Dear Sayla

erik and sayla showsayla play dohsayla hoola hoopsayla black tubsayla bending to dirt

Dear Sayla,

You are 20 months old now. You get busier by the day and a little more independent. For the first time, I was recently able to thumb through a magazine on the couch while you played with your toys. You did not demand my full and undivided attention. It was amazing.

You’ve started stacking things like blocks and canned goods, and transferring little balls of play-doh from spoon to container can keep you occupied for up to thirty minutes, a great task for you to tackle while I’m cooking dinner. I like this parallel play we’re stepping into: you can do your thing while I do mine, a little more freedom for us both.

When your Papa comes home, both of you still head straight for the chocolate stash, but then tickle time begins. The two of you roll around on the floor and you bellow deep belly laughs as he nuzzles the creases of your neck. It is the highlight of everyone’s day, pure joy. The kind of sound that makes us want a house-full of kids giggling with delight.

But that house-full of kids thing starts to fade around nighttime. Over the past few weeks you haven’t been falling asleep until 10:30 pm, and most days you are up around 6:30 am. You usually wake up once during the night, but sometimes you sleep the whole time. Your canines are just barely cutting through the gums, and I’m hoping that once this teething stuff is over we can all start sleeping better.

Your vocabulary continues to grow, and your favorite phrases are “oh no!” and “mmm, it’s good.” Adorable. So much of what you say is still in your own language, and I sort of mourn the day when you will no longer use it and instead speak English. Of course, your ability to communicate will come with many advantages, but there is something so endearing about Sayla-talk. I love to hear you jabbering away, and I worry that one day, when I can actually understand what you have to say, I won’t find it so captivating. I suppose it’s like that with any foreign language—it always sounds so mysterious and romantic when you don’t know what’s being said.

By the way, you have beautiful posture. Your heart is always open, your shoulders rolled down and back, knitted together. I often admire the length of your spine, how effortless you make it look. I’m determined to not let you lose it, and I’m constantly keeping my own posture in check as I follow your lead. You make a yoga momma proud.

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