Dear child of mine,
You are two years old today. I find myself wishing that I could go back in time and have a cup of coffee with.. myself, one year ago today. I wish I could tell myself to not worry about so much, that it's really all petty stuff that I was fretting over. (Really, who gives a flying fish when you got off the bottle???! Seriously!) I wish I could tell myself how much fun I was going to have, and that yes, yes there would be plenty of sleep issues, but in the grand scheme of things it just wouldn't matter. I wish I could go back and tell myself that my mind was about to get completely blown away with how damn smart you are and how sweet you would become. I spent so much valuable precious time worrying over this and that, and had I known how it would all just drift away into nothingness, man, that would have been nice. But, I won't waste any more time on things like that, wishing that I hadn't wasted so much time... because that itself is a time-waster. HA! I will spend time cherishing you for just how amazing you are. And how I know without any shadow of a doubt that you will keep amazing me, one day/month/year after another.
The amount of things you now know is just staggering. I was never around many toddlers growing up, aside from my sister. And I hardly remember a thing about our childhood as young toddlers. So I am going to go out on a limb here and say that you are quite the advanced little man. Yeah yeah, I know all mothers think their precious gems are advanced and gifted and just absolutely perfect, and it's true - they are all perfect. And you are no exception! You repeat entire sentences to me, when I stop reading a book that you have obviously memorized. It's impressive to hear this not-yet-two year old recite grown up sentences.. not just 'Sam I Am' crap. Real sentences. Your memory is amazing. I tell you something and you somehow remember it weeks later. I sometimes stare at you like 'whaaaat??' then I have to slap my forehead like OH YEAH, that's right! You truly keep me on my toes.You are a handful at times, but we're slowly learning how to react/not react. When we know a shriek or tantrum is inevitable, we simply point to your room (the toddler room you have yet to inhabit) and say 'you know where to go'... and you trudge off, sometimes still screaming. Then maybe 30 seconds or 1 minute later you come out, saying I'M SORRY the whole way back to us. I bring you closer and you have to make eye contact when you say you're sorry.. then I say 'what for?' and 9 times out of 10, you say 'for yelling'. This is a system that works for us, right now. I know that you could change the rules of the game on us very quickly, as you often do, so I'm ready (haha, not really) to change the plan if necessary.
As much as a handful you can be, you are also super sweet. Sometimes I test you, to see if you instinctively know what to do, and sit on the floor and pretend to cry - dramatic sobs and funny honking noises and such. You always stop whatever you're doing and come over and kiss my head, or drape yourself over me in a huge full-body hug. OH how I love it!
You can count to 30 now. Yes, 30. Counting from 1 to 10 came out of the blue.. then you soon wanted to go to 20.. then you realized that the sky is the limit and shot for 30! I suppose you learned this by osmosis mostly, as I count to 30 when you get a time-out. You say 30 soooooo cute, by the way - more of an 'err-eee' than anything else. Everything else is pronounced pretty spot-on, but for now I think I'll let you say 'err-eee', because it's just cuter. Sort of like how I let you believe it's Darth ALLIGATOR... well, that's just because it drives your father absolutely insane. You will come to learn over time that that is how we find a peaceful balance in our marriage.. by driving each other insane.
Just the other day, you took your juice-box straw out of the box and held it up and proclaimed SEVEN! Because, you guessed it, the bent straw made a perfect number seven. It's awesome how so often I don't have to even lift a finger to see that every day, all day, you are learning. My sponge!!!
We are realizing just how very many words you pick up without us even knowing it.. yes, you repeat things like a walking talking parrot - hearing 'bastard cat!' in a cute toddler voice was as special a parenting moment as you can imagine - but you now use words appropriately, that we never formally sat down and taught you. Yesterday, I gave you some of my pickle - one of your favorite things ever - and you took one juicy bite, shivered (pleasantly) at the taste and looked at me and said SOUR!! And I was all 'yeeeeeah, it sure is sour!!! omg you're going to be smarter than I am in a matter of a year!!!' Holy moses, it's true. I know I have my work cut out for me. Let's just say your algebra assistance will likely come straight from a good friend I have, named google.
You like to add the phrase 'don't worry' to a lot of things... as a toddler who falls often and gets frightened of random things pretty much daily, I suppose I have started to use that term a lot, as a form of reassurance to you. If you get scared from a loud firetruck, I'll say 'no more firetruck, don't worry'... and you go around the house the rest of the day (or week!), saying 'no firetruck, don't worry!'.. It is pretty cute!
It's not all about what you do either, it's what you have taught me over these past two years. I have learned so SO much from you. How to appreciate such very little things.. even though I yammer on and on about you counting to 30, really, I am just so damn grateful you talk at all. I am grateful you know me as momma. I am grateful that you can do puzzles and stack blocks and follow directions. And it's not even something that I have to remind myself to stop and be grateful for. I can honestly say that I take stock on a daily basis with how lucky we are. You have taught me that there's more to life than a clean home! You treat toys as they were meant to be treated, pulling out as much as you possibly can before you decide what to focus on. And this is ok. As much as it stresses me here and there to always have a less-than-perfect home, I am glad you're teaching me to loosen up a bit. No one likes a uptight mother.
And I could go on and on and on with all you do and all you say and the little amazing things you just put together all on your own. It squeezes my heart - it makes me want to stop time and just stare at you. I wish I could keep you at this age in my pocket, to bring out decades from now, when I long for this stage again.
You are TWO, my love. TWO! I couldn't be more proud of who you are, and I couldn't love you more.