Monday, September 03, 2007

Dear Fern (part XIX)

Dear Fern,

You're a summer girl.

As grown-ups -- and even more, as San Franciscans -- we've forgotten, a little, what summer is for. Thanks to you, we're starting to rediscover that...

Summer is for the Sun

You love getting outside to "piay!" every day. We've been discovering and rediscovering outdoor adventures spots: the beach, the Discovery Museum, and new playgrounds. We're out for a good part of almost every day of this unusually fog-free summer. The bright sun has finally taught you to love hats and sunglasses -- two items you formerly saw mostly as peek-a-boo toys, or earlier than that, things to chew briefly and then ignore.

Summer is for Ice Cream

Another newfound love. Your mom took you for your first honest-to-goodness full-on ice cream cone this month, and it's a full-body experience: you lick the cream from the cone, stick your fingers into it, lick them a bit, bite the cream, and then crunch the cone. For future reference: you far prefer the cone to the cup, the cake cone to the sugar cone, and your favorite flavor is coffee. (Yeah, great.)

Summer is for Acrobatics

Just when we thought you could have some independent playground time, you started climbing ladders. Big ladders, too, the ones the four-year olds have trouble with. You've always liked hanging from the monkey bars, and now you swing from the bar at the top of the slide, giggling at the panicked looks on our faces. And you love tumbling. Somersaults are an old favorite, and just the other day, you put your head on the ground, locked your knees, and just stood there, like an ostrich about to do a headstand. Your buddy Erwan thought it looked cool, so he tried it right away, and suddenly there you were, two baby butts in the air, like a miniature yoga class.

Summer is for Junk Food

Your food tastes have swung toward carbohydrates, so we have to work a little harder to keep you eating enough fruits and vegetables. Luckily, you're still a nut for avocados, and you love to eat berries off the vine. (I even pretended to pick store-bought berries from a tree, and you loved that, except that then I had to pretend to pick avocado, cantaloupe, pears, and rice cake from that same tree. Hm.)

Summer is for Goofiness

Your mom and I are curious about the nature and nurture debate as it applies to goofiness. Because boy, are you evah. Your mom had you at the market the other day and you repeated "Loodleoodleoodleoodleoodleloo" for 25 solid minutes, apparently just because you like the way it makes your tongue feel. You also tackle us out of nowhere (I think maybe Erwan taught you that one), smoosh your face up against the French doors, and make silly faces just to prove you can.

But summer is coming to an end and so, alas, is your 19th month. Erwan is going to school full time soon, so we won't have as many outings with our buddy. You are starting to draw quite a lot and getting excited about longer books with fewer pictures, so we can spend more time on (for lack of a better word) "intellectual" pursuits.

As we speed along the last half of your second year, you're establishing and communicating your personality more loudly every day. Sometimes that fills the days with challenges, but more often your burgeoning individuality is just fun, fun, fun to watch.

We love you very much,

Mommy & Daddy

Here's this month's slideshow. If you can't see the pictures down there, click this link.