Tuesday, May 14, 2013

To Ada on her Third Birthday

Dear Ada,

You had your third birthday last month, and I think that someday you will want to know what you were like at this age. You have straight blond hair that is very prone to tangles. You like to call it "golden".  Teacher Liz taught you that.  When you wake up in the morning, your father and I try to remember to comb out the bees-nest before you leave the house, but all too often we fail and you look like a little ragamuffin. Sometimes you ask for clips, occasionally you ask for tails, but most of the time you prefer 'just my beautiful hair'. 

In most ways, you take after your father, but you definitely sleep like your mom. You are a light sleeper, and any unfamiliar noise wakes you up in the night. You love to sleep late in the morning, often emerging from your room at 9am or later if the house is quiet enough. Last weekend, during your sleepover at Nini's house, you didn't wake up until 10! We turned your crib into a toddler bed earlier this year, and you handled that change well. The first night, you left your room about a dozen times, just because you could, but since then it has been smooth sailing. For a while, you would wait for someone to pick you up out of your bed in the morning, but recently you have started getting up by yourself. Girls wake up slowly in our house, and like your mom you don't like to be rushed in the morning. You sleep with your blankies, your Elmo pillowcase, George, Dora, and a few other friends. We also keep white noise going in your room while you are sleeping. Everyone is happier that way.

You are cautious by nature, and prefer to look before you leap.  When you meet new people, you'll usually hang back and observe rather than immediately joining the conversation like your brother.  You are also cautious with your body and rarely push yourself past your capabilities.  In the past few months, you have become so much more adventurous about things like climbing, scootering, and swinging.  When you are around people you know, you are a little chatterbox.  I can't believe the things that come out of your mouth sometimes.  Lately, you have been telling us elaborate stories about your imaginary friend Igaloo.  You talk on the phone with her and make up songs together.

We took you to see Dr. Jack last week, and he said that you are growing well.  At 38 inches and 32 pounds, you are 60th percentile for both height and weight.  You graduated to 4T clothes a couple of months ago, and most of your shoes are size 8.  You're not very interested in potty training, and we've decided to just wait until you're ready.  We've been reading "The Princess and the Potty" for over a year now - it's one of your favorite books - but I guess we just haven't found the right pantalettes yet.

About six months ago, you discovered dresses, and now you won't wear anything else.  We can layer you up with pants and a sweater, but the dress must come first.  As the only granddaughter on both sides of the family, you have a closet full of dresses and you love to pick out your "sleeve dress" or "no-sleeve dress" each day.

Your brother Jude is your idol, your tormentor, your best friend, and probably the biggest influence in your life.  Until recently, you have generally been very easy-going and let Jude take the lead.  He'd suggest a game, ask you if you want to play, and you'd say "Okay".  Jude watches everything that you do very closely.  If you start to play with a different toy, he immediately becomes interested.  When you start to work on an art project, he'll join you.  If you finish half your cookie in the time it takes him to finish the whole thing, he'll sidle over to you and ask for a bite - and you usually give it to him.  With a big brother who is so much bigger, physically, than you, you have learned to read his moods and stay out of his way at times.  I think this is a skill that will serve you well in life.  

For the past few weeks, you two have been fighting like cats and dogs, but in general I think you really enjoy each other.  When you are getting along, you love to play together.  Just recently, though, I've seen you push Jude's buttons in very subtle ways, like making fun of the way he says something.  He doesn't know quite what to make of this.  You are also less tolerant of him, and complain vigorously whenever he does something you don't like.  I'm glad to see you standing up for yourself, but it does make for a very loud house at times.  

We celebrated your third birthday in Florida, and took you to Disney World to celebrate the occasion.  You weren't too thrilled.  The parades were too noisy and the rides were too scary and you didn't want Mickey or Minnie to get too close.  You did love "It's a Small World" ("the boat ride") and grudgingly admitted that Winnie the Pooh didn't scare you.  For the most part, though, you preferred to hang around and watch people while Jude went on ride after ride.  Tom Sawyer's island was probably the biggest hit - you sat in the window of the fort and shot the runaway train with a musket for about an hour.

Ada, you are such a joyful child.  You love to dance and to sing, to laugh and to play.  Your smile brightens everyone's day.  Happy Birthday!



Amber said...

Very sweet Linden!! She seems like quite the sweetheart :))

Natalie said...

That was a beautiful letter from mama to daughter. She will love this when she's older. I also absolutely love the word ragamuffin!