June 7 - July 7, 2013Dear Carys,
Hold me. Help me. Oh, Lord, how are you two years old today? TWO YEARS OLD. I'm the mother of a two-year-old. My baby girl is two years old. Two. Two. Two. (breathe in, breathe out...it will be okay...)
You're my big girl, as you like to remind me whenever I ask you if you're a big girl or a baby. "I a big girl!" you respond. Once I called you my baby and you completely blanched and said, "No, no, no mommy....BIG GIRL." Please stop reminding me. Yes, you're my big girl. My wonderful, spirited, sweet, smart, beautiful big girl.
This is probably a good stopping point for these letters, but I don't know if I can actually bring myself to stop. I love writing them and reminiscing about everything we did that month and all you learned and how much you grew. However, I just can't bring myself to write out "Month Twenty-Five" because that's ridiculous. I saw someone refer to their child as 41 months old the other day. I have no idea how old that kid is. 3? 5? 17? Maybe I'll proceed with just one long yearly letter. It will be two hundred pages long, probably.
I'll have your brother or sister's monthly letters to write for at least two years - he or she is already getting screwed over just by virtue of being the second kid (new clothes? HA! broken leg? WALK IT OFF!) so I want to at least commit to documenting the first two years, since I managed to give that gift to you. Since I could barely get it together each month to do your monthly picture and write your monthly letter (I mean, take a picture AND write some words? the strain! the difficulty! the sacrifice!), the possibility that I'll ever be able to do TWO in a month is laughable. I mean, maybe. But maybe pigs will start flying also.
So perhaps this is your last monthly letter. And perhaps I just burst into tears writing that. And perhaps I'm super tempted to go wake you up from your nap and cuddle you for ten hours straight and buy you ice cream and ponies.
I cannot talk enough about what an incredible little girl you are. I know ALL parents think their kids are completely amazing, and it's our right as parents to think that our own kids are, of course, the most amazing of them all. So any other parents reading this no doubt thinking that sure, you're alright, but their kids are even more special. But to me? You are the most special, incredible, amazing kid who has EVER WALKED ON THIS EARTH. Or crawled. Or pretended to be a dog in the middle of the zoo in front of two dozen people.
You are so sweet. You give your friends hugs at the end of swim class, you offer a bite of your precious watermelon to your cousin, you call for a hug when you see someone leaving. You sing songs to me in the car and you cuddle me for no reason. Your hundred kisses at bedtime are the highlight of my day. Your baby dolls are tucked in and patted and read to and fed.
You sometimes share, which for a toddler, is about as good as it gets (hilariously, if you have two of something, you struggle to figure out which one to share, because you realize as soon as you give them option A, you'll be stuck with option B, and just the fact that they have option A immediately makes it more desirable...so you should give them option B, right? But then option B becomes the desired one and option A sucks! WHAT TO DO??). When you don't want to share, you're really funny about offering an alternate. Sometimes the alternate is even better than what the person actually has, but because they have it, it becomes a beacon of ALL THAT IS COVETED to you. So you'll want the rock that someone is playing with, and you'll look around for something else to offer them in exchange for the rock. Sidewalk chalk! A doll! A book! Won't you please take this book and give me that rock instead?!?!
My absolute favorite thing you do at this very moment is respond, "Oh, yes!" to anything that requires a modicum of thought. "Carys, if you can't reach it from this side, do you think you can go to the other side and reach it?" (pause while you consider) "Oh, yes!" It. is. adorable.
My other favorite thing about you is your love of ice cream. This is, of course, because I love ice cream. You come by your love for frozen dairy honestly. I would eat ice cream every day if I could, and I have to physically restrain myself from offering it to you daily. But when you do get it, you're in heaven. Drippy, sticky, messy heaven.
You still love water of all kinds. You love taking a bath, you love swim class (which you're doing by yourself, without me! I think I mentioned that last month.), you love lakes and rivers, your water table, and even a simple glass of water becomes an opportunity for water play. You may be half mermaid.
This is an incredible age of mimicry, and I am constantly cautioning myself to watch what I do or say around you. You're a sponge, and it's so important to model healthy behavior around you. One not-so-healthy example could possibly lead to a visit from CPS in the future: as I was getting ready to shower, you emptied the cabinet under the bathroom sink of all the lotion and hair stuff that was stored there and climbed in. I asked you if you would stay there while I showered, and when you said, "Yes!", I commented to your dad that this was a much cheaper form of baby-sitting than buying your Nana and grandpa dinner. Which, of course, is much cheaper than paying a real baby-sitter (lucky, lucky us!). A few minutes later, you disappeared, then came back with one of your babies. You stuck the baby in the cabinet, shut the door, and then stepped into the shower, saying, "Bye, baby! Stay there. I be back. I shower." I could not stop laughing. But maybe you're onto something in cheap child care!
In other "Adorable Sh*t My Kid Says" news, we were going to visit my dad's mom (your great-grandmother) and I said, "We're going to see Grandma A. This is the grandma that has all the dolls and the bear chair, remember?" You eagerly replied, "YES! Grandma blankets!" And it's true: that grandma has blankets all over the place, because she's a very talented crocheter and quilt-maker, and you love getting out all her blankets and wrapping up in them. So needless to say, Grandma A is now Grandma Blankets.
We have family visiting from out of town - my mom's sister and her husband and four kids and wife and son and daughter to one of the kids. You have totally and completely latched onto the daughter, Danika. Literally from the first moment you met, you've been fascinated by her. You went up to her, shyly put your hand on her leg, smiled, then ran away. A few minutes later, you moved your highchair to sit next to her. A few days later, Nana took you to the family picnic early, and you ran to get a place next to her as soon as she sat down. Even when I arrived, you didn't want to move from her side. The two of you explored the picnic site and played on the playground and you gave her the biggest hug of your life when she left. It was heartbreaking to know that she was leaving in a few days and it'd be a long time before you saw her again!
Your dad and you have been having a fantastic time, too. It's nice enough outside and he's now brave enough to actually take you places on his special days with you, so you've been going to fly kites and explore new playgrounds almost every week. He just adores you beyond words. Proof: he is NOT a morning person (seriously: he could sleep til noon and stay out til 3 a.m. every day if he didn't have to work) - but no matter how early you wake up, if you want to say hi to him, he'll open at least one eye and say hi back and tell you he loves you. It may not sound like a lot, but I promise you I didn't see his irises a minute before he absolutely had to open his eyes for the entire time we were married before you came along. But for you, he'll open his eyes at 6:30 and even lift his head off the pillow, even if he has another two hours to sleep before he has to wake up for work.
It's insane to think that you've been doing things for over a year now - walking for over a year, climbing and going down slides yourself for over a year, talking for over a year, going up and down stairs (crawling) for over a year, using a spoon or fork to eat for over a year....it seems like just months ago that you were born, and already you've been doing things FOR OVER A YEAR. How is that possible?
Maybe because of that, you SO think you're grown sometimes. Nana and I took you on a bus ride (to feed your obsession with buses - now all we need to do is get you on a motorcycle and your bucket list will be complete) from Nana's house to downtown to eat lunch with Jenna and Kimberly, and a few minutes after boarding the bus (after you got over your complete and total awe) you got up from your seat between us and climbed on to an empty seat in an empty row a couple rows up from us. When someone got off the bus, you'd lean over and look back and ask, "Get off?" and we'd say no, and you'd sit back again. Just sitting. By yourself. On a bus full of people. Not needing or wanting us next to you.
You'll be playing in the front yard, then decide you want to go on a walk by yourself and tell me bye and that you'll be back soon, and just take off walking down the sidewalk (clearly I quickly follow right behind - I'm not THAT free-range!). You have been using "real" cups (without lids) for about six months now, and you often will refuse a "baby" cup entirely. You dress yourself and undress yourself and take showers and sing entire songs and help me sweep and imagine and climb into your carseat and say, "Bless you" and "See you later!" and all sorts of entirely grown-up things that I'm not entirely ready for you to be doing yet.
Carys, you may think you're grown, but you're still my
Some day that "little" will be crossed off and you'll just be my girl, but you'll always and forever be my girl.
Two years ago, at 9:16 a.m., while lying on an operating table, my life changed forever, in the best way possible. I would never go back to the way it was, knowing what it is now. You are the most incredible thing that has ever happened to me and I am so grateful every day to not only know you, but to get to be your mom.
I love you more every day.
More than I ever thought possible.
More than I ever even understood was possible.
Happy birthday, sweetie pie, Care-bear, Honey Bunches of Oats.
I love you a million billion.