To Kate, who is almost exactly 1 1/2 years old

Tonight, Kate, you and I had a special talk where I asked you why you are trying to destroy yourself. I used to think that your attempts at destruction were about chipping away at my sanity, following in the lead of your well-practiced brother. But after tonight — when you (for the first time ever) pushed your legs under the table on the table leg so hard that you actually pushed the big wooden chair back on its two back legs and flipped the whole chair on its back with you and your booster seat firmly attached — I no longer believe you’re out to get anyone but yourself.Now that you have successfully thrown your self from two dangerous locales (your Aunt’s stairs and now our kitchen table), I am very worried. These things come in 3s, my superstitious Grandmas taught me, and my instinct says you’re going to give it one more go. At least.

While we had this Very Serious Discussion, you took the opportunity to put your toes in my mouth, fling your body on top of The Cat, and shout “ELMO” four or five times. I could tell you were listening intently as you rarely give that much attention or stay that still. This is not a sarcastic statement.
You are very clear about your likes and dislikes. Something you have decided to like, A LOT, is The Wubba Song. You remind us often of how much that song means to you. Like everytime we are in the car, when you shout “WUBBA!” until we play the song, even if we’ve just heard it 75 times in a row. Or, whenever you break into the study and start climbing things to get to a computer. When we race in the room after you, catching you with one leg on the desk edge perched and ready for the last leap up, you explain the whole event by saying, “Wubba.” You just wanted to watch it on YouTube, that’s all. Your love for Wubba even surpasses your love of The Imagination Movers, which has Daddy and I a bit depressed. (We really like grooving to “I Want My Mommy” and “Clean My Room.”)

You are finally turning the corner from last week’s bought of the Crud. It sucked. We slept very little, as you threw yourself around all night long. You were miserable and shared it well. We felt helpless, holding you tightly to try to keep you still long enough to fall asleep. Working to keep you warm in the cold snap (you refuse blankets), rocking you and walking you around for hours. Please show us some pity for the next few weeks while we catch up on rest.
At the Heifer International fund raiser last night, we discovered that you like gelato. And you like it A LOT. This is a surprise, since previously you’ve turned your nose up at all ice cream and gelato products (except once when you ate some of Dad’s bacio — chocolate hazelnut — gelato). I had a cappuccino gelato in a cone. I wanted you to try it, smashing a bit on your face so that you’d lick it off. To my surprise, you responded by grabbing the cone and licking it with intensity. We tried to scoop some off and let you eat it from a bowl, but you wanted NONE of that. If we so much as TOUCHED the cone, you let out some pretty serious sounds. It is going to take a lot of work to get you through the next couple of years in one piece.

I am constantly trying to get a decent photograph of you and your brother, together, in the same frame, facing the same way, with a fairly pleasant expression on your face. This, The Holy Grail of sibling photography, is as unattainable to me as if it were buried somewhere in Israel with a Templar Knight standing guard. After years of fighting it, Will has resigned himself to the fact that his Mother is a paparazzi, so when asked he generally compiles with simple requests. You, on the other hand, are a blur in most photographs. It is hard on me, as you are changing so much each day and I look to my camera to help hold you still… for just a little bit longer…