Dear Ameli – Letter to A Two Year Old

Dear Ameli

I’ve started this letter to you so many times already, and keep deleting what I’ve written because what I’m writing just doesn’t quite match up to the intensity I’m feeling. This has been a full-on month in our story.

You are two years old. We had a birthday party for you at home. It was a Winnie the Pooh themed party and despite being really tired, weak and still somewhat ill, I put on my best face for the day, and tried to make it a good day for you, whether you’ll remember it or not.Read more: Dear Ameli – Letter to A Two Year Old

Dear Ameli– Letter to a 23 month old

Hello beautiful girl.

You are 23 months old! In just one month, you are going to be a two year old. I can’t even begin to tell you how that fact flabbergasts me.

We’ve spent the last month in South Africa, and you’ve just blossomed. Aunty Deshaine saw you four weeks ago, and this week again and she can’t believe how much you’ve changed in just that time. You have new words, many of them, and your comprehension is phenomenal. You know what things mean – like if I say we’ll see aunty Desh on Monday, and you see her, you will ‘remind’ me, that it’s Monday and there’s aunty Desh. It’s amazing. You amaze me.

I guess being here, being played with, being in the sun, active and involved with the world around you has made a big impact, since you have been so much better at sleeping this month. You normally go down for a nap in the day, and at night there’s no fight about sleeping. It’s been wonderful. Refreshing, and wonderful.
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Pregnancy Week 15

Dear Squidgy,

 

It’s 15 weeks, and so far, all’s going well. I am still sick if I don’t take the meds, but we’re doing okay.  I’ve gained all the weight I lost from being sick, and feeling a little on the frumpy side again, but I also attribute that to five weeks of holiday.

Something great has happened though: I’ve started to feel you move! I know it’s supposed to be early but either you’re moving or there’s something loose in there! I lie in bed at night, and I can feel a little round beneath my naval, a firm hardness that I know contains you. I lie there and I wait for those flutters, and they always come. I’m thrilled to finally have a real awareness of you. It’s finally becoming real.
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Dear Ameli – Letter To A 22 Month Old

Dear Ameli,

 

This is just a short letter to you, to celebrate the fact that you turned 22 months old today. It’s short because I am really tired, sitting in front of a roaring log fire, and you are snoring away on the sofa next to me. I want little more than to snuggle in bed with you as soon as possible.

 

We’re in South Africa again. It happened really fast – I was really very sick and struggling, and you weren’t coping well with being cooped up at home every day. Daddy was trying to work full time, and still look after you and me and it was all getting a bit much for all of us, so Oupa invited you and me to join him and Nana on their farewell road trip before they immigrate to Australia.  I agreed, not because I am really in the mood for travelling, but rather because I really need someone to give you special attention, and run and play with you on a daily basis – something I’m really not strong enough to do at the moment.
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Letter To A 21 Month Old – Dear Ameli

Hello beautiful girl,

Yesterday you turned 21 months old, and right now, I think of you and little butterflies flutter in my heart and bring a smile to my face. I wish I could formulate words to tell you how perfect I think you are. Of course, you’re a toddler. You refuse to pick up your toys when I ask you, and turn your head away pretending you can’t hear me when I ask you to go call Daddy for me. You’re by no means ‘perfect’, but you are my perfect little girl.
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Dear Ameli- Letter To A 20 Month Old

Dear Ameli,

The days go by so fast. I can’t believe so many things: We’ve been back in the UK for two months, you’re twenty months old, all but your nappies have changed from baby to little girl.

Your development is out of this world. I’ve been taking little videos of you almost every day, just to try to keep up. New words enter your vocabulary all the time, and honestly, sometimes you come up with the cutest things.
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Dear Ameli- Letter To A 19 Month Old

Dear Ameli,

My angel, I’m so sorry. This letter is a week late, and you’re 19 months and 1 week old already. It’s been so busy here that I’ve just not had the time to write to you.

We’ve found somewhere to live, and although it’s been so lovely staying with Aunty Lindi and Uncle Ian, I’m looking forward to our new home in a whole new part of England. It’s not always nice starting ‘over’ on some levels, but I am excited about exploring a new part of the world. I’m just looking forward to being ‘settled’ for a little while again.
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Dear Ameli- Letter To An 18 Month Old

Dear Ameli

Today I feel like a terrible mother. See, it’s the 1st of April, and tonight we fly back to England from South Africa. We’ve had six months where you’ve grown so attached to your Oupa and Nana, but mostly to your aunty Deshaine, and tonight we take you away from it all.
For myself, I’m excited to be going home, and back to the life we’ve forged for ourselves. I’m excited to have our family unit back, and I’m excited to resume our habits and ways. I’m sad about the people we’re leaving behind, and I’m gutted about our Kat, and the fact that I’ve not managed to find a home for this creature who appeared on our bed when we woke up one morning.

For you, however, I feel sick right into the very pit of my stomach. I know you’re a child, and I know you’ll adapt. But I am very scared. See, yesterday you and I were home alone for a couple of hours, and I was trying to finish up my work before we travel and go offline for a few days. You started calling “Dee, Dee” and when aunty Deshaine didn’t materialise, you started pulling on my hand.

Knowing she wasn’t here, I didn’t move, but eventually you had rivulets of tears running down your cheeks, and my sick feeling became panic. I got up and let you lead me where you wanted to go to look for her. We walked out through the glass doors, out the garden gate, through the little alley between the neighbour’s houses and as you rounded the corner and saw her car wasn’t there, looked up at me with such surprise, raised your hands in a question and said, “Car?”.

I welled up. I didn’t know what to say. She wasn’t there, and you started sobbing and wandering around the complex looking for her car.

I have no words for how awful I felt. And still feel.

So tonight, we bundle you on a plane, and we say goodbye and we take you off to a life that you don’t remember, surrounded by people you don’t remember, and away from everyone you love.

I can’t help feel that we’re doing you a grave injustice. Yet, there are no alternatives. This is our life.

So, on Monday you will be 18 months old. You have a fantastic vocabulary. You tell us when you want something, and you definitely tell us when you don’t. You can communicate your needs and wants so well, I sometimes feel like we’re having a conversation, even though your words aren’t perfect yet.

You’ve lost so much of your baby fat over the last month, and shot up too. Dresses that were under your knees when we arrived here six months ago are now shirts, trousers are now capris, and I’m going to have to buy you a new wardrobe soon.

You’ve started drawing, and every discovery of a pen leads to a ‘draw’ exclamation. So far, however, your favourite thing to draw on is yourself. A couple of months ago you just held the pen and squiggled – now you actually know what drawing is, although it’s still a squiggle. I’m really looking forward to getting into arts and crafts with you.

So, little girl. Herewith starts our next phase.

I have no idea what the future holds, or where it will lead us. I’m sorry for the pain, uncertainty, loneliness or longing that you’re about to experience. I’m not sure if you even know that that’s what they are, but baby girl, I am so sorry.

All my love,

Mama

Dear Ameli- Letter To A Sixteen Month Old

Dear Ameli

Sixteen months, little girl. Sixteen months.

We’ve had quite a hard month, really, and it’s been more about me than about you. I’ve been on this hormone treatment to try to sort things out in my very messed up hormones, and besides that I had a great case of food poisoning that knocked me out for a good week.

You’ve been great though. Even when I was sick, you just kept yourself low key and for the most part entertained yourself when aunty Deshaine wasn’t around.

Your development is phenomenal, and you just keep adding words to your vocabulary. Sometimes we only have to repeat something once or twice and you have it. I don’t think you always understand the word but you definitely ‘get’ actions. Sometimes I’m absolutely astounded by the way you follow instructions. You may not know the words, but you certainly know what they mean.

One day I was doing some housework when you just wanted ‘up, up, up’. I decided to get you involved, so gave you something for the bin, and you popped it in the bin. I gave you something for the wash basket, and you popped it in the wash basket. I gave you a wooden spoon to put in the sink, and you looked at me with confusion. So I led you over to the sink, and you stood on the tips of your toes and reached your arm up as far as it would go and dropped it on the ledge. I was so incredibly impressed.

You’ve taken to drawing, but at the moment, your version of drawing usually involves a pen and one or another body part. One day you were drawing on your leg with a ballpoint pen. I took it from you and drew a flower on your knee. Once I was finished, you pointed at it, said ‘wower’ (your version of flower) and then raised your knee to your nose and sniffed repeatedly. Maybe you had to be there, but it was very funny.

Not all your developments are great either: You’ve learned to pretend that you can’t hear me when I’m telling you to do something you don’t want to do. Which works pretty well until I pretend I have some tasty bit of food and go hmmm-mmmh – then you hear perfectly and want some too!

I could fill pages and pages with the things you do, my beautiful girl. But this will do for today.

Oh, and you have more teeth! You have four on top now, and four on the bottom, and more bumps all over your gums.
Keep doing what you’re doing Princess. You are beautiful.

Lots of love,
Mama