Prospect Park before it got too cold, going to see the Macy's Parade balloons being blown up, and your beloved ballet classes. 

You are very literal and very honest. Awhile back you brought your and Graves's plates to the sink. I said "Oh, that was sweet of you". You told me "actually, it wasn't because I wanted to be sweet. It was because I wanted a clean table to do my craft on." 

You love taking care of things and people. You like to carry Baby Kitty in the Tula if nobody is riding in it. I often overhear you making your stuffed animals (and your dinosaurs that originally belonged to your brother) call you "momma" and whining a bit. You usually prompt them to reissue their request in a kinder tone. 

When Graves gets any sort of bump or bruise, you run to him and comfort him. You immediately fetch his blankets and before I know it you've covered him entirely with his favorite stuffed animals and comfort items. Awhile back, you even put him in your lap. Which was hysterical, because he's nearly as big as you are! When he gets a nose bleed (which happens with more frequency than I'd like, because his picking it happens with more frequency than I'd like) you're the one who pinches his nose with a tissue and barks at him to tilt his head back and be still. 

Awhile back, I was praising you for being so kind and helpful when he's hurt. I was saying what a kind little girl you were and you told me "You know, he's a very kind brother. At lunch when I was fussing because you said we couldn't have more than one brownie, he offered me his". You two are so good to each other.

I think about this often, but you two play SO well together in your room. Giving y'all the master was one of the best decisions we've ever made. 

You two make me laugh so hard. Awhile back he just stuck his hand down his own pants and "tricked" you by telling you to smell his hand, that it smelled really good. Papa to you: "That was wrong, but you should have had enough sense to know his hand would smell like a booty". Common sense is not high on your list of strengths. Nor is it on mine. 

He also convinced you to taste your own boogers one night and then you worked yourself into a frenzy over needing to brush your teeth again. 

As always, I love getting to watch your imagination go into overdrive. You brought several Beanie Babies back from Misissippi, probably your favorite being a little bird- "Early". You told me that he likes to eat at a restaurant called "Worm Puddle Square". They soak the worms in puddles because, you know, if they're left in the sun they dry out and die.

You also run a pet shop especially for lost animals. You said one of the things you "spend time on" is walking the animals before you take them to the store so they won't be as scared without their owners. The shy ones have a really hard time, though. 

You also told me that "Rapunzel (pretend princess) loves the outdoors, even more than I do. She eats, sleeps, and plays outdoors. She lives in a tent and loves her flowers and she says I can have some because she'll just plant more."

We talked about the first Thanksgiving some and you got obsessed (no surprise). You started saying MonkMonk was a Native American. We also told you guys (briefly) that over the years Native Americans haven't always been treated well at all and over the week following Thanksgiving you came up with this elaborate scenario where a stuffed hippo was the "kindest settler". He'd actually traveled all around the world (your eyes got huge when she told me that part) and he has special things from his favorite places. Additionally, he knows lots of "tricks". For example, he taught the Native Americans how to make books with tree bark and write words with tree sap. Also, they can dye toys red if they kill a lion and use it's blood. So...

I know where you got that from. One night you told me that you missed Wicked Witch so I found your toy Wicked Witch. You said "Oh, I meant the real Wicked Witch". When Papa got home, he got all dressed up and ran cackling into y'alls room.It was hilarious and terrifying at the same time. You loved it. 

Speaking of, I loved listening to this conversation between you and Papa. You: "I never want to go to a circus. Too crowded." Papa: "but some crowded things are sometimes really a Bruce Springsteen concert." You: "Well, I would love *that*".

I noticed a funny thing about y'all. You still say "y'all" exclusively. Graves says "you guys" exclusively. Papa and I probably use them pretty much interchangeably at this point.

You are making such strides as far as being able to deal with hard emotions. Awhile back, after a hard day, you went to your art table and spontaneously created a mood indicator out of a toilet paper roll. You said each day we could discuss our moods and that day was "cranky". Then you said "I should have just asked of we could leave out my 'nightstand' in a kind way and not thrown that big fit" (which involved spitting, lying, an immediate trip to time out plus another more severe time out during naptime- you only time apart from her brother, and you threatening not to do school to make up for the lost naptime minutes). I was so very proud of you. 

Annie, you are the most amazing little girl and I'm so glad you're mine!

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. You pjs are a 6. I got them big so you'd have a couple of Winters in them. You're obsessed!

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