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Twenty-Six Months


Dear Persephone,

You are fully into the “all by self” phase which I guess is pretty famous for kids your age. You want to do everything “all by self” even when you aren’t, strictly speaking, capable. Fortunately you’re not so pig-headed as to persist when it’s clear your reach has exceeded your grasp. Then “all by self” turns into “can’t do it” or “need help dada.”

Usually these are physical tasks, but recently when I was tucking you in one night you insisted you wanted to sing your lullabies “all by self.” I told you to go ahead, and then after an awkward silence you asked me to sing instead. I guess I will retain these duties for a little while longer.

Just for the record, here are your favorite bedtime songs:

  • The Moon Song
  • I Am a Pilgrim
  • MLF Lullaby
  • Hush Little Baby
  • Rockabye Baby
  • Kiss Me Son of God
  • The Frozen Ones

You’ll request all of these by name, and sometimes you’ll sing along with me. “The Moon Song” in particular is the one you want to hear every night, first thing. I actually made that one up just for you. The lyrics are simple:

Moon, moon, up in the sky
I like to watch as you go by

On a couple nights you’ve insisted that you are a mouse. This requires some lyrical changes such as “Rockabye mouse in the treetop” and “Hush little mouse” and so forth. On these nights, “The Moon Song” becomes “The Mouse Song.”

Mouse, mouse up in my house
I like to give you lots of love

However there are a couple of songs which have fallen from favor. I used to sing “Good Night” by the Beatles to you virtually every night, but I guess at some point you got sick of it. Now you can’t stand it, and any attempt to sing it usually brings howls of protest.

Speaking of music, I’m happy to report the phrase “rocking out” has entered your vocabulary. A couple nights ago you were running around naked when an epic metal track from Mercyful Fate’s seminal first album came on, and you beckoned me to dance. (Shortly thereafter you pooped on the floor of my office.) However you don’t always want to rock out when I feel like it. You will often assert “music too loud” and turn it down on your own initiative. Nor is your taste in music limited to rock. For example, you seemed to love Moby’s “Dog,” dancing and clapping frenetically.

In other news, one night during bath time you made “beans and rice” out of water and soap suds in your bucket. I thought that was extraordinarily cute, and indicative that you are growing up New Orleanian.

Also, we had an extended visit from your grandmother, who watched you for an entire week when you were on “spring break.” She bought you a sandbox and managed a feat I had regarded as straight-up impossible: She got you to take your afternoon nap. You nap regularly at daycare, but on weekends you tend to sleep only in your car seat. You have been asking about Susie ever since she left.

Also, we got the results of your two-year lead screening. Your blood lead level was down to 5.3 µg/dL, which is your lowest reading yet, and well below the “level of concern” established by the Centers for Disease Control. We continue to hope this will be nothing but a trivial footnote for you later in life.

The other night you were covered with marinara sauce. We noted that you were dirty but Dada was clean. “That’s ridiculous,” you said. I think maybe this was your first four-syllable word? (Of course your name has four syllables, but you tend to call yourself “Seppi.”) Further evidence of your growing linguistic acumen are sentences such as “I can’t find Teddy Bear” or “Mama has long hair” or “I won’t drop it; I hold paper tight; it’s pretty.”

This last remark is evidence of another new development. You are proud of things you make. Today you brought home an artwork from school, a piece of pink construction paper with stamped images of a seahorse, a starfish and a crab. You were so excited you said you wanted to show it to Mama, and to your doll baby. I was worried you’d drop the paper as you rode in your seat on my bicycle, but true to your word you held on tight. When we got home you showed it to the cat as well.

You have developed a funny expression which my friend Rachel called a “photo smile.” If I ask you to say “cheese” or smile for the camera, you bare your teeth and thrust out your chin, scrunching your face with your eyes shut tight. It’s not actually a very good way to present yourself, but it is cute. Since your birthday I’ve decided to take a more cautious approach to posting your photos online. I publish them on Flickr, mostly under a “friends and family” designation, so only established contacts can view them. This is my imperfect solution to the question of how to respect your privacy since you obviously can’t give anything like informed consent.

Published inLetters to Persephone


  1. mlm: Yup, iBert, that’s what we’ve got and you’re right — it’s great. People ask me about it all the time because they’ve never seen a front-mounted seat before.

  2. mlm mlm

    cool. Been lurking your blog awhile. My daugher is 25 months, so I like checking out your experience.

    Congrats on making it this far! Should be a blast from here to the sullen teen years.

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