This isn’t the nickname I would have picked for you, but it’s what you call yourself these days. Mostly in an extremely demanding, very LOUD, flappy arm sort of way… “alo!!!alO!!!!ALOOOO!!!!!!!!!” Yes, I understand. Even though that object you want is upstairs, through a locked gate, on top of a 6 foot tall shelf, you want to get it yourself. You pretty much want to do everything yourself. The other day you helpfully took off your poopy diaper for me. While standing up. Over a carpet. You are SO helpful.
I started this letter back in September right when you were turning 2. That part up there is still pretty accurate. Although now that you’re two and a half you would just open the gate, climb the stairs, then climb the 6 foot shelf. We really love your independent spirit!!
You are a kid with no middle ground. Your feelings are big, swift, and determinate. You are fearless, unless your sister has “suggested” something is scary, and then you are terrified of that thing. That’s because you worship the ground Alice walks on and want to do everything exactly like Alice. You always try to match whatever Alice is wearing. You like to wear the old clothes that used to be Alice’s best. This is a great phase. I know one day you will realize that Alice is getting all the new things and you’ll want new things too. But for now, you only want Alice.
You are exhibiting a remarkable ability to play independently right now for good lengths of time if no one bothers you (cough ahem, SISTER). You like to use the play kitchen foods to make White Ba brexy (breakfast) or "lunch-es". And recently you’ve started helping Mama make your special foods in the real kitchen. This is a really big deal for Mama since it’s been really hard building our food culture in a positive way around your different needs.
You and Alice have a healthy dose of sibling rivalry going on that I think is amplified by the fact that we’re still in a global pandemic and we spend nearly 100% of our time together. It’s….tiring. But I try to remember that it must be tiring for you guys too. You LOVE the mornings when Alice has Bibi School and it’s just you and Mama together. We play with all of Alice’s toys when she’s not looking (shhhh!), read books together, go for walks, or cook. I love getting to see what kind of person you are when you’re free to just do your own thing without much sibling influence. You’re creative and playful and so funny.
You are the type of kid that takes a LOT of energy to parent. You never stop moving and demand constant attention. The parenting books label you as “active” and even “difficult” (screw you, parenting books!). But what I know is that you also have a sweet side to you that is achingly sincere and innocent. You make a point to kiss ALL your toys. You give hugs with your entire body. You bring Alice her bunny when she’s crying. You are the full package, Alafair Bea, and I love you for it.
Here are some of your greatest words right now:
Helmoh, for helmet. I especially like it when we’re riding bikes, you see someone else wearing a helmet, point and yell at the top of your lungs, “HELMO HELMO HELMO!!!” Because let’s be honest, it sounds like you’re yelling “homo” at them and we always get sideways glances from people.
Umbli-eye--I think this is from a Mary Poppins song.
Seenaloo--We have no idea where this one came from, but you shout it as you run all over the house.
Stuffes (pronounced stuff-is)--plural of stuff
I’m sorry it took me 4 months to get your birthday letter posted. That’s life right now, and probably for the next...10 years. Happy Birthday, my tiny witch. I love you most of all.