Dear Little Girl,
At your nine month appointment, one of the items on the checklist was "saying mama/dada" which you weren't doing. You really weren't even babbling that much. Now? You are. There is screeching and yelping and giggling all day long. And the other day when you decided you did NOT want to take a nap, you stood against the side of your crib and between cries, you called out "dadadadadadada." I'm sure you don't know what it means, but your dad stood outside your door and just about died from the sadness and the cuteness.
A week or so ago, I came in to get you out of bed in the morning and you had discovered your tongue. You kept touching it with your fingers and popping it in and out. Now you'll stick it out on demand and if we stick our tongues back out at you, you are delighted.
We've started dropping by the little playroom at our apartment complex most days when we go to get the mail and you are entranced by the little ride-on zebra and the wooden puzzles. It's a nice little change of scenery, and I read for a bit while you enjoy some different toys.
When you started getting more active, you lost your previous interest in books. Now, though, you are back to being enthralled. If I tell you to pick a book off your shelf, you carefully pull one off and then drag it over so I can read it to you. We have read Quack, Quack approximately forty thousand times this month.
Also, those glorious Matthew Van Fleet books? They are a constant source of happiness to you. Except that you desperately want to pull apart all the moving parts - on Sunday while we were getting ready for church, the poor Hippo lost his head. And the Elephant lost both ears in a tragic accident. You are not to be trusted.
And when I put the books up high after reading them so you can't pull them down yourself, your face falls and you burst into hysterical tears as if you've just lost your best friend.
Constant talking? Love of books? Continued obsession with food? Check, check, check. You are clearly my daughter.
Tonight, I'm leaving you for four days to go to New York. I am looking forward to this trip immensely, but I also cannot even stand to think about leaving you.
Who will tell your dad about the way I gave you a wipe to keep you occupied for a moment and how you carried it around, clamped in your mouth, for the next thirty minutes? Who will toss you in a pile of pillows and make you laugh like a loon? Who will read you books with no plot ten or fifteen times a day?
I don't want to miss a minute of your life. Remember me when I come back on Saturday, okay?