Tuesday, February 14, 2017

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

Dear Ann Peyton,

Another fun month with my little Annie to share with you! Let's see...

Papa has been teaching you to play chess, you've been writing lots of thank you notes (many on your own initiate), and you've started getting a Coffee News whenever we got to the Mexican restaurant.

You had the best time at the Hanging of the Green service. The theme for Advent this year was joy and you and Graves were joy personified skipping back and forth delivering poinsettias.

Papa's cousin came over awhile back and gave you and Graves these assessments for her PhD program. You scored above your grade level. Graves told Mary Beth "I know about lots of things. Baby Sallie doesn't know about anything but eating and bottles and bras". To be fair, that is a lot of her day. But you said "Now, that's not true. She's learning about how her toys work!" She certainly is; I can't believe she's already that big! You also told Mary Beth thank you for bringing you a present and then said "And thank you for the test. I really enjoyed that".

We played this game called Bean Boozle with crazy flavors of jelly beans recently. You told us that you enjoyed tooth paste, lawn clippings, and baby wipes and that boogers probably wouldn't he so bad because you assumed they'd be salty.

I've been thinking. One of the hardest things for me used to be prioritizing needs and I still struggle with it but it certainly is one thing that's gotten better.The other day I was trying to do some housework while you and Graves were eating lunch and Sallie was settled. Right in the middle of this you decided that you wanted to make more instant potatoes. Not hard, clearly, but you needed a little guidance. Then Sallie spit up all over her playmat and Graves had to go to timeout for running away from me and hiding something behind his back. Just normal life with three kids. I wiped Sallie off, stuck the paci right back in her mouth, left her in the pool of spit up, and finished helping you with the measurements (which you had already misread but found a logical way to compensate) and got the potatoes boiling. Then I gave Sallie a real bath (or as real as it gets for her- our days with infant tubs and that kind of apparatus are gone and we "bath" her as Graves says in the sink). Graves went to time out and stayed there the duration of both tasks, which was actually hardly any time at all and we had a discussion while I redressed Sarah Lamar and scrubbed the play mat. She was happier having thrown up and nursed herself to sleep and you and Graves had full tummies too and played nicely for a bit while I sat down and tried not to accomplish anything for just a few minutes. I served you the potatoes, put up the extras, and washed out the pot we had cooked in and another dish and polished the hardwoods our bedroom and the study. As I was taking out some recycling you said "I thought cooking those potatoes together was fun, didn't you?". I'm not sure I can say so truthfully, but I thought it was manageable which is a long way from where I was just a couple of years ago.

You have a BrainQuest book that you do basically for fun/practice while I prep other stuff) and recently you wrote in it, in answer to a question, that Thursday is your favorite day because we're switching things up and having beans and rice at Mickey and Minnie's that day. You also wrote that Christmas is your favorite holiday....because you get to see Cookie and Conrad and they make a Santa Clause cookie cake. Not the first word about presents, which has been the goal for the past seven years.

I found some of Graves's old pjs with dinosaurs on them and you were SO excited and really took an interest in Sallie when I put them on her. (I saved them with the hope of exactly that, ha!).

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Having an excessive amount of free time one weekend, you spent a good bit of it making lists for next week. On the agenda, among other things: "groshry" store, a meeting, jedi training: reading and quiz, holiday!, eat refried beans, wash dishes, math, "eglish", and plan week.

Miss Carrie recently mentioned that Aubrey takes notes at school.  A few days later you asked me more than once how much longer the church service was (ir was longer than usual) and when we got home I discussed with you the idea of making some notes during the sermon. I told you that doodling helps some people concentrate so you could still color but it'd probably be difficult to read. I explained that you could write down anything that thought was interesting, or beautiful, or important and you could also make a note if there was something you wanted to ask me about or discuss with me. You loved the idea and said it would also be fun so you and Graves would have more ideas of what to do when y'all play church. That day I saw you rushing through the house with your binoculars on, with this very determined little gate. I asked you if you were getting a piece of paper to draw the bird you and Graves were looking at and you replied that you were actually wanting to make some notes about him. Second grade hasn't been without its difficulties, but this stage is so much fun!

Honestly, that's the truth about every stage I've experienced with you. There are certainly hard parts, but I love learning more about you and seeing the world through your eyes, eyes that are starting to get very grown up. You are such a special girl, Annie!

Momma (and Papa)

P.S. Your pjs (which are so Summery, but you were excited to wear them) are size "7 years". I was super excited to find this style I love in bigger sizes. I got you several pairs- mostly animals because that's your preference- but I couldn't resist the beach balls. They have such a fun vintage vibe to them. You seem to like them!

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