Happy Birthday! It’s strange, but for some reason this second birthday of yours feels so right. Last year I think I was overwhelmed with the fact that my teeny tiny baby was turning one, and this year it seems totally appropriate that you are TWO whole years old. You walk and talk like a two year old (…going on 16 some days), throw fits like a two year old and it definitely feels like you have been a part of our lives for at least 24 months now. I’m a horrible cliché, but I honestly can’t remember what life was like before you were here. Cleaner and quieter I’m sure, but nowhere near this fun.
As you get older, I am finding it harder and harder to sum you up in words; you learn and grow and change every day. A description of you doesn’t fit into a nice little box the way I would have described you as a baby – cute, good eater, masterful pooper, EXCELLENT sleeper, etc. People ask me what you are up to and find myself blabbering on and on with the latest; one story just doesn’t do the trick. You are fascinating to watch. I constantly see the wheels turning in your head as you ponder the world around you, and you are a never ending (yes, already) questioner of everything. You want to know more about everything. “What you doing, Dada?” “What you doing, Mama?” “Where’s Sam?” “What’s dis?” “Where Buckley go?” And if I start in on a line of questioning you don’t ever want it to end. For example, on our way home from school I always ask you a million questions, “What did you have for lunch today?” “Did you get to go outside?” “What color is the light?” You love this game and say: “REEEEDDD!” I reply with, “And what does that mean?” You emphatically say: “Red means STOP!” And then immediately it’s, “MORE, MORE.” I ask you what color the grass is, what color the car next to us is, we talk about where Dada and Buckley are and what our plans are for the night. You listen and participate intently; you’re a sponge.
Some of my favorite lines of yours right now (they are changing much more quickly than they used to):
“Mama, (or Dada) do like dis.” And then you show us exactly what it is you want us to do: make a funny face, walk in a crouched over position with your hands curled up in front of you, or stretch your arms to the sky. We, of course, oblige (suckers, already) and then you join us in the activity and laugh.“How ‘bout…umm…how ‘bout…umm” This is what you say when you are pondering something such as which book to read, what you want for breakfast, what to wear that day, etc. It’s also a good reminder that your dear old Mom needs to lay off the “ummmmmm.”
“Dat’s so cuuuuuuuute!” You say this about the funniest things… Sometimes you are actually addressing things that are cute – a puppy walking by, your new boots, a picture I’m showing you, what I’m wearing in the morning (not always cute, but at least she comprehends when the term should be used) and sometimes it’s used a little differently. Like when we’re in Grace’s grandparents basement and you see the fish tank of piranhas that are eating each other (picture missing flesh, and no I’m not kidding) and you run up and say, “Dats so cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuute!”
If it were up to you we would spend our entire lives playing outside, you want to be outdoors all the time and you are very upset when it’s time to go inside. You eat everything; no seriously, I’ve never given you anything that you wouldn’t at least try, but your favorite snacks are goldfish crackers, fruit snacks, mish mashes (mashed up applesauce-like fruit in handy packaging) and drinking chocolate milk. We constantly chase you (“Dada chase you, chase you!”) around the house while you push your shopping cart at inappropriate speeds (you should see our walls…). You love to draw with crayons – we lie on the floor and color on big blank sheets of paper; you like for us to draw things and for you to guess what they are; you also love to use stickers. You love to play with play-doh. Your favorite color right now is purple. You have definitely developed an opinion when it comes to getting dressed in the morning, so this has become an interesting challenge for me – both when it comes to laundry and trying to buy you new clothes.
You enjoy snuggling a whole lot, especially when you are sleepy in the early morning or at night around bedtime. And I’m holding on to these moments like you wouldn’t believe. I can’t help but wonder how much longer you will let me do this and how much longer you will want me to do this. But I try to sweep away those thoughts and indulge in the moment because at this point in our lives, I’m convinced those moments are what it’s really all about; they just might very well be the meaning of this whole thing. To have people in your life you love so intensely and so wholly, and to be able to wrap them in your arms, tickle their backs, read books to them and know that right there, if even for just a moment, the world is…perfect. It’s something I never felt before you showed up.
Thank you for all that you are, for all you make me want to be, and for those countless moments when I feel like I have everything I’ve ever wanted, wrapped tightly in my arms. I’m so proud and honored to be your mama.
Cheers to two!