Today you turned two. We celebrated your party on Sunday. It was a Hello Kitty themed party. Aunt Lisa and Papaw Palmer couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make it, but your Grandma Palmer was there, and also your Johnson Grandparents. Uncle Mark showed up, even though Aunt Lisa didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t make it Ã¢â‚¬â€œ I think he is either in love with you, or cupcakes. Maybe both. Other attendees were Mama and Dada, Rollie, Ned, Vanessa, and Scarlett. We had chocolate cupcakes, and some with colored icing, but everyone wanted chocolate. We ate pizza for lunch, and you received way too many gifts. You received a stroller, baby bed, and infant carrier, a couple of baby dolls, two cel phones (just what a little girl needs), a stuffed dog on a leash, a vacuum cleaner that really vacuums, a tea party set, a doll case, and a ton of clothes. You are a very lucky girl to have so many friends and so many people who love you.
I remember when Rollie was two, and you were about to be born. It seems like just yesterday, and now he is four and you are two, and I am really, really a mother. You have learned so many amazing things in the last year. You learned to walk a little after you turned one. Now you are running and hopping. Of course, you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t actually leave the ground yet, but you say “I am hopping!” and do a lot of bending at the knees. You like to do whatever Diego and Dora are doing Ã¢â‚¬â€œ All the actions: Climbing, swimming, rowing, hopping, swinging, climbing. Thanks to Dora and Diego, you intersperse your English with Spanish words. Sometimes I have to act out actions to figure out what you are saying to me.
Your talking is just amazing Ã¢â‚¬â€œ what a vocabulary! You string so many words together in run on sentences and your dada and I just look at each other, wondering what it is you are saying, because we just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand all of it. That doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t matter to you, though. You just keep on talking, and are so expressive when you do it, nodding your head convincingly, or holding your hands palm up when asking a question of us. You repeat everything that we say, and think that RollieÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s word is God. If Rollie says or does it, you want to say or do the same thing.
You are starting to show a bit of stubbornness. When we say Ã¢â‚¬Å“time to change your diaper,Ã¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s put on pjsÃ¢â‚¬Â your first reaction is to take off running. We spend a lot of time chasing you down. You love the water and will pour water over your own head when in the bath and then laugh and laugh. You are the laughingest goofball of a child I have ever known. Your sense of humor is corny and quick. You love to sing in goofy voices and then laugh at yourself. Did I mention the dancing? You love music and singing and love to dance. Your dances are a sight to behold, too Ã¢â‚¬â€œ You do one where you move your arms around. I couldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t explain it if I tried, but will have to show you the video someday. Your favorite songs are Ã¢â‚¬Å“Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,Ã¢â‚¬Å“ Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Wheels on the Bus,Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“You Are My Sunshine,Ã¢â‚¬Â and Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Itsy Bitsy Spider.Ã¢â‚¬Â
You love animals and babies. You crack us up, because when you talk about the other kids in your MommiesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Morning Out class, you call them Ã¢â‚¬Å“babies,Ã¢â‚¬Â but you think you are a big girl, even though you are all the same age. You started the MMO this fall, and I was worried you would miss me, but you love the class, and the other kids (Kai, Claire, and Abby) and your teachers, Miss Betsy, and Miss Janet. You cry on the days when Rollie has class, but you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t.
You are kind of a bruiser. Sometimes I am in another room, and I hear Rollie screaming bloody murder and I walk in, and you have him in a headlock, or you are lying on top of him and wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get off. I am hoping you will turn out to be a gentle soul, but it is nice to know that you stand up for yourself, too.
You love swimming. I am amazed at how much you love the water. You laugh and laugh in pools, and you love the kiddie pool at the lake. When we take you in the lake, you lie back as if you could just float on your back, all by yourself.
When we go to the park, you like to swing, swing, swing. You are not scared to climb or slide, but swinging is where itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s at for you. I have pushed you on a swing for almost an hour at a time before. You cry when I make you get out of the swing.
In the mornings, you scream and cry, Ã¢â‚¬Å“MamaÃ¢â‚¬Â or Ã¢â‚¬Å“Daddy, come get me.Ã¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬Å“Mama, Help!Ã¢â‚¬Â You sound pitiful and sick, but as soon as we walk in, you start chirping away in your excited, sweet morning voice, asking “Where’s Dada?” or “Where’s Rollie?” You start talking in a waterfall of words and if other people in the house are still sleeping, I try to shush you, and you just wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t quiet down. It is endearingly annoying. When you wake up from your nap, you are the same way, except crankier, just like your Mama and Aunt Lisa, and Grandma Palmer. I carry you down the stairs, you crying the whole way, and when we get to the bottom, I ask if you want a snack, and you turn the tears off immediately, a smile breaks across your face, and you say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“SackÃ¢â‚¬Â while nodding your head at me.
LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s see. What else:
You sleep well at night, usually going to bed between 7:30 and 8, but you arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t a great napper. Most of your naps are 35 to 45 minutes long. I am thankful when you give me a whole hour.
You never let me fix your hair, which I guess is part of the curse. I never liked having mine fixed either.
You love eating. I have been lucky that both kids have healthy appetites. I try to feed you healthy stuff, and you do a pretty good job with it. You do love gold fish. You call them, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Olefish.Ã¢â‚¬Â So cute.
You are starting to love to read, and we read to you every night, but you also will grab a book and sit down with it, turning the pages and pretending to read.
Since your birthday party, you have been walking around saying, Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a baby!Ã¢â‚¬Â and then Ã¢â‚¬Å“IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m a big girl!Ã¢â‚¬Â You may be growing up to be a big girl, a young lady, but you will always be my little baby girl, even when you are fifty. I am so lucky to have you for a daughter. I knew that being a parent was special, but I never knew how amazing it would be to have a boy and a girl. Mom always said that there was something so very wonderful about having a daughter, and now I understand what she meant. You are sweet and mercurial, tough and sensitive, beautiful and ornery, girly and tomboyish, smart and silly, all wrapped up in the cutest, roly-poliest package I have ever seen. You are a little like your father, and a lot like me, and better than both of us put together. I have learned so very much from you and Rollie. Having a little girl, though, is a slightly more daunting task for me. I know that I am your foremost role model, the woman from whom you will learn so very much in your life. You bring out so many things in me that I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know I had inside. You make me a better person. You make me want to be someone you can look up to, someone you can learn valuable life lessons from, and someone you can respect. I hope that I do as wonderful a job as my Mom did. I hope that I set an example for you that will make you as proud of me as I am of you.
Happy Birthday, Baby Tiller.
Thanks to Uncle Mark for the cute Tiller with Stroller vid.