Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dear Fern, part XXXIV

Dear Fern,

You turn 34 months old today. Something really big happened to you this month, but we can't quite remember what it is.

Fern slideshow

Oh, yeah, that was it.

Yes, you became a big sister this month, and if there's sibling jealousy in you then it's waiting for a different month to manifest. You've adapted to the presence of a baby admirably, mostly by becoming more flexible in your inflexible demands.

Last month, if you wanted attention and both of us were home, you'd usually pick one or the other. "Mommy, come play basketball!" would be the call, or "Daddy, I want to take a bath." Now, peppered by frequent helpful visits from friends and grandparents, your key expression has become "I want to play with one of the grownups." The implication is clear -- any grownup will do, whichever one is not changing or nursing or soothing the baby.

Sometimes you get involved in baby care yourself. Since you can pretty much reach the sink now (we'll discuss your pro-basketball future soon) you moved your bathroom stool next to the changing table and helpfully provide wipes on demand, all the while telling poor discommoded Claudia, "It's OK. It's OK."

Dolls have reaped the benefit of your sisterhood, as well: you've become incredibly attentive to their needs, diapering them and putting them down for naps. Your mom bequeathed to you her own childhood Sasha doll, and it's rare that you don't install her in the high chair at the dinner table in front of a tray of wooden vegetables, feeding her very small bites and blowing on the fork when her "food" is too hot.

You're not all about babies, of course. For one thing, you've become an unrepentant clothing kleptomaniac. First you were squeezing into your sister's baby clothes. Now it's come to the point where we're keeping little bags of clothes to be returned to your friends, since you can't go on a visit without pawing through closets and drawers for choice footie pajamas.

Friends have gained in importance, though of course we've had a hard time seeing them enough. A couple of weeks ago, we saw Erwan, your bestie from the old neighborhood, and for a while there it seemed like you might smother him with the hugging and all. We've joked in the past, the way all parents do, about "planning the wedding." Now we think you might be thinking along the same lines, as well, and no joke.

So one of the most revolutionary months of your short life, a month of changes that could have confused or annoyed or even frightened you, has instead boosted you squarely into the ranks of the confident, communicative, compassionate big girls. Well done.

We love you very, very much,


Mommy & Daddy


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