What a big year it was for you! You went from being my baby girl to my little girl. (Ok, I lie, you’ll always be my baby girl!)
So much of this year centered around speech, and your lack of it. Up until about May you spoke very little but you understood EVERYTHING. So I was never overly worried. Nor was your doctor. But in the back of my mind and the minds’ of certain family members, there was some concern. I eventually had you tested by the city and they asserted that it’s your shyness that holds you back from speaking. They pretty much confirmed what I already knew, and did not approve you for services.
You are indeed very shy Reya, which has been somewhat of a pleasure but also somewhat of a learning curve for me. When I was pregnant with you it was hard to accept that whomever the second baby was, they wouldn’t be a carbon copy of my gregarious, outgoing, energetic son. I was convinced boy or girl, my hands would be full with yet another whipper-snapper!
That’s not to say you can’t be a handful, because you can. And you also have a very playful, mischievous side but for the most part you are a warm, cuddly child who is super-shy. Until very recently, afternoons spent at a playground served you better close by my side or on my lap, rather than playing with other children.
Little things about you and recent milestones that should never be forgotten:
Your childcare looks a bit like this: You’re in preschool full days on Mondays and Wednesdays. You have grandparents on Tuesdays and Thursdays and on Fridays you’re with Kimberly (your sitter) in the morning, and with me in the afternoon. It’s a healthy mix that has helped to take the cling out of you being a stage 5 clinger! We’ll be maintaining this schedule until next September when you start Pre-K at PS261.
We joke that you ought to be a snowbird — someone who waits out the winter in Florida. So when winter storm Jonas hit this past January it was no surprise that you wanted absolutely nothing to do with the snow. For the one hour we went out in it, this is the only time your dad managed to put you down on the ground. Why on earth I bought you snow boots when you refused to walk in them I have no idea!
You took to potty training like a champ! You were 2/12 years old you when you rid us of diapers forever. What an amazing gift!
In March you nearly poked Ella’s eyes out. It was not without intent but it was definitely not done out of malice either, as I know you adore our dogs. You did some damage that required quite a few vet visits, daily care and nursing. And while it was touch-and-go for a while, she eventually made a full recovery. Poor Ella has been through so much!
You were impossible to administer medicine to up until a couple of months before your 3rd birthday. IMPOSSIBLE! We would have to hold you down and pry your mouth open which proved to be futile because you would throw it back up an instant later. So grateful for this new development as we head into cold and flu season.
Even though you have scooted around in parks for a while you only very recently graduated to doing it on streets. But we don’t let you venture far of course because you’re not an old pro just yet!
While I’m on the subject of things that steer, you learned how to drive this year and you’re terrible at it! Your brother has a motorized Ninja Turtles car at the GP’s house in Northport and you consistently run into things and get into messes that require constant rescuing while behind the wheel. In fact, when my brother and his family were visiting this summer, you reversed right over your 18 month old cousin Xavi! It was a pretty dramatic scene (that played out in front of a couple dozen people during a 4th of July barbecue,) but luckily he lay completely unharmed (but very shaken up,) underneath the car.
You’ve also recently taken to and are delighted by swimming which is a huge relief. When you were 18 months old I took you on my lap down a kiddie slide at a water park in Florida. Unbeknownst to me, there was an almost-two foot drop into a pool of water at the end of the slide. I was holding you very casually and not only did you go under, but I did too. The experience left you pretty upset and timid in water thereafter. I felt SO bad!
You barely swam while we were on vacation in Miami this past April but this summer you turned into a courageous little fish! I can’t wait to enroll you in swim classes this fall!
Since you were months old you have had a thing for nursery rhymes. You love being sung to and now that you are old enough you join in on the singing too. Unlike your brother, TV has never held your attention for long but you’ve recently taken to watching Peppa Pig (for long stretches of time) on the iPad.
The week leading up to your birthday you woke in the middle of the night, came running into our room, and jumped in bed with us. Perhaps because we haven’t been woken in the middle of the night by little humans in years, the experience was extremely surreal. We indulged you the first night but the second time your daddy scooped you up and marched you back to your room. Since we’re firm believers of not sharing our bed beyond breastfeeding years, I’m hoping this is/was a passing phase.
By nature I loved you from the second I laid eyes on you Reya, but it has been your ability to sleep through the night since your second day on earth that has only solidified and intensified that love. You are a dream sleeper and were the complete opposite of your brother during the early years. And for that I am so grateful. In fact, had you been our first child, we may have been fooled into having another sooner than we were ready.
But instead, your awesome self joined us at the perfect time. Happy Birthday my smorgie!