(and for sunshine, cheese, and a hot bath).
Today you are 2 years and 5 months old. For someone who likes exactness, I am sure you will one day appreciate the fact that I specified the month to the day instead of just rounding up.
You like everything to be “just so.” Even as I write this letter, I hear you telling your Daddy you can’t potty until all your clothes are off. Next time, it might be you can’t potty until the chair is in exactly the right position and all your clothes down to your socks and shoes are on.
Yes, you like things a certain way—your way, and most of the time, your way includes doing it yourself. Something as simple as brushing your teeth becomes a major event. You must get your toothbrush out of the cup. You must put just the right amount of strawberry toothpaste on the brush. You must rinse and tap the brush before returning it to the cup.
You can use your words to tell us exactly what you want (even though you can whine with the loudest of two year olds). I marvel at the way you use language. You’ve started saying, “Actually, I…” Actually? Actually, I have no idea where that came from. You love to sing: "My Dear Jesus" and "Jesus Loves Me" are two of your favorites.
Sometimes your verbal skills are a little on the bossy side. You love to tell Drew what to do. “Drew, sit down!” “Drew be quiet.” You are quick, however, to add “please.”
Recently you’ve become quite the-- how do I say this politely-- little tattler. “Drew’s got a crayon!” or “Drew’s being loud.” You are quick, however, to be the first to look out for Drew, too. “We get one for Drew, too.”
Watching you and Drew together is one of the joys of our days. You both have shockingly blonde hair. You still maintain your slight birth weight advantage, and depending on the day, it looks like you might have gained half an inch on him. Often, you call him by his full name, Andrew, while he calls you Emie or (melt my heart) “sissy.” If you wake up first, your first request is often for him, and he for you. You’ve just gotten out of a phase where you had to sleep in Drew’s crib. I must say, I think Drew is relieved. You were quite the crib hog. Now, your daddy is more than happy to let you fall asleep in “mommy’s bed.” Not only is there more room than Drew’s crib, you also give daddy free scalp massages and back rubs.
Speaking of Daddy, you are still very much a Daddy’s girl. (That’s okay. I was, too). But, much to my pleasure, you still want to “hold me,” especially in the early mornings when I go to your room and get you out of your crib. We head downstairs to “mommy’s chair” where we snuggle and talk while I drink “you coffee.” You blow me kisses as you get in the car in the mornings and you run to me when I pick you in the afternoons. I keep wondering if the lovestruck feeling I have for you and Drew will eventually end. I can say for sure that it hasn’t yet. I still feel giddy when I check on you before bedtime and when I see your face in the morning.
I'm amazed at the smallest and largest things you do. You have the sharpest memory. You can remember where you hide the hairbrush. You can translate Drew’s words when we’re not quite sure what he’s saying. You read back books, like “Are You My Mother?” with accuracy and expression. No matter what you’re doing, you stop and do the “Hot Dog Dance” while singing the song—word for word.
You love Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Just short of your second birthday, we finally caved and let you and Drew watch your first TV show. Our motto has been “everything in moderation,” and so far, that system seems to be working. We’ve added Chuggington to the line-up, which leads to the age-old chicken versus egg question: which came first--your obsession with trains or your obsession with Chuggington?
We’ve capitalized on your love of Mickey by taking you both to Disney World last month. While you might never recall the fun we had, I do believe the joy we experienced as a family will become part of fabric of your subconscious. I know one thing for sure: seeing the wonder in the faces of you and Drew will forever be one of the best memories of my life.
Your daddy and I say almost every day how much fun you and Drew are at this age. It doesn’t take a trip to Disney to have fun with the two of you. We make games out of everything—crossing the railroad tracks, chopping veggies for supper, putting the toys away…
Then there are special occasions like Halloween when it is so evident how much you are growing up yet how much there still is to learn. This year, as Minnie and Mickey, you didn’t need to be carried around. You both ran from house to house, challenging your out of shape mommy to keep up! It was so much fun to watch you figure out the beauty of trick or treating. What? You knock on the door, say “trick or treat,” and they give you candy?? Yes, please! And, thank you!
When I get nostalgic and misty-eyed thinking about you and Drew growing older, I hold on to these memories. I remember how, with each month, I find something new that I love about whatever age you are, whatever stage you are in. Right now, I want you to know how much I love every minute of your, wait, let me exact-- 29 months and 11 hours- old self.