Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Letter To My Daughter

To Addison on your second birthday,

Addie, I have to say, we are at a remarkable age with you. You are at an age I simply adore more than any other. As insane as it may sound, I can reason with you (most of the time.) I love being able to converse with you, to know what you want... usually to go on a "walk", wanting your "baby" or more "milky." It hasn't always been this way; we have come a long, long way from just 12 months ago. Although we have battled much more 'biting' with you and the early and continuous stomach issues. We finally got it solved last fall; after seeing a specialist and 4 months of twice a day Prevacid, however, what I think was most impactful, was FIGURING OUT that your little TUMMY didn't like MOTRIN! After that, you quickly developed into quite the eater, eating anything we serve you.

With your first 18 months came some exhaustion, frustration and doubts that we would make it through in one piece. We joke and say that you were just making sure you didn'tbecome a "middle child!" But you have started more than making up for that early time; potty training yourself at 19 months was one heck of a way to start, girl! You haven't had an accident in nearly a week, even at night, and just 4 days ago you started wearing big girl underwear, successfully, to school all day. You have developed into such a good listener and an even better sharer with your friends and brother. In addition, the ease of traveling with you now is incomparable to just 12 months ago. Your daddy and I often look at each other now with the biggest smiles and reflect on how far you have come.

Now Addie, you know us well by now and know we will always be fair and balanced with you and you definitely still have your moments of biting or pinching your brother for absolutely no reason, resulting in your 2 minutes of time-out and a hug apology to your "Bubba!" It is now safe to say when ever you are extremely whiney, irritable and out of control, we can usually (really without a doubt,) attribute it to being on the verge of getting sick, being sick or getting over being sick.

Speaking of sickness girl, you have taken the prize! 21 doctor visits and separate "sicknesses" in the last 12 months?!?!? Wow! Although majority of those had to do with ear infections, 9 infections in 11 months, you did have a case of pink eye or two mixed in, along with the symptoms of asthma diagnosed at around 17 months of age. You got real familiar with "breathing treatments" and with 4 visits to "Goodnight Pediatrics" in just 2 months, the world of after hours medical care was introduced! You did get your tubes put in at 18 months but surprise SURPRISE, you have continued getting ear infections, even with tubes perfectly in place! One of the worst and longest lasting ailments you battled was at 14 months. You were sick with a high temperature and runny nose for 4 days. Dr. Cuming originally thought it was just a cold but we went back to find red and irritated throat, which tested negative for strep, but you continued to be very lethargic sleeping till 11AM and very clingy and even off balance. To top it all off, you developed a light rash all over your stomach and the icing on the cake, you woke up on 6th day with your left eye lid completely swollen shut! Feeling frustrated, we took you back to Goodnight Pediatrics to see Dr. Sutherland and she strongly thought "adenoviral infection." Your eye was determined to be "periorbital cellulitis," a bacterial infection from rubbing your eye. Of course, in true Addie fashion, it did spread to your other eye, but finally, we got you back at 100% around 12 days after your first sign of temperature.

Your father insists that there are going to be many times in our future where our strong personalities butt heads and I am sure he may be right. However, if I am loving communicating with you at 2 years old, then I can't imagine it being a issue at 15, right?!?! Honey, just remind me of that late December day back in 2007 when your daddy and I were sitting in the sonogram room of the 7 Oaks building waiting to find out the sex of our second baby. When the sonogram tech told me we were having a girl I screamed so loudly and nearly gave your father a bloody nose when I jumped out of the chair in excitement. The entire waiting room claimed to have heard my response to what I deep down wanted to hear so badly; a precious baby girl of my own. The tears of happiness that followed that is a memory that I will never forget and pray you will someday get to experience.

So getting back to you, I know that the primary developmental task of a toddler is to establish autonomy and you, Addie B, LOVE to practice being autonomous! From us hearing the words, "Addie do it," to you attempting to do every single thing your brother does, (with success majority of the time) you have the confidence and ability to do so many things yourself at a very young age. Before I ever had you Addie, I would tell myself, that if I ever had a little girl, I pray for her to have the strongest confidence in the world. I wanted my daughter to be strong and to be a be a leader in what I already knew in my 20's was a tough and sometimes demanding world. In the last 12 months, you have confirmed your fearless, independent and strong-willed personality. We have also watched your hair take on a personality of its own, making such a gorgeous addition to your already gregarious charm. Many times a week, your smile and contagious laugh, make me stop what I am doing and stare at you in disbelief that your father and I made you and God gave you to us to raise.

Addie, you are genuinely a smart girl. You hold us to our word on a daily basis now, no matter, if it is taking you on a walk you so despartely want after we water the plants or giving you a "potty prize" after telling us you needed to use the potty. Just today you stopped me when I was pouring 2% milk in your glass, saying, "No, Bubba's milkl!!!!" You know the difference between the two milk containers and caught me the very first time I stopped buying your whole milk, (since you are 2 years old now!) I tried to explain to you the "2%" means 2 years old! You'll make a great sales person holding your customers accountable to their word.

On your second birthday today, Addie, I want you to know I have enjoyed each and every day on this journey of our lives together – and I continue to learn alot along the way from you. I look forward to each and every day together and feel honored when your daddy and my mom (your Ya-Ya) remind me so often of how similar you and I truly are.

I love you!


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