Meredith: 13 Months

Sweet Meredith,

Sorry I’m so late in writing to you this month. I feel like the whole world’s had me by the throat lately and it’s left me feeling very empty of words. But still I want to mark your growing and your beauty and the sweet solace you are to your mommy and daddy.

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This month was good livin’ for you – packed with people. You spent extensive time with Gramma & Grampa, “Grandma” Lynne and “Grandpa” Al, and just after the end of the month you got some quality time with Nana and Papa. You are one lucky baby to have three sets of doting grandparents.

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Then there was your cousin Hilary and aunties and uncles galore, including your adopted “Auntie Laura,” whose wedding was your first of such events, and your first time meeting Uncle Peter. And last but not least, Miss Katya, our friend who accompanied us as a nanny on our first week of travel.

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You are transforming into a toddler before my eyes and it is a wonder. I can see, as though it were lying dormant, all the potential of who you’re going to be in this second year of life. I see a toddler older than you at the park or in the store and in my mind’s eye there you are in a bigger, wiser body. It’s going to happen so fast.

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You’ll have to forgive me for my lack of awareness of notable developments this month. I’ve been in survival mode for so many reasons, not least of which is all the company and all the travel. Still, I can offer you a couple snapshots that paint a pretty good picture.

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You squirm and writhe to get down from someone’s arms when you get the itch to crawl. You have a determination and an imagination that results in all kinds of climbing and all kinds of little predicaments. While my first priority when I discover one of these situations is your safety, a close second is getting a photo. Sorry.

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You are into everything, including Mommy’s make-up. You have been enthralled with opening and shutting, and it’s about time we replaced the broken toddler-lock on the kitchen trash cupboard.

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You are a fickle eater, but that’s nothing unexpected since your brother hit a similar bump at exactly this age. Sometimes you are ravenous, practically shaking in joyful, stressful anticipation of food. Sometimes you are completely indifferent, amusing yourself with throwing everything on the floor. Strangely, no matter how picky you are about food offered at meals, you are pretty indiscriminate about what you choose to taste at other times, and handfuls of dirt from the garden seems to be a consistent favorite.

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You love to play peek-a-boo and any repetitive games, and you have a giggle so completely involuntarily and hysterical that it makes me belly laugh.

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You like to walk if you can have a pair of fingers to hold, but you insistently plop to your butt if we let go of your hands. You took your first official steps on your Uncle Peter’s birthday, while we were hanging out with him and his girlfriend Alyssa. You walked from by the piano where Peter was playing to Alyssa’s outstretched arms, and I caught it on video. But since that moment you stubbornly refuse to make another attempt, choosing instead to fall forward into whoever is waiting for you.

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You remain our Loud Lady and we’ve had some screaming matches between you and your brother, always instigated by you. You started sharing a room together once and for all right after your birthday and for several nights after lights-out we’d hear you squawk loud and shrill, repeatedly, until Jacob was literally weeping in his bed. Finally one night I went to see if I could put a stop to it and found you lounging on a mound of blankets, grinning ear to ear, punctuating time at regular intervals with your meanest possible voice, deliberately torturing Jacob. Not cool, girlie.

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The first week of our trip was lots of fun. You were such a picture in your puffy, gorgeous, ball-gown of a dress at the wedding. And it was fun taking you back to our old home in Northfield, Minnesota. On the 16th, when I should’ve been writing this letter, we spent the whole day at St. Olaf. Having you there with me was a deep, profound joy.

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I love you, baby girl. Thanks for making my world bright. You are such a gift to me.

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Love,
Mommy

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