Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas With My Wonderful Daughter

Once again I got to spend a wonderful Christmas with my beautiful daughter Ellie. Well, it wasn’t really Christmas because we celebrated Christmas morning on Christmas Eve morning
instead but she is so young still that I’m sure she diddn’t even notice.

My mom had picked me up from Emily’s house around 9am and after some driving and a stop for breakfast at the Cromwell diner we made it to Ellie’s daycare to pick her up around noon. My mom had picked up a new bed for her which was in the back seat of the car so I had to drive to Nicolette’s to drop that off before returning to pick them both up. Whenever I walk into daycare I don’t know what to expect because it is always about 6 months between visits when I see Ellie and her mom had recently told me that she is finicky at 3yo and sometimes doesn’t want to see people or is just plain
cranky. Well, to my delight she was running up and down the halls laughing and when she saw me said, “that’s my daddy!” My jaw hit the floor, I couldn’t believe that she remembered me! Apparently I made a good impression on her playing with her in the pool at Carolyn’s apartment complex last summer. She was excited to leave with daddy and nana so we walked out to the car only to find that I had no idea how to install the car seat that Nicolette had left for us! We finally got some help from a woman who was
also leaving the daycare and set off for Nicolette’s apartment for some story reading and playtime before her nap at 1pm.

Tuesday evening Nicolette went out shopping with friends so we had Ellie all to ourselves. She is so wonderfully adorable and becomes so engaged in everything she does. She spent quite some time drawing in coloring books on my lap and later in the evening we watched a few fairy tale movies of princesses. She told me repeatedly her favorite color was pink and her imagination was unbelievable often seeing “imaginary” (she knows what that is) creatures around the room and asking me to get them or save her from them. As a typical 3 year old she didn’t want to go to bed but after a few stories from daddy she laid down.

On Wednesday we pretty much had Ellie all to ourselves. We played all day and I caught imaginary spiders around the room for her. She has wonderful eye sight (thank God) and was able to spot tiny lady bugs on the windows for me to grab for her and was delighted to see them take off
from my fingers in front of her back to the window. She doesn’t seem to be as afraid of bugs as her mother is :). If the spiders were smiling I ate them and if they weren’t I through them back to the ceiling upon her demands. At one point I played sick and she got out her toy doctor kit to make me feel better. (if you are my friend on Flickr look this up under the Ellie 3yr old set - so
cute!). That evening Nicolette had plans to go out with friends so came home quickly for a couple hours to change and get ready with a friend who came over. We had hid Ellie’s new bed I put together during her first nap in Nicolette’s room but Ellie found it right away and took her first nap in it during the afternoon. She seemed to really like it.

When Ellie woke up from her nap we ate some dinner together. I had gone out to get some food from the Sundown Saloon in Greenwich and picked up some mac & cheese that Nicolette said Ellie liked. This is when we first encountered Ellie’s “terrible 3’s” because when I returned she didn’t want to eat her dinner and just wanted my fries or more yellow lemon pound cake my mom had brought... So, I tried to think of what best to do and came up with a plan of making a deal with Ellie that for every bite of her meal she would get a fry from mine. I never try to talk in a different voice with her, and definitely no “baby-talk” as I always want to be straight with my daughter and perhaps maybe she’ll come to recognize my voice well over the phone when I call. Well, she took to the deal right away and before long she had eaten all her dinner (she suddenly remembered she liked it I think) and only a few of my fries. I think it was my first successful bartering with my daughter! ha! Later that night she sat on my lap and we watched “Up” with nana before putting her to bed. Nicolette texted late that she wouldn’t be home till the morning which was just fine.

“Christmas morning” I woke up to Ellie crying in her room as usual. After her nap the day before she did the same and I told her that she now had the ability to get out of bed herself instead of crying but she replied, “no, I just cry a little” so once again I went to her room to get her and
go wake up nana with her around 7:30am. I called Nicolette and she arrived home wearing her clothes from the night before. After some coffee and
pancakes that I made for everyone we opened up presents. Ellie seemed to really like everything she opened and I think she was fascinated by the Leap Frog Tag Reader I got her (especially the pink pen). It is for children 4+ but I felt she could handle it. Basically she just dragged the electronic pen across the words and the book was read to her. She could touch pictures and they would also respond with questions or fun games within the book... the technology today for kids astonishes me. Once again I read a few books to her and later in the morning Uncle Joe and Aunt Amanda stopped by to say hi. Amanda looks wonderful pregnant and as usual was always glowing to see Ellie who gave her belly and new baby cousin a big hug. In the early afternoon after some lunch of Wendy’s I grabbed all of the photos of Ellie off Nicolette’s hard drive I’ve wanted so long in full resolution and put Ellie down for a nap before saying our goodbyes and leaving. I always hate leaving Ellie and her mom always tells her straight up to say goodbye and that she won’t be seeing daddy again for a while. I don’t think she quite understands what that means but after this visit I have high hopes she will recognize me and be happy to see me next summer again. Hopefully I’ll be able to get video chat up and going again this winter as well. I had a really wonderful time visiting her and not once did she get cranky with me or fuss about having to hang out with her dad. Nicolette and I definitely have a wonderful daughter!

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