I cannot believe you are two years old already. You have grown so much especially over the past 6 months. This morning Mama and I were looking through your birth book and remembering the details of that day. We were both convinced you weren't meant to be born on that day. In separate dreams each of us had settled on August 27th as the day you would make your appearance yet circumstances forced us to agree to let you come into the world a few days early.
There was so much excitement, anticipation, nerves and worry as they prepared C. for the c-section that would bring you to us. We hadn't picked out your name for sure because we needed to see you before we could decide on your name. You arrived determined to live out loud. They were still pulling you out as you began screaming and I caught a glimpse of your scrunched up face. The the doctor handed you to me. When your umbilical cord stopped pulsing she clamped it off and I cut it. It always seemed like such a rude thing to do-to sever the connection you'd had with C. for those nine months.
As they cleaned you up you balled up your fists, turned yourself completely to one side and held on to the side of the bassinet and screamed your protest to being taken from the safety of mama's womb too early. I felt a little guilty for participating in this rude intrusion especially after we all realized that all the concerns about you were unfounded. You were smaller and healthier than everyone anticipated. I got to hold you and bring you to Mama for her to catch her first glimpse of you. She wasn't doing so well so I held you longer than I normally would have had a chance to until C. could be taken care of.
She insisted I go with you to the nursery but I was more concerned about her care and trusted that we would be together soon enough so I stayed with C. When the three of us were brought together in recovery you were still screaming in protest until they put you into my arms. I handed you to C. and you contently settled into her arms. We just marvelled at the miracle of you and suddenly knew your name--we both looked at each other as said it at the same exact time.
You were such a laid-back baby as your siblings, grandparents, and other friends and family came in to greet you and hold you and welcome you home. You took most things in stride.
When we finally found a quiet moment I held you in my arms and we had a "little chat" where I promised to love you and care for you always and never let myself "neglect" you because you were in fact the fourth child in a very needy group of siblings. You looked right at me the whole time as though you understood everything I was saying. I asked you to be patient with us but never let us forget about your needs. I asked you to help us "teach" your brothers and your sister how to be a big sibling and take care of you. I also told you about the wonderful woman who you are partly named after and who could not be here to welcome you into our midst. You listened intently as though you understood and I got what I know in my heart was your very first smile.
That time has gone by all too quickly. We have watched you reach all those wonderful milestones that every baby reaches but that feel extra special when they belong to one of our own. You are such a big girl now and you have made us so proud. You are independent, smart, sweet, friendly, loving, stubborn, self-sufficient, and so much fun to watch and be with. You clearly are in the midst of the "terrible twos" but they aren't so bad. You I am sure you get frustrated when we don't understand what you need or what you are trying to say. You cry at the drop of a hat, or in our case, a napkin, since every time you drop it from the breakfast or dinner table it reduces you to tears. You seem to be easy to redirect. As soon as you start crying or get upset because something isn't going your way I can call you over and ask "can I talk to you?" Through your tears you will say "yes, mom" and I will ask you to stop crying and YOU DO! It still amazes me that you can do that!
You have a wonderful imagination and you play with your sandbox, toy trains, cars, kitchen and baby dolls for hours on end especially if you can play with your brother Pollito. You will "cook" and serve me food and "coffee" and tell me "here mom, your favite (favorite)" every time. You know my habits all too well!!! You adore all your siblings but are partial to playing with him. You hug him endlessly whenever the two of you are together. You have discovered tv and can get pretty demanding about it especially if you want to watch Oswald, Dora, Ni-Hao, or Wonder Pets. It's fun to watch you participate and follow directions when the characters tell you to do certain things. You still don't understand commercials (none of us do!) so you get frustrated when they come on. You sometimes walk around the house singing "The phone is winging! There's an animal in twable (trouble). There's an animal in twable (trouble). Somewhere." (Wonder Pets song) This tells us maybe we are letting you watch a little too much tv but I must admit it is so much fun to see you laughing and learning. You can count to 10 and do so every chance you get especially climbing stair which drives me crazy because you don't like to hold onto the railing. You also count to 5 in Spanish.
Playing outside is your favorite thing--sandbox, slide, park or just running around and you treasure evening walks with C. to check in on the flowers and trees. You have recently started running "laps" around the dining table as you announce "I nunning....I nunning!" A few days ago you had all of us in stitches as you carried on like this for 25 minutes straight. We would ask you if you were finished and you would say "almost." At one point you held your side and said "my belly hurts" but you wouldn't stop running.
You are incredibly observant. You sit in the car as we do endless drop offs and pick ups and you notice everything. You will say "mom! See the bird? See the truck?" or "Mom! You see the tree? You see the moto-cycle?" You notice what belongs to who and where things are supposed to be put away. You are great at cleaning up your toys and will help out whenever anyone else is picking up or putting things away. Of course I am impressed by that! You have the best manners I have ever seen (biased, I know) in a toddler. You say "please," "thank you," "excuse me," "you're welcome," and "bless you" pretty much every single time they are appropriate to say.
My favorite times are still the quiet moments. I pause and thank the Creator for the gift of you when I am in the kitchen and you interrupt your play to come up behind me, grab my legs and say "I love you mom." then you scamper off. I love when you come sit next to me on the couch and just nestle into the crook of my arm without a word. I melt every night when you put one hand on each side of my face and kiss my forehead, my nose, and finally my lips as you say "goodnight." You always say you love me at least 4 or 5 times before you settle into sleep.
I could go on and on but I do that already whenever you stop long enough for me to tell you how I feel. I am so very, very grateful for the gift of you. Happy 2nd birthday, Sweetpea and thank you for two amazing years!