You turned 17-months-old today. You’re growing so fast that it’s hard to keep track of the day-to-day changes and all of the little miracles that you create. Every day you surprise us with a new word, expression or talent.
This month has been full of many milestones. The most significant has been your learning to test us. I can see it now: Your first day at school. The teacher asks, “Hi, cutie! What’s your name?” To which you will politely reply, “Maly.” The teacher will then ask, “What’s your full name?” And your quick retort will be, “Maly NO!”
One day while I was at work, your mom and you had a little altercation. Momma and you were playing on the bed. You ran across the bed and then stepped onto my night stand. Your mom quickly established the rule that those that live in the house and measure in at less than 5 feet are not to stand on night stands. Your mom said, “NO, No, Nooooooo!” You immediately turned to look at her, wrinkled your forehead, waved your index side to side, and said, “NOOO, NOOO, NOO, NOOO, NO!!!”
Your mom and I have been trying to employ the technique of removing you from any situation that you’re not supposed to be engaged in and then explain to you why you oughtn’t be doing whatever it is you’re doing. We really, really try this technique, but a lot of times it’s just quicker to say “no.”
You’re becoming more an more independent every day. You did something a few days ago that just about brought a tear to my eye. In these first 17 months of your life, I’ve probably given you 95% of your baths. Whenever we’re done with bath time, you would stand up in the tub and hold your hands up to me as I sat on the edge of the tub. I would lift you up and onto the towel on my lap. On this particular evening, instead of lifting your arms up to me, you just threw one leg up and over the edge of the tub pulled yourself out of the bath. Then you stood there and looked to me to dry you off while you stood there, instead of drying you while snuggling on my lap.
You have a ton of new words that you use regularly now. I think the cutest is “Meemee.” That means “Maly” in your vocabulary. You clearly say, mama, daddy, ditty (kitty), Annie, lally (Riley), ish (fish), burr (bird), ball, pool, oosh (shoes), ouch, ice, wiwwy (Willy – the ‘ish’) and Noooooooo!
You can point to your eyes, ears, cheeks, head, elbow, mouth, nose. You know who your babies are. You run to the bathroom when I say it’s time for your bath. You know exactly which buttons turn on and off my alarm clock. You tell me, “Bay bye” every morning when I leave for work. And you excitedly repeat, “Daddy?!” to Mom when I get home in the evenings.
You love your books. I’m not much of a book reader. I think you’re going to turn me into one. We have a bookshelf in your room that is completely full of books. I have to read at least five books to you every night. Who knows how many books your mom reads to you during the day. You LOVE your books. And I’m proud of that.
I’m proud of you for everything that you are. You’re such an amazing little girl. I love living life through you each and every day. I wish I had more time to do that on a day-to-day basis. I’m thankful that I have the woman that I love to be there when I can’t.
You’ve made me laugh more than I’ve ever laughed before. I love putting you on my shoulders and walking you around the grocery store. I love having meaningless conversations with you. I love that you telling me, “NOO, NOO, NOO!!” means that YOU shouldn’t be digging into the cat food. I love putting you down to bed and watching you put your fingers into your mouth as you get yourself ready for bed.
I love thinking that your mom and I are doing the right things for you. We’re trying hard for you.
I love you, Sugar.