Dear Penny

Dear Penny,

How is it possible that the last post I wrote to you was about your birthday? You are only 3 months older than the sweet little lady in pink who delicately ate her birthday cupcake, yet you are a completely different kid. Perhaps because you have started walking. They say once a child starts walking, the world opens up in a whole new way. I look at you now, wanting things and going after them with gusto, becoming irrationally upset when you can’t get those things your heart so deeply desires, expressing your feelings so much more strongly, and I am in awe at this person you have become. It is both a challenge and a joy to be your mother at this stage in your life, and I am grateful everyday that I am experiencing it all through you.

There are far too many things to love and marvel at these days, so I will simply list my favorite Penny things.

1. Stuffed animals are your weakness. You love your fuzzy bunny and elephant with a burning passion, and welcome  encounters with any other furry creature that finds himself in your path. Poor bunny has been dropped into the street and flung from the car seat too many times to count, but your alarmed cries, followed by your tight hugs and kisses once he is safely back in your arms, make it all worth it.

2. You say “mmm!” after almost every bite at meal times, and when you are all done, you wave both hands to do the all done sign, and urgently hum the words “all done.” You also love kid food, like peanut butter and jelly and mac n’ cheese. Shocking, right? And I was going to raise you on vegetables and healthy proteins, and you were going to love it. Except you refuse to eat almost all vegetables. And most proteins. You love fruit, carbs, and anything involving cheese. I hope it is a phase, but I can’t say that I blame you if it is not.

3. You adore animals, your pets most of all. Is there anything better than the high pitched squeal of delight you make when Charlie licks your feet, or gently takes a treat from your plump outstretched hand? You don’t say many words yet, but you can tell us what a doggy says (woof woof!), a kitty (meow!), a cow (sort of sounds like moo!), a sheep (baa! although sometimes you insist a sheep says meow!), and a duck (quack!) about a thousand times a day.

4. You amaze me with how much you understand. You can follow so many directions, and know when we are going to go up stairs, or take a bath, or get ready for a nap, or get our shoes on to go somewhere. You really have been paying attention, and remind me and your dad daily that we need to be careful what we do and say around you, as you are quite the copy cat!

5. You look adorable when you walk. With your stomach pushed out to lead the way and your legs taking quick little steps to keep up with your desire to get places quickly, you are constantly shocking me with how speedily you can get around.

6. You still adore books. As if watching you bring me books to read wasn’t enough to warm my heart, you now hand me a book and then climb into my lap, reclining comfortably against my chest in anticipation of hearing another story that you have likely heard countless times before. Your favorites are “Too Pickley,” “Five Little Monkeys,” “Duck and Goose,” and “Barnyard Dance.”

7. Every time music begins to play, you wave your arms back and forth and hum a noise that sounds like the word “dancing!” You will continue to do this until I have acknowledged that yes, you are indeed dancing.

8. You think everything is “Ca ca.” Once, when you picked up a piece of gravel and tried to put it into your mouth, I told you “no, don’t put that in your mouth, that’s ca ca.” I’m not sure why I used that word instead of the more conventional “yucky,” but it stuck. Now you bring me around 200 “ca ca” things a day and loudly exclaim that they are in fact “ca ca,” from bits of lint on the ground to dirt from outside to daddy’s stinky shoes. It is by far your favorite and most used word, and I will continue to chuckle every time you say it.

9. You care very deeply about doing things correctly the first time. That is a nice way of saying you get terribly frustrated when you try to do something once, like close a door that has objects in the way, and it doesn’t work out the way you had planned. While slightly ridiculous, I have to hold back a smile when you come up to me, red faced with fat tears running down your check, because you can’t fit a toy into a container that is too small.

10. You get super excited when daddy gets home from work or Nana and Papa come to visit. When I tell you one of them is here to see you, you book it toward the front door, huffing and puffing with anticipation. You repeatedly open and close both hands to say hello, raise both arms into the air to be picked up, and almost always give kisses when asked. And believe me, you are asked A LOT.

11. Your favorite game is peek a boo. When I say, “Penny, where are you?” in my sing song voice, I can hear you start to giggle before you pop out from your hiding place. Your favorite person to play peek a boo with, though, is the cute baby in the mirror. You also love to say hi to cute baby, laugh at her while she brushes her (two) teeth, and show her how fantastic you look in your latest ensemble.

I was going to keep it to 10 favorite things, but 11 was hard enough.

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Thank you for being the sweet, smart, silly girl that you are! I love you more than you know.


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