Lucy every three months from May ’05 to present – click for bigger
Hi there my wonderful awesome Lulubeans! Well, I’m only one month late with this quarterly missive, so things are lookin’ up, wouldn’tchya say? I tried to find a picture that best encapsulates this little era for you, and it was obviously this one:
I defy to find anyone as psyched to wake up every day – your energy is boundless, even veering into mania, as there is just SO MUCH FOR YOU TO DO each minute! No, we are not freakish over-scheduling worrywart parents carpooling you to Mandarin classes. Your schedule is all your doing, and I feel pretty lucky to hang out with you between projects you’ve invented.
I’ll say this about the language thing, however: your Spanish is impeccable, and quite frankly, a bit embarrassing for me. You, your babysitter and your mother talk all day using those crazy-ass Spanish verb forms, and while I can follow the general topic (“someone did something to someone at pre-school”, “Tyler has to learn to pass out of the double-team”) I’m totally lost as to the finer points.
kissing our babysitter Laura’s grandson Johnny – he’s your absolute favorite
As I’ve said, you have no unexpressed thoughts, which means every morning I get a run-down of the Night That Was or The Day to Come. Occasionally, I have my camera, giving us important documents like The Night of Much Vomit (or, in the original German, “Bärffenacht”):
With your ever-blossoming linguistic powers, there’s a concomitant upswing in your inability to be conned. Put frankly, you can simply overload the environment with enough words (and your lungpower, now measured in kilojoules per hour) that lesser souls would cave in to your demands. Fortunately, you’ve got to deal with your mother (who is better at it than even you) and me (and I can’t stop laughing).
Case in point: You have gone off the deep end for Pingu the pesky claymation penguin, and I have to admit, the videos are kind of awesome. We normally don’t watch any TV except for the Tar Heels (to paraphrase H.I. from Raising Arizona, “either educational or basketball, so you don’t ruin your appreciation of the finer things”) but when any of us gets sick, we’ll throw on a DVD. This month, you discovered Pingu.
“Can I watch Pingu?”
“No, sweetie. Only special occasions or when we’re not feeling well.”
“But I want to watch it.”
“Yes, but that’s not a good enough reason.”
“I have to watch it. Or else I’ll miss my chance!”
“Miss your chance? What are you talking about?”
“I’ll watch the Carolina guys. And Tyler. Then I’ll watch Pingu.”
“Yes, we’re watching the UVA game later, but no Pingu!”
“But I want to.”
“Lulu, here’s the thing about television. If you watch a little bit of television, you can stay smart. But if you watch too much television, you get dumb.”
Brief pause. “That’s right. So I want to watch a little bit of Pingu.”
“Argh! Sweetie, we only watch Pingu on special occasions or when we’re sick.”
“I think I’m a little sick.”
And so it goes from there.
it’s impossible to take these pictures without it looking like an ’70s album cover of Mormon Christmas Songs
Your biggest accomplishment, at least by our standards, is your potty training. We’d already read the special chapters on toddler wee-wee, we bought Pull-Ups™, read that silly “Big Girls Use the Potty” book to you, and got you your own li’l plastic poo-poo seat. You ignored ALL OF IT for months, and then one day you said you wanted to use our toilet and didn’t want to wear diapers anymore. And that was that.
We did have to get that adapter ring you put on the toilet seat so you won’t fall in, but toilet training took all of thirty-five seconds. And now you wear just panties, occasionally disappearing for a few minutes, saying you need some “privacy.” It’s a far cry from six months ago, when you would ignore your mother’s cries of “Daddo needs his privacy!” and barge in on me in the bathroom, point at my nuts and yell “PRIVACY, DADDO!!!”
yep, and there’s even part II
Your persona is so loud, chimerical, fantastical and endlessly entertaining that I began to rue the day you’d ever lose it. You’ve got a long way to go before we have to worry about “reviving Ophelia,” but I don’t ever want you to lose this surreal, brash, analytical temperament and go the way so many girls go – tamping down your personality and throwing away all your interesting hiccups en route to the affections of dumb teenage boys. It is why I will NEVER tell you to be quiet, even when your squeals are scrambling the innards of my brain.
Maybe in your future, gender roles will be so different that I’ll seem quaint for caring. Or maybe you’ve got the perfect role model in your mom – someone who never backed down from an argument or lost her sense of self, even in puberty or the hyperjudgmental hallways of high school and college.
mid-smile, steamy bathroom
Your favorite sentence ending is “…because I’m a big girl.” Which is so true, but every once in a while, I’ll look at you and see that little blue-eyed bug we took home from the hospital not so long ago.
above, sleeping on couch April 2005; below, same couch, December 2007
Lindsay and Dana said something at our baby shower in March 2005 that stuck with me: some elderly relative had told them “the days last forever, but the years go by so fast.” I’m not usually one for such fridge-magnet sentimentality, but lately, I’ve come to appreciate it deeply. And on this Valentine’s Day, I just want you and your mom – two incredible, powerful women – to know how blessed I feel to see you every insane day. I love you both like crazypants.