Dear Andrew and Abby,
One of the things no one explains to grown-ups before they have kids are the many millions of tiny ways in which their lives will change once they have babies. Oh, sure, everyone knows that life changes in those big, huge, non-reversible ways. But they overlook the little things. Your daddy and I have been dealing with one of those things a lot lately, and that is the many ways in which you two are like little mirrors, reflecting back to Daddy and me all kinds of idiosyncrasies we have overlooked in ourselves, like the words we use the most often.
Case in point: Several months ago, Abby learned a new favorite word. Her new favorite word started with an "S", ended with a "T" and had a friendly "Hi!" in the middle. And the best part, she used it IN CONTEXT. Oh, yes, little ones, at not-quite-three, little miss Abigail was using big time words in exactly the same way Mommy and Daddy did. It reminded me of little Andrew when he was about 2 1/2. He had a little toy hammer and every time he hammered on his little toys, he would repeat that same friendly Hi word over and over - just like Daddy often did when he used his Daddy Hammer. Hmmm... This time, Daddy blamed me. And it's true, I was the most frequent offender. However, I was also the most quickly rehabilitated. I think I have only slipped a few times since the problem started, but your dad has to be reminded a time or two each week. Although, usually, Abby does it before I have to: "Daddy, you not s'posed to say that word!"
This morning, a new word popped up for which I have to take full and sole credit. I am quite certain your daddy doesn't use this word except in rare - and appropriate - contexts. Sometimes in the morning, we like to turn getting dressed into a race. It helps you both get moving and speeds the process along. Until recently, Andrew has been the strong favorite in the morning races, even with Mommy helping Abby. But Andrew's been a little more tired in the mornings lately. I think maybe he's going through a growing spurt - he's actually been eating, too! At about the same time that Andrew lost his edge in the Let's Get Dressed Race, Abby's interest finally peaked. She's able to do more of the work herself, she's starting to really understand the concept of games and winning, and she has a sense of humor and a streak of fire to pester her big brother. This morning, she was up and dressed before Andrew was really even fully awake. And though he tried to claim that he was not participating in the race today, Abby could not be deterred. She looked at me with a big smile and exclaimed, "I totally beat Andrew!" And for the rest of the morning, she repeated it over and over. And over and over. "I totally beat Andrew!" "Mommy, I totally beat Andrew?" Never just "I beat Andrew." No, it was always a TOTAL beating.
Then, this afternoon, I called on my way home from work, and you two were already home with Daddy. Abby got on the phone and said to me, "I totally beat Mommy to my house." Yep, totally. Uh-oh. So obviously, Mommy totally has a problem.
Unfortunately, I also watch a lot of Grey's Anatomy, and I know I have started to integrate "seriously" into my normal dialogue more often than I used to. So if I'm not careful, I'm going to have the next generation of Valley Girl in my house, and she won't even be four years old!
Totally and Seriously,