Today you are 2 and wow, are you marking this milestone at the end of a crazy, crazy week. Your 2nd birthday will probably be linked in my head forever as “the Harvey birthday” after the recent deluge and ensuing floods, but the weird thing is that you very likely won’t remember a single thing about it. And in a way, I figure that’s actually a good thing. Who needs this stress when you’ve got bigger things to focus on, like being my awesome little 2-year-old girl!
This year has had its ups and downs as you’ve grown and your personality has started to really emerge. It feels like you have become a 2-year-old almost overnight! A month ago I worried that you weren’t talking much, but suddenly you’re babbling a mile a minute — and I can actually understand a lot of it, even if it’s totally unintelligible to anyone else. “Ahhsh” is orange, your current favorite color. “Hal” is help, which I hear when you want a snack opened or are having trouble getting your shoe on. “Uh peesh” is up please, as in Mom you need to pick me up right this minute, and delay is not an option! You don’t know any letters, but you can count to 10 and have had rhymes and songs like “Baa Baa Black Sheep” and “The Wheels on the Bus” memorized for months.
With the increase in talking has come an increase in your demands and Charlotte, let’s just say you do NOT like no for an answer. Just yesterday I referred to you as “our little tyrant” and it’s not far from the truth at times. When you want Daddy or me to do something, you walk right over, take our hand and start pulling until we follow you. When you want a second string cheese after you just devoured the first one, it’s difficult to pry you away from the refrigerator drawer. You screams are ear-piercing when you are happy, and deafening when you are sad. In short, you are a force to be reckoned with and navigating a day with you is always an adventure.
You are still a snuggler, and sometimes the only thing that will do is to be seated comfortably on my lap with one thumb in your mouth and the other hand firmly wound into my hair. You want to be carried or held at regular intervals, and the funny thing is that it often seems like only Daddy or I will do. Often, it’s Daddy and him alone and you actually seem to have a slight preference for men in general. When we were at our neighbor’s house the other day for dinner, you played with the other two dads and barely glanced at the other two moms. This doesn’t bother or worry me at all, but it’s an interesting thing to notice and just another reminder to me that you are your own little person, unique in your own ways.
Your cuddly tendencies, however, are sometimes overruled by a determined, “make it happen” attitude that can be fun to watch. You love to put on your socks and shoes by yourself, and even if you get them on the wrong feet you’re happy to simply switch them around when we point it out. You bring us the hairbrush and a rubber band when you want your hair done. You love to walk down the street to the mailbox with me in the evening, and will often point to the front door and say “mai? mai? mai?” on insistent repeat until you see me reaching for the key.
You don’t seem to require as much sleep as your sister did, and this is something to which I am still grudgingly trying to adjust. Most afternoons, your nap is 45 minutes at best before you wake up yelling for me or Daddy. If we let you cry for a few minutes, sometimes you’ll go back down for another chunk…but sometimes you’ll just get madder and madder. I keep trying to “fix” it — I want you to get better naps but also don’t want you to get so worked up — but it’s hard to judge, and perhaps it’s not something that really needs “fixing” at all. Either way, on the flip side, you continue to be an excellent nighttime sleeper. We read books, sing a song, say goodnight, and after fussing for 30 seconds as you watch me walk out of the room, you simply turn over and go right to sleep.
A few weeks ago as I was changing your diaper, I realized that I only have to deal with diapers for another year. (Maybe a bit more? Hopefully a lot less!) Somehow that single thought about that critical but mundane action, more than anything else, made me realize how much you’re growing. You’re a 2-year-old now and that feels like a whole new phase. More communication. More learning. More independence. More big kid. Less baby. We’re on a whole new road, Charlotte, and I am so very excited to see where it leads.