My Darling Two-year old,
If you were a racehorse, this would be a really big year for you. Since you are a toddler, this is supposed to be the year that parents dread: “The Terrible Twos.” Well, I might be biased, but I don’t think you could ever be terrible. Check back with me in a year and see how I feel, but I’m fairly confident on this one.
In the past year, you have improved on so many skills like running, coloring, eating, putting on shoes, and babbling. You are great at puzzles, following directions, and spotting squirrels and pigeons. You make us laugh, you make us think, you make us really confused sometimes, but you also make us happy, your dad and I. We can’t get over how charming and adorable you are, how genuinely sweet you are and how curious, silly, and beautiful too.
After your first birthday, you started becoming more and more independent, always wanting to try things yourself and playing more on your own. I would continually be surprised when you understood me and acted on my words. It happened so gradually but it seems that you understand everything now and I have no idea when that happened. I ask you to go throw something away and you do. Amazing.
You continued to be delighted by Sesame Street videos, music, dancing, and playing at the playground. You always want a new ball, to touch the balloons, other kids’ sand toys, and to feed the squirrels. Your favorite foods have consistently been fruits, but dessert-y things are taking a strong hold. You eat your broccoli and yogurt, so I’m pretty happy with that. I just wish I didn’t have to beg you for almost every bite.
There were several weeks last January-February where you started waking up every 10 minutes all night long. It was pretty awful, I’m not going to lie. I think you can go back and find the posts from that time and re-acquaint yourself with how whiney it made me. You went through a pretty nasty sleep regression in February 2011 too; what do you have against the month of February? Are you that sick of winter by then? I tried everything, I really did. Your dad finally had to step in and get you back to bed in the middle of the night and then as soon as it started, it was over. And then there was some amazing sleep for awhile there. Things sort of got back to normal, but there have been small improvements along the way. The first time I laid you down not-quite-asleep, you popped up, but then laid back down and fell asleep on your own, I thought I would dance with joy (except that I didn’t dare breathe, lest it wake you up).
And then on July 25th, your dad put you to bed without me being home. I… there just are no words.
In the next year, I hope for many more new feats of growing up. I think you know that big girls use the potty, don’t nurse anymore, and get to use Twitter. We’ve discussed what these things mean, but I’m not so sure you are on board right now with the first two. I’ve been reluctant to push you, I’d prefer if you’d see the benefit in wearing fancy underpants and just snuggling and want to take steps on your own to make those things happen. I would also like to hear some more talking. You’ve really been holding out on me with the words. It would not only be tremendously helpful to have you verbally communicative (the whining and pointing is only going so far), but I can’t wait to hear what you have to say. I bet it’s awesome. I bet it will heavily include the cat. You have come pretty far, but I know this year you are really going to blow us away.
When I try to remember you as a 13 month old, I see you as I see you now. I feel like you’ve always been this way even though I know all the new and cool things you can do. When I look at photos from when you were a newborn, I can hardly believe it was you and that it was just 2 years ago. I feel as if I’ve known you forever but simultaneously, that you have only been with me for a little while. I guess baby-time moves like that. Other parents tell me that this time flies and that all-too-soon I will be nostalgic for these days when you are still so little. I have no doubt that this is true. I am self-aware enough to know how I will miss you at this age, and I remind myself of it every time it takes me over an hour of holding you to get you to go to bed. Does it make the frustrating nights any less frustrating? Maybe not, but it makes me appreciate the value of time more. If it were my last night on earth, all I would want to do is hold you until you fell asleep. I know that.
I hope you have a wonderful second birthday, a third year of life as extraordinary as you are, and that we all come out of it unscathed.
Love, High Fives, and all the balloons ever,