to my daughter on her second birthday
Holdy, Well, Big Girl, it's your second birthday. This has been a wonderful, frustrating, hilarious, educational, heartwarming, awe-inspiring, terrifying, remarkable year watching you grow.
Truth be told, you entered your "terrible twos" a bit early: more like the "terrible 18 months." But I'll take a terrible day with you over no day with you at all.
You are precocious and curious and silly and sweet. You like to make funny faces and have a laugh that's bigger than your body.
You're a "hugger." You have so much love to give. Granted, sometimes you literally tackle other kids to the ground or put your brother in a sleeper hold, but you're such a sweetie.
You love to dance. Or, excuse me: "shake your booty" (thanks, Nanny). You love to run and climb and swing like a monkey. You're a very athletic little girl. I've witnessed several yoga headstands and even a forward roll already.
You're a great big sister. You like to "help" me with your brother by shoving his Nuk in his mouth or covering his face with a blanket or throwing away his diapers (after smelling them or putting them in your mouth). You like to "tickle tickle tickle" him. And hold his hands. My heart grows three sizes every time I see you with him because I know you're in it together for the long haul, whether you like it or not.
You're a great little sister to our dog, Sally, who has gotten a lot more tolerant of your love. You give her big hugs and giggle when she licks your hands and face.
You have an amazing vocabulary for a two year old (I credit the flash cards). You're starting to string words together into a sentence and I love watching you learn and grow every day. I cracked up laughing the one time you held up my bathing suit top and said, "Oooooh. What is thiiiiiis?!"
You like to hold my hand to come down the steps. I'll remember that when, in ten years (or less, ugh), you'll make me walk behind you in public.
You like to "sing" even though you don't know the words. You love Katy Perry and Frozen. You tell me to "Sing. Anna. Mama." and I belt out "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman" for you. Even in public. We car dance with one hand in the air to "Happy" or "Blurred Lines." Or anything with a beat, really.
You like to eat sushi ("soosh") and edamame and vegetables. You like to eat whatever I'm eating (which has become a trick of mine to get you to ingest food). You call any kind of dessert "pie." One day your Duke brought you home from the park with a sippy cup full of Coke. He was banned for a week. You drink the hell outta some milk ("muhk"). Every morning, you greet me with your command: "Muhk. Joos. Mana." (milk, juice, banana).
We watch Yo Gabba Gabba and Sesame Street ("Elmo") and Dora the Explorer ("DuhDuhDora"). You love Toy Story ("Woody") and Annie and, of course, Frozen ("Anna"). Since you can't read I'll tell you that I bought us tickets to see Disney on Ice "Frozen" in October.
We've started practice potty training but mom isn't ready to fully pull the trigger yet. You like to pee on the potty and wear your big girl undies.
You sleep in your big girl bed in your big girl room... with 18 stuffed animals, 4 Nuks and 7 blankets. I'm concerned you may be showing some tendencies of hoarding. Before you go to sleep, you like to turn on your sound machine and humidifier (pointing and saying "too") and then instruct me to "Fan. On." to turn on your ceiling fan.
You like to go to the park and the swimming pool and Gymboree. You like shoes and purses. You'll throw a bag over your shoulder and say, "See ya!" When I ask where you're going you say, "Mall."
You like to color and try to eat the crayons. You make me tea and soup in your play kitchen. You love to read books and play with your flash cards (before you could talk, you could do the "You're out!" sign for the umpire card). You enjoy looking at "pickles" of yourself on my iPhone, despite hating actually posing for photos, and are a pro at a touch screen already.
Two years old, going on seven. Starting preschool in the fall. Miss Independent; Miss "Holdy do it."
You're my big girl and my sweet baby girl at the same time. I love ya, kid. Happy Second Birthday.