Dear Brennyn (1.5 years)

Dear ‘B’,

Or more aptly, Busy B, for you are one busy girl. Was there ever a time that you were not walking? Seemingly a lifetime ago. For now you prefer running over walking, climbing over sitting, jumping over any assistance whatsoever. Not to mention the skipping, somersaults and body slams… In the last six months I have rescued you from the top of the table, face plants in the water, head first dives off of various apparatuses. You cry for a bit, cuddle a lot and then get right back to the same mischief again.

Hilarious though also exhausting.

And often exasperating. For your parents and sometimes sister. Not at all for you.

But can you tell me why, oh please, you insist on throwing your water bottle to the ground every single day, then promptly demand it back? Why you refuse to say ‘water’ or anything that sounds remotely like it? Why you throw all your soothers, blankie and stuffies out of your crib, then scream until I put them back in so you can go to sleep? Why, oh why all the throwing of thy body onto the floor of the grocery store, mall, cafe, or street? And if not throwing, flailing-head back, arms thrown up, back arched- flailing yourself out of arms, seats or straps, regardless of any soft, pillowy landing anywhere nearby?

Exasperation you see.

Good thing beyond all of that you are a lover. An adorably delicious lover of life and people and adventures. Oh B, the kisses you give! Drooly mouth open, butt sticking out, face leaning forward, arms back, coming in for a smackeroo, then a big toothy smile and neck hug too. Most recently you have added the feet wrapping around us, clenching tight. Don’t let go it says. So I don’t.

Usually it is me and Daddy and Kaya who are the recipients of such great embracing squeezes of love, but you hand them out quite liberally otherwise too. Even those not entirely thrilled with the drooly parts, can not turn away from your enthusiasm. Hilarious to see.

If not kisses, you are more than happy to just use these people as your own personal rest area. ‘Beep, Beep, Beep…’ a horn should blare, as you back yourself onto the nearest lap or foot or knee, whatever’s most convenient. And if a knee up the bum is not comfortable enough for you, an imploring look around pleading “Dude, please, cushy up your lap will ya?”

Similarly,  if you are doing something clever or cute but nobody is paying attention, you march up to us, lean your whole body down and to the side, peer up into our eyes and say “Cheese!” which sounds more like “Eeeeees!” Attention grabbed, you run away and continue on with your bee-boppin dance or stealing the candy cane off the tree, gnawing through the plastic or standing on top of the ottoman readying yourself for a jump that you can not yet do…

You so want to be bigger than you are. Kaya’s size please! You just adore your sister. And she you. Most days. You look up to her, literally, watch what she does, and then try it for yourself in your too small body that does not have the dexterity, strength or practice to do what she does. But you don’t care to hear can’t.

This past six months has been especially fun in watching you sisters develop this sisterhood. The giggles. Oh those giggles. It fills my soul every single day. Usually accompanied by chasing each other, body slamming one another or dancing. Kaya has been amazing at trying to teach you things. Slowly, patiently, sitting down with you and showing you the way. Quite honestly, you could care less whatever it is she is teaching you, but to have her full, undivided attention, that is enough to make you sit, smile and try to learn.

Sisterhood. The first time I really got that this is what was happening was when denied comfort by me, you threw your hands in the air and ran straight for Kaya, who wrapped her arms around you too, patted your back and whispered “It’s okay sweetie-pie, it’s okay…” Still makes me teary. Then too the time Kaya was upset and ran into the kitchen to sit on the floor and mope. You marched straight in there after her while her tears fell, plunked your bum directly beside her, and played quietly beside her. In solidarity. Awesome.

Well, your language is coming along! For awhile all you would do was grunt and because of that I sometimes didn’t realize how much you understood us. But you knew everything that was going on. When you wanted to.

Your favourite words now are up, truck, stuck, eeees, BABY!, Rawr!, caw (bird), doggy, Santa, vroom and Aya (Kaya. Sometimes you even get the K out!) You still like to grunt. And you ‘Oh and Aw’ a lot. Especially at trains or Christmas lights or animals. Our favourite collective family word you do is when we ask “Who wants to have a bath?” Whereby you throw your hands in the air waving “Me, Me!!” Adorable.

It would be a disservice of me to tell you about you at 18 months without filling you in on your quirks. Because oh do you have some. Like the stubborn insistence on ripping off your socks. Everywhere. Every day. Then running down the hall, grabbing a boot (note ‘a’, one, singular), bringing it to the ottoman, where you steady yourself, put on the boot and walk around like that for the rest of the day. Sometimes it is your boot. Usually it is Kaya’s. Sometimes even me or Daddy’s. One boot. Only. If I put on the second, you get mad.

You have probably noticed from the pictures that you often wore one pony tail on the top of your head at this stage. Mostly to balance out your mullet but also because it’s really damn cute. Plus it’s usually the only thing you keep in your hair. Barrettes are immediately torn out and tossed away. Sometimes the ponytail too and then oh how you rock the mohawk!

Lastly, I can not leave without this mental picture of you popping into my field of vision, su-su in, blankie in hand, and your wickedly mischievous grin peeking out from behind the soother. “It’s not Su-Su time!” I warn you and you, knowing this, giggle and run away, closing as many doors behind you as you can. You think you are hilarious. And you are. But then I have to demand you put away the su-su and you grudgingly go to your crib, put it back, look at me, wait til I look away, and grab it again. Whereby I repeat “It’s not su-su time! Bye bye su-su!” Which is when you give me your sly grin, wave goodbye to the other soothers inside your crib, and run away su-su still firmly planted. Sigh.

There has never been a day when I have not been proud of you, I said to my daughter,

though some days I’m louder about other stuff so it’s easy to miss that.

~Brian Andreas

Sometimes I feel like I am over doing the “Watch out Brennyn!”

“No Brennyn!”

Or just an imploring “Brennyn…”

while you are busy being you. Please know this is done to keep you safe. Okay yes, and sometimes to keep other things and people safe too! But you must also know the bursting pride I feel in those very same moments. Pride at your curiosity, inquisitiveness and delight. Pride in your determination and resiliency. Pride at your effort and attitude.

Not to mention joy observing you embark on adventure after adventure. Perhaps you have a little Amelia Earhart spirit, for as she rightly remarked,

“When a great adventure is offered, you don’t refuse it.”

You are an amazing kid wrapping us in constant cuddles, laughter and love. Ceaseless, boundless love with sprinkles of goofy grins and nose scrunches of delight.

May this spirit of adventure and wonder stick with you always. And may you always bring us along for the ride.

With wonder and awe of you being you,


“The more one does and sees and feels,

the more one is able to do.

And the more genuine may be ones appreciation

of fundamental things

like home, and love, and understanding companionship.”

~Amelia Earhart


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