Harper you are now 20 months old and soon you will have your second birthday. Where should I start? I haven’t written you in 3 months because I have had a lot of trouble with my eye since the end of November. I had to stay in bed for 12 days and lay only on my rights side and then a few weeks later lay face down for 7 days and then just when we thought it was all fixed, I had to have another operation and lay on my right side or face down for another week. My eye is healing and sometimes you look at me and say, “eye”? One day you put your hands over my eyes and I could feel your healing energy. What a powerful woman you will become! When I’m with you, I take a lot of photos and a lot of videos that will help to me remember and they will be there for you when you get older. Bubby’s memory is not all I might want it to be. I also like to show Daddy, Auntie Raya and Grandma what we are up to by sending them photos and videos everyday.
On the morning I came into your room after being away for 10 days you literally squealed with delight! You jumped up in your crib and reached out for me and then hugged me and buried your head on my shoulder. I have never felt so loved and so wanted. A second later you also looked around and said Dada? I said he’s in the shower. You nodded and snuggled back in my arms. You are crazy for your Dada and you light up every evening when you hear him coming in the door. Daddy works in a hospital and because of the pandemic, he always comes in the back door and right into the shower and changes his clothes. You are in the tub downstairs at the same time – once you hear him and break into an excited smile – you go back to playing with your tub toys and your baby that pees when you feed her. You are so secure in how much you are loved and in your daily routine.
You love to cook and you love to eat. Mealtimes bring a lot of joy to everyone who cooks for you (especially me and Grandma) and to you. You and I have made bagels a few times – these are easy to make bagels that your mommy loved too. It is flour with baking powder and salt and Greek yogurt. We brush them with egg and sprinkle “Everything Bagel Spice”. You help me put the ingredients in the bowl and mix them up and then put them on the pan and shape them. This week you helped me prepare all your meals. You stand on the little step ladder at the kitchen counter. You put the bread in the toaster, crack eggs, measure and pour ingredients. Friday we were making tuna noodle casserole ( noodles, tuna and Greek yogurt) with broccoli. You wanted to eat the raw pasta but I explained it had to cook so you just gave it a lick and put it down. When the broccoli was done and chopped in the bowl, you kept sampling it while the pasta was cooking. Bubby has never loved cooking as much as I do when I am with you. You were loving pickled beets this week and an arrowroot cookie brings a big smile to your face.
You are loving snow and going out to play in. Daddy took you sledding and you had a blast! I pull you in your sled and you have taken a few tumbles but you wait patiently for me to set you back up. We love going over to the church on the corner and playing on their steps and on their lawn but we also have fun in your backyard. You climb into a space under your slides and then invite me to sit with you. I explain that I don’t have snow pants and then you always point to yours. We do sit at your picnic table together and sometimes on the little stone bench. Someone must have taught you about snow angels while I was away because you like to lay down, look up at the sky and when I said make a snow angel, you did!!
Your Unca’ Corey wrote a song for you the night before your Mommy had to leave us. He called it Little One. I played it for you when the album he called “Tov” was released. You loved it. A CTV news reporter decided to tell people all about the song and about our story. You were on the news 2 nights in a row. You looked beautiful in your Ralph Lauren dress and red sweater.
You are talking up a storm these days. You chat away to us with lots of expression, inflection and enthusiasm but at this point we don’t know what you are saying. You and I had a big laugh this week when I copied everything you were saying. You do have a lot words that are understandable and you often repeat words. You know several colours especially blue. When I count to three, you know I mean business. There are a few times (especially outside) when we are not on the same page especially when it comes to time to go inside or wearing mittens. We had our first run in (you might say) last week. You took off your mittens (mitt as you call them) and threw the on the ground. I said you had to wear them or go inside. We had a little on and off interplay and I told you I would count to three and if you didn’t put on your mittens we were going inside. Needless to say – we went inside with you crying. Inside I explained to you again about wearing mittens and that your hands would freeze without them. We went back out with your mittens on and that problem has been solved. You are so clever my baby girl.
You do love all your babies and you hold them, snuggle them, feed them, wash them – you have such a gentle caring and an instinct for parenting. You love to play with your stove, fridge and kitchen set, plastic food and tea set. You cook and serve and pretend eat. We got out the play doh this week and you were busy with that for about an hour. You made beautiful pink bagels and put them in your oven. You insisted on tasting them so I let you have a little lick (I tried too). Yuck – you also were not impressed. Finger paints are another favourite – I don’t say finger painting because there is now way you are putting your fingers in the paint!! You prefer to use a q-tip, a brush or even a sponge. I guess that is my fault because I didn’t think to start out painting with our fingers. I got you a new set of paints with sooooo many colours and we definitely had a lot of fun this week.
While I was away Uncle Peter and Aunt Paula came to look after you when Daddy went to work. You have really got to know them well and it makes me so happy to watch you together. Uncle Peter sits on the floor and plays Barbies with you. You lead him around showing him all the things you want to do. They tell me you made them both get up and dance with you. He let you wash your hands in the sink for 10 minutes. This is really special Harper. This pandemic has made our world very small. There are very few people we can see. Auntie Raya, Uncle Ben and Oscar have not been able to visit for several months but you haven’t forgotten them and you break into the biggest smile when they appear on the phone screen. You even hugged the phone the other day. You haven’t seen Great Bubby since summer when we met outside. Great Bubby will be 100 years old before you turn 2. You love to video chat with her and Regine (her caregiver). You laugh and run around showing them things.
Like most children in your generation – you love your screens – tv, computer and phone. Your favourite show is Cocomelon. You totally stop and are mesmerized when it is on. You also love Peppa Pig, Bubble Guppies and you watch Sesame Street with your Daddy. You have learned to stop and start a show on the computer and you are constantly using your forefinger on the phone – you know it will do something. You can get a bit annoyed and press at it frantically which cracks me up everytime. Hmmmmmm…..what else? I’m smiling as I write that. You often put your finger over your lip and say hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. You have a weekly online music class with Miss Josie from Music Together. You are always excited to see her and say hello.
Well, we both love music and we just celebratedTu B’shevat (the birthday for trees) and we sang a lot of tree songs. “I’ve got a friend who comforts me, I’m a kid and he’s a tree. We grow……Tu tu tu tu tu tu tu Tu B’shevat!” You ask for the tu tu tu song and show me the actions. You also love Miriam’s song by Debbie Friedman. You point to my tattoo and say Mimi……and I burst into song….And the women dancing with their Timbrels and you dance in your chair. We also planted some arugala seeds for TuB’shevat. We have lots of plans for gardening this summer in your big and fabulous back yard!! I’m so excited.
I can’t finish without talking about Grandma – she is such an important part of your life and she loves you so much. Grandma has been driving me back and forth to you for weeks because I couldn’t drive. She came every afternoon to share bath time with you and play for a while before Daddy arrives home. Grandma spends lots of weekend time with you and helps Daddy with keeping your home clean and organized. She has you both for dinner every Wednesday and Sunday. She makes you banana muffins and so much more. I love how you light up when you see her and run to her every time. Oh Harper – you are so loved by so many people. That’s just the way it should be.