Dear Vera: 29, 30, 31 monthsBy Dawn Sailors In Dear Vera
I have photos of you from 29 months and 30 months, but never quite found the time to sit down and write a letter to go with them. Instead, I’ll lump these all together.
The other reason I haven’t written yet, is because I’ve been contemplating what I really want to say to you in these letters. Up until now, it’s been a lot of fact stating. And while I think it’s important to document what color your hair is, how big you’ve grown, and all the words you know, I want there to be more to it than that. I want you to be able to read these someday and know who you were and who I was too. And how we are together. Especially now that you’re such a little person.
Some days it seems like a crap-shoot as to which Vera I will see from day-to-day. I suppose it is a two year old thing… the ‘terrible twos’ and all that. But some days you are the sweetest, most loving, cuddly, polite little thing. And then there are days when you aren’t. The days when you’re stubborn, contrary, and ornery. Those are the days you challenge me the most. The days I go to bed exhausted from battling you – on what to eat, how many times you can go potty before bed, what pajamas to wear, whether or not you can pull the cat’s tail, why you can’t take gum to bed, why we can’t read one more story, and on and on and on. There are days when I feel like if I say no, you’ll scream yes, and if I say yes, you’ll change your mind. I tell myself you have spirit, and that you’ll be a strong woman some day. And I like that image of you. Grown up and confident, standing up for what you want.
A few weeks ago, out of nowhere, you told me “I don’t love you.” And it broke my heart. And I cried. And then sweet Vera came back and kissed me and told me not to cry and that you did love me. And I know, rational me knows, that it is just the twos, pushing limits to see what’s ok, and what words can do. I suppose all parents have to face the fact that kids are constantly learning. You don’t know what love really means yet, so you can’t know what it means to deny it to someone. And I know that. I know, too, that you do love me. After seeing that it upset me, you’ve been extra sweet and tell both your dad and I that you like us and love us all the time. And I love that.
I don’t think it will come as a surprise that I am the disciplinarian in the family, and maybe that’s why I was so hurt. I strongly believe that it’s every parent’s job to set boundaries and raise children who are respectful. But maybe it’s also every parent’s fear to discipline kids for fear they won’t be the favorite parent. Or won’t be loved the same. There has been more than one occasion where I’ve sent you to timeout only to hear you cry that you want your daddy. And that can hurt too.
But don’t get the impression that you’re a difficult child. Far from it. Luckily, the beastly two year old is a rarity, and the sweet girl is around more often. Maybe that’s what makes it such a challenge.
Since I last wrote, your Dad and I went on a week-long trip without you. It was technically our honeymoon trip, since we never took one, and it was so hard to be without you so long. You stayed with your Aunt Dania and Uncle Chad, and you did such a great job. Before we left, we told you about the trip and that we’d be gone for a while but we’d come back to get you. While we were gone, we talked to you every evening. I think those two things helped you feel like you knew what to expect, and eased any fears you might have had. Plus Dania kept you pretty busy and Grammy Pammy came up to play too.
You’ve been doing great it a big twin bed lately. Some nights you go right to sleep and some nights (as described above) it’s a long battle. Once asleep though, you are out all night. I’ve been working on getting your new room ready for you to move into – and we finally made the transition a couple of weeks ago. The one you were in is the best room for a nursery, since it’s closer to our room. We’re not adding to our family just yet, but that is the eventual plan and I don’t want you to ever feel like a new baby is taking your place. So I thought it was best to give it plenty of advance time. Plus, you know I really just like redecorating, and this lent itself as the perfect excuse for some fun updates. :)
You continue to be my little shadow, and want to do everything I do. You have play glasses (shown in your 31 month photo above) that you like to wear when I wear mine. You also pretend to put in contacts if you see me do it. You like to wear your boots if I wear boots, and jeans if I wear jeans, and sweaters if I wear sweaters. I like to use this to my advantage, because if I want you to do something, I can usually convince you by doing it myself first. :)
The way you talk these days is so funny to me too. I don’t know where you hear some of the things you say, but your speech is excellent and you crack us up. You’ll randomly respond to requests with “No way, José!” Or pick up your play phone and have a full conversation with your aunt Dania. The other day you said “Hold on Mom, Grandma is texting me.” You’re hilarious.
You continue to amaze me little one. Love you so much.