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A Year-in-Review, Open Letter from a Toddler to Her Mom

Photo credit: Meredith Carroll

Peony* scribbling (*It’s actually a photo of Peony’s older sister Petunia, taken three years ago. There are no photos of Peony drawing because Petunia ruined it for everyone when she used the lone non-erasable crayon in the entire house to draw on the bamboo floor)

Dear Mommy,

First of all — congratulations on getting through another year in which I’m still alive. My relief cannot be overstated. Woohoo! By my count, you only nearly dropped me four times this year, and you left me on the changing table a mere seven or eight times while you ran into the hall to get more diaper wipes out of the closet. It would have been tragic if I had fallen off, but I’m sure you felt the risk was worth it, lest my butt go dirty for an extra 30 seconds. Maybe in 2013 you can leave a spare package of wipes on one of the changing table shelves? Just a suggestion.

All in all, it really was a nice year though. Your general excitement at what you perceived to be my general excitement was palpable, even if it was usually misguided.

(Just an FYI: I’m not so much blindly jumping for joy to see you when you walk out and then back into a room as I am hopeful that you’ll remember that you (A) promised me a snack or (B) might finally get around to cleaning up the mess I made while you “just have to go to the bathroom by myself for once.” But whatever you need to tell yourself works for me.)

Disney World was awesome, even if you thought I only needed a private audience with Cinderella and not also Belle and Rapunzel. Which is fine; I’ll just keep asking you about my haircare questions while you’re in the shower.

On a more serious note, though, your endless kisses and cuddles are so appreciated. Although if you could squeeze me a little less hard every single time, my ribs would be really, really grateful.

Moving forward into 2013, I do have a few requests.

First, please be happier to see me at 5:45 AM. Like, the kind of happiness you show me when I’m freshly bathed and all sleepy would be nice. I’m getting up before the sun because I miss you. When you glare and scowl at me, it starts my day off on the wrong foot. And, by the way, I’m not getting up so you can bring me into your bed while you go back to sleep. Enough with the sleep already. How much does one person need? See how I function on so little? I mean, when you’re tired, just cry. It works for me.

Second, I’d like to get out a bit more. While it’s lovely to stare at you stare at your computer all day long, the bloom is officially off the rose. Did you know the library has a toddler story time on Tuesday at 10:30 AM? I like toddlers. I like stories. Just sayin’. Also, we literally live at the base of a mountain. While you might hate getting me into my snow clothes, once I’m in them I promise to stop being a wiggle worm, although I can’t promise I’ll keep my mittens on. Still, when my hands get cold, I’ll wail like the world is ending and we’ll just go inside. It’s quite simple, actually.

Third, when I call out to you from my crib, it’s not a signal for you to wait as long as possible to come and see that I’ve thrown out the five lovies that I have completely failed to love, plus the nine pacifier that you tossed in there before my nap. It means I’m ready to come out and take the house by storm. Keep ignoring me, and in 2013 I might start experimenting with crib-jumping. Were you ready to buy me a bed already? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Also, please don’t underestimate how much I love yogurt. Just because I have been insisting lately on feeding it to myself, which means you either need to bathe me immediately afterwards or I alternately walk around smelling like vomit, shouldn’t be off-putting. I love yogurt. Must. Have. Yogurt.

Finally, in 2013, let me have at the crayons. And the paint. Please don’t let one bad egg (my big sister Petunia) spoil it for the bunch. I’m sure there are remedies to the masterpiece she etched into her dresser, on the wall in the stairway and on the floor downstairs. Or we can just move to a new, non-crayon ravaged home, no?

Anyway, you really did a fine job in 2012, Mommy. And if you’re interested in upgrading that “fine” to a “really good” in 2013, well, I’m open to yogurt and crayon-laced bribes.

Love,

Peony xoxo

P.S. Next year can you maybe post a picture of me alongside a letter that I’ve written you. (A) You don’t want to give me a complex, do you? and (B) Let Petunia write you her own letter.

Photo credit: Meredith Carroll

More from Meredith on Babble’s Toddler blog:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Mom blog, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly syndicated newspaper column at MeredithCarroll.com

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