You turned two yesterday. This milestone horrifies your mother just as much as the others have, but I'll let you in on a secret. Somehow this one seems less surprising, somehow more believable or something. It's just that recently you seem so BIG. Every single day the child I lift out of the crib is less a baby and more a kid.
You've developed ever so many funny little quirks that have me rolling my eyes and chuckling at you nearly all day long. One of my favorites is that absolute shock and disappointment you exhibit every day at some of the basic parts of our schedule. Every day for, like, a million days in a row, even multiple TIMES every day, I have lifted you out of your high chair after every single meal and carried you directly to the sink for the mandatory sticky-fingers-sticky-cheeks rinse session. And yet you always act horribly surprised to find out that--SHOCK OF ALL SHOCKS!--Mommy is going to wash your hands right this very second. The phony tantrum is blessedly short lived, generally a wail of protest and a dropping of those expressive little eyebrows (makes you look like your daddy, sort of, which is strange since he doesn't scowl much) and the whole event is basically over before we've even dried your fingers.
I am blown away by your new-found language skills. You weren't particularly early developmentally in the words arena, and for a long time you basically stuck with a few favorites like mommy, daddy, milk, wubby- the basics, really. Now there is just no way I could list all the words you can say. I am surprised constantly by words you know that I swear I didn't teach you. (Scary, really, but so far we've avoided anything too naughty.) I am blown away by your ability to string the words together to make sense of your surroundings, too. A week or so ago, you were prancing around in some of my high heels when Daddy called from work to check on us. He asked what we were up to, and before I knew it, you were describing your fun with "mommy's church shoes" which sounds just a little like "mommy's cheech shoooes" in your little toddler accent.
The one possible exception to your otherwise squeaky clean verbal skills (and I hope this is embarrassing to you later) is your somewhat unconventional pronunciation of the word truck. You are a champ at making the T-sound in words like tubby, tummy, two, and Tommy, but for some reason, you prefer to start the word truck with an F-sound. Luckily for us, you have yet to perfect the hard consonant sound at the end of the word, but it's close enough that your excited shouts of "FIRETRUCK" while we're in the car still leave mommy and daddy shaking in the front seat in silent laughter, touched with perhaps just a hint of panic.
Don't worry, though. My next door neighbor when I was a kid did the same thing, only he nailed the hard K-sound at the end, resulting in a terrible version of "truck" ringing out loudly, clear as a bell.
And his grandpa was a trucker. Which he was quite proud of.
Really. And he turned out ok, as far as I know.
A very few things have stayed the same with you, it seems, but there are a few. When you are tired or a little nervous about something new, that little thumb still goes directly into your mouth. I do hope you grow out of it one of these days so you're not one of those weird kindergarteners that doesn't have any friends, but it's pretty cute in the mean time.
You still love to dance and shake that little tushy every chance you get. In the car, you invent new dance moves with your arms and demand that Daddy and I participate, too. We find ourselves sitting in the front seat, obediently mimicking our two year old and wondering where all our parental authority went.
Near as I can tell, it ended up in the laundry with all those poop-covered sheets.
Now I'm watching you bubble around the front room in the oversized Aggie game day shirt and enormous Aggie sweats Aunt B got you for your birthday, and it feels like maybe the next time I look up you'll be in a t-shirt that fits you, painting black marks under your eyes and excitedly exploding out the door of your first apartment for the Homecoming game.
And here is something you can't possibly understand until you are a mommy, too. That thought, that vision and the crystal clear images of you at every stage in between now and that day, make me equal parts devastated and elated. It's like my heart is torn exactly in half- part mourning the squishy, soft little baby that you aren't anymore, and part bursting with the anticipation of seeing the absolutely lovely girl you're becoming.
And those are big thoughts for someone who is just two.
I love you, Sugar Pie. Right up to the moon and back,