You were twenty-three months old yesterday, and I didn't get a chance to write this letter then because, as always lately, I spent the entire day talking to you. My dear, my reticent child, my little late-talker, you are a motormouth. You never shut up. From the moment you open your eyes in the morning and start chatting with Pooh about whether he needs a nice clean diaper to the moment you sing yourself to sleep at night, you talk and talk and talk. I can't keep up with you, you talk circles around me, and I adore every minute of it. You use very few signs anymore, maybe 15 or 20 of the well over 100 you used a few months ago, because you have replaced them with spoken words. You've had the language explosion that everyone promised me, and it continues every day.
We've had a lot of adventures this month. We took your second trip to the beach, the first left you pretty unimpressed, but you were only two months old. You ran hot and cold about actually going into the ocean, but you adored watching the water and playing in the sand. We spent hours collecting rocks and making castles and digging huge holes in search of sand crabs, which we "helped" by carrying back to the ocean. You loved running all over the boardwalk and eating french fries and beach pizza, but more than anything you loved the "round and round" rides. You pulled us from one to the next and jumped right on, never showing a second of fear.
We've also done a lot of house hunting this month. We've put our little yellow house on the market after two intense weeks of work where we asked you often to be patient, to wait, to let us finish or to "help." You handled it very well, mostly. You've also been in and out of so many houses this month and hardly complained at all, instead exploring all the new corners and coveting all the strange toys. We keep asking you whether you want to live in a new house, to have a new room and and a new yard where you can play, and every time you say yes. Just a couple of hours ago, we found what we hope will be the new Mia's House. I can picture you running in the yard and pulling pots out of the kitchen cabinets there. I can picture you growing up there.
You call yourself Mia Bean now, instead of just Mia. You are only plain old Mia when it is something really, really important. Something like Mia drive! Or Mia run! Or Mia Band-aid knee! When it is less important, or when you are trying to ask nicely, we get Mia Bean raisin? Mia Bean bath? Mia Bean up up up?
You are so big. How can someone so little be so big? You can do a forward roll and run backwards and jump. You can climb straight up a ladder and hang from a bar longer than I can. You can use a fork and a spoon, brush your own teeth, very nearly dress yourself. You can participate in conversations. You can remember things and tell stories about them, you can remember the things you are not supposed to do and why. You can find the correct key, put it in the ignition, and start my car. We are a bit less impressed with this talent, and no, you may not borrow my car for another 14 years. You will always be my baby, but you are not a baby anymore.
Mia Bean, you are about to go through upheavals unknown and unimagined in your short life, and I've been a bit worried about that, about how you will handle it, about how you will adjust. Every day I see something that assures me that you will probably deal with all of it better than I will. You are a wonder and a dream.