Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dear Gemma,

You are a dream come true. I think I might have said that last year, but it remains the same: you are the best. One of Donovan's favorite things to do is march around the house, carrying you like a princess, singing, "Gemma's the queen! Gemma's the queen!" while you purse your lips against the grin that tries to spread across your face.

This is the year you got hair. Last year:

This year:

You hate having your hair brushed. And with a pillow that styles your hair like that, who am I to argue? I love your bedhead in a way that makes my mouth water because I want to eat you. You love bows and clips, though, so more often than not I stick one in and call it a day. About a week ago when I insisted on brushing your hair, you said, "Have brains please?" Yes, don't we all wish that. But no, you meant braids. And then were very pleased with the result.

This year you've gone from a handful of words to sentences that actually make sense. I love this age - love it so much that every morning I whisper into your crazy hair, "Don't grow up." I even think it's funny when I'm asking you to give me something and you clutch it to your chest and shout, "Neh-FUR!" You have a flair for the dramatics (I have NO idea where you got it. NONE.) and if I say no to another episode of "Have watch Dora please?" you will crouch down into a ball, bury your face in your knees, and then slowly look up at me with your huge eyes to see if I'm taking the bait. That's why I've now coined that crouch a "tickle ball." It means when you curl up I get tickle you.

I love the way you love your brother and sister. When I've scolded you for something, you immediately run to Ainsleigh or Donovan for a hug. During recent (rare) fit, I warned you that if you continued I'd put you in your crib while we finished eating dinner. You continued screaming so I took you upstairs. Your crying didn't subside as I ate my dinner, but your siblings had stopped. Slowly edging off his chair, Donovan said, "I'm just...going to go...check...on something..." That's probably why when you're hurt, you look for them. But you're a tough little girl. You love to climb and try new things. You have a quiet persistence about you that some may call stubbornness, but that I will call determination. You're going to go places. And you'll probably take your Ducky with you.

Ah, Ducky. Daddy and I think it's your narcotic. You often have one of Ducky's feet in your hand, brushing it against your lips or nose. If you've left Ducky somewhere, I will pick him up and, holding his foot against my nose, find you. As soon as you lock eyes on us, you grin and your lips purse (a difficult combination!) as you seem to be sucking on some invisible candy. You've done this since birth, though. Just today as I lifted you from your afternoon nap, you held Ducky's foot against your closed eyelid and inhaled deeply. Then you shoved the foot into my (open) eye and said, "Try it, Mommy." Despite countless washings, Ducky has a distinct smell - but it's your cozy/peaceful/sleep smell and (at your age, anyway) is delicious.

Lately you've taken to tucking your older siblings in at night. Daddy and I usually sing to them before walking out, but as soon as they get into bed, there you are, belting out "You are my Sunshine" and giving hugs. Then you'll slowly back out of their rooms (often running back for "one more kiss!") pulling their doors shut to shouts of "I wuff you! Sweep good! See you in morning! We pay bad guys!" (play bad guys, not pay off the mafia or something) And they love that you act like you're big. What they don't get to see is you running down the hall to your room saying, "I run so fast!" and then after a group hug and kiss with Daddy and me, saying, "I go sweep now! Turn offa wite. Cwose uh door. See you in morning."

Not a night goes by that I don't salivate with love for you and the ease with which you go to sleep. If I could give a gift to the world, it would be for all babies to sleep this way. Instead, my gift is you. At least once a day, you'll find me and say, "Have hug?" You also have a keen sense of observation. When you're asking me for something and I'm distracted and might ignore you, you'll keep saying, "Mommy? Mommy? Mommy?" until I say, "WHAT?!" and you'll cock your head to the side, shrug your shoulders a little and say quietly, "I wuv you." THAT gets my attention. And then we're hugging and I'm giving candy and money and my soul.

This is the year we introduced you to Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast. Like your older sister, you love princesses. You sing some of the songs and call me "Muh-MAH" when it suits you. You tell me, "I a pin-cess," but I know better. You're no princess - you're a queen. I would carry you around singing it to you the way Donovan does if that would ensure you would grow up believing that. You are a queen, and I am so very grateful that you are mine.



Lisa said...

Oh man, she is so adorable :) I love hearing about her growing up.

laura said...

Yaaaaaay I love these posts.

Shira said...

Happy tears over here. (sniffles until I read about Dono running to check on Gemma. then waterworks) You are so incredibly loving, it is beautiful and heart warming and no wonder your children are so loving as well. Love!