It’s been too long. I can’t possibly catch you up on all that has been happening, or remind myself of all the ways Nico has changed in the past few months–and that we’ve changed with her–but let me at least list some highlights:
1. She now sleeps through the night
2. She occasionally sleeps through the night with her new Sesame Street pencil holder, which upon waking she grabs ahold of tightly and says, “Tengo que trabajar” (I have to go work). She then rushes to the kitchen table and, pulling pens from the pencil case, starts to scribble furiously in a notebook.
3. Today she apparently learned the word “Hey” at daycare. As in, “Hey mom! Ven aca!” (come here). I know that’s a normal word, but it’s really disarming to be spoken to like that by in a two and a half year old.
4. Finn died, or rather he had to be put down, and Nico’s been learning about death through that experience. At first she asked where Finn was all the time. Now she asks less. But she still brings him up. The other day we were asking her who she knows who speaks Spanish and she said “Finn!”
5. Speaking of dogs, Nico also likes to pretend that she is our friends’ dog, Pony. Sometimes I will say to her, “Nico can you please pick up those grapes you just spilled?” And she’ll look at me and shake her head and then say, “Mom! I’m Pony!”
6. Right now, Nico’s really in to the letters of the alphabet, and so we’ve started practicing with her on identifying which letter “belongs” to each person. My letter, she tells me, is the snake, that is the “S.” She also knows the first letter of her name and of Marta’s and her grandparents’, etc. But my favorite thing is what she’ll do sometimes when she doesn’t remember a letter or doesn’t know the first letter of someone’s name. Then she starts tapping her finger on her chin and says “Bah bah bah bah bah bah…” until she either remembers the letter or gives up and asks.
7. She’s still not potty trained, but for a little while there we had her wearing pull-ups. Except that she called them “Culo-ups” (culo means “butt” in Spanish).
8. I was pregnant for a little while and Nico was super excited. We called the fetus “Jeremiah.” Then we found out at nine weeks that its heart had stopped beating. I just miscarried this past week. At first we weren’t going to tell Nico, but then we realized she would wonder if we just stopped talking about Jeremiah. So we told her that “sometimes mommies have babies in their tummies and those babies are born and sometimes they’re not and, in my case, the baby wasn’t going to be born.” We told her Jeremiah wasn’t in my tummy anymore and her first response was, “He IS in your tummy.” But this past week she’s stopped mentioning him, so we’re hopeful that she, at least, won’t have to be sad about the loss like we are.
9. Nico’s already got a better memory than me (which isn’t saying much). We went out to dinner with some friends and their parents the other day, and my friend’s mom mentioned that Nico had nice hair. Then last night I was washing Nico’s hair in the bath and she said, “Emily’s mom said I have pretty hair.”
10. After Nico was born I thought for sure that we’d never have another child. I was SO tired and SO disoriented and SO unmoored, but in the past year, as she’s really become a person, I’ve also begun to see that we could, possibly, do this whole horrible wonderful thing again. That is, we could have another baby. It was obviously really hard, then, for us to lose a baby the first time we tried. But we’re both open to the idea that maybe we will have a chance to have another one, but also maybe we won’t and that will be OK too. Mostly I’m just glad we have Nico and all her bahbahbahbahbahs and Culo-ups and vain comments about her (in all honesty) very pretty hair.