Tuesday, December 16, 2008

23: Nearly Two

Dear Madeleine, Monkey, Monka-Loo, Punkalooska-Sweetie-Pea,

You are officially 23 months old, which means we are dangerously close to two. And by "dangerously," of course I mean fear-inducing, tear-bringing, hand-wringing and disbelief-making on the part of your dear mother. My little bitty baby can't possibly be two years old. I just won't have it. Yet you seem to be moving in that direction, regardless of my own unreadiness. You are independent that way.

The nearer you get to two, the more "two-like" behaviors we are starting to see. It was a handful of months ago when you were displaying some "difficulty" and Kelly said to you, "I didn't know you were already two!" We laughed (and I cried a little inside, because we both knew what was coming). At one minute you are sweet and loving and giving my knees and elbows tender little kisses. And before I know it you are furiously waving that little hand in my face, saying, "No Mama! No Mama!" and expecting me to go away. As your independence grows, so does your spirit. You have discovered how to scream when you don't get your way, and in the last few days after screaming (and being told such behavior is not acceptable), you close your eyes tightly as if shutting out the world will make all the problems go away. Slowly, you open to a squint, a wink, both eyes open, and guess what? I'm still here.

Along with the more difficult aspects of two have come fun and creative elements, including dressing yourself. If you had your way, each day would begin with a blue sparkly tutu, high heels, sunglasses and a hat. You love to wear my high heels around the house, narrating the sound of a princess with "clip-clop, clip-clop." (At least someone is wearing fashionable footwear these days). You've also taken to wearing your pink rain boots with every outfit imaginable and it takes some creative coordinating on my part to ensure we leave the house appropriately attired.

Also of note is your increasing desire in using the potty. You regularly ask to visit the bathroom in exchange for the ever-exciting "chocolate." Only you say "chocolate" with such love and emphasis and a thickness to your tongue, as if the word itself requires special care and handling. It comes out sounding like "Shholocolate," rich and creamy and velvety smooth. You are a girl after my own heart. (And now I need to find a potty treat beside m&ms because Mama likes them too much and we do have a reasonable pregnancy weight to maintain here).

One recurring theme we've been discussing these past month is your family, and just how loved you are. Nearly every day you pick up the phone and "call" someone to say "I love you. I miss you. I come see you. Okay, seeyoulater." You even give yourself little prompts: "Say hi to Uncle Joe. HI UNCLE JOE! Say hi Lizzie. HI LIZZIE!" I keep meaning to get it on video because it is both absolutely hilarious and endearing. 

And speaking of family, I find myself pregnant once again at Christmastime, a time spent pondering what it must have been like for Mary to carry the Savior of the World in her own womb. With your constant entertainment and needs, I have less time to sit and imagine what Samuel will be like, look like, and what he will mean to me as a mother. But in our few quiet moments together, my eyes fill with tears as you put your little lips to my belly, kissing the growing child, and saying tenderly "Whatcha doin', baby brother?" Pressed together, belly to small face, we sit in awe and wonder of the miracle awaiting us.

Merry Christmas to you, sweet child, and to your coming baby brother. I am overwhelmed with awe and gratitude to our Savior as I grow more round and ever more deeply in love with my children. 


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