Two years ago today, I first held you in my arms. I kissed the top of your head, and fell in love with you instantly. You were my girl, and I was your Mommy. Just like that.
Those first few weeks with you were some of the hardest, and sweetest, times of my life. I remember being at the hospital, and just needing to hold you. You were such a noisy little sleeper, but I couldn't stand to have you away from me. And oh how you liked to be held. Nothing made you happier, it seemed. I remember lamenting to the pediatrician how you would wake up as soon as we laid you down, and I remember being aggravated when he remarked how that was a good thing, having a sure fire way to wake you up. I remember learning to nurse you, and watching the clock to make sure you were nursing enough, carefully documenting how much you ate and when. I remember delighting in dressing you in your little outfits, and seeing how cute you looked in each and every one of them. I remember being so sleepy that I fell asleep, for an instant, standing up while holding you. I remember forcing myself to stop staring at your eye lashes in the middle of the night and instead watch the TV, because I was so afraid to fall asleep holding you, and while your eye lashes were in fact enchanting, the TV would do a better job keeping me awake.
Over the next few months you morphed from newborn to infant, and soon you were rolling over, sitting up, and playing. We would sit you up and put your giant Winnie the Pooh behind you, so that you would land on it when you would inevitably tip over. It seemed that no matter the number of pillows we propped up, you would find a hard place to land. I think those thunks have stayed with me longer than they've stayed with you. Soon we bought squishy mats to put down, and you played on those for awhile. But you started to be able to get around, in a weird kind of scoot. You seemed unwilling to do anything that would get you into a crawl-like position, because you couldn't yet get back to a sitting position. But you would stretch out and go back to sitting, and somehow you would make progress across the room in this way.
Then came the crawling (soon after you learned how to sit from a laying down position.) For awhile, we thought you would just skip crawling. But then when you started crawling, you had a perfect little textbook crawl. I would sit back a few feet from you, and you would slowly crawl towards me, and my heart would swell. Soon you were a champion crawler, you'd move so fast. We have many pictures of you crawling towards us, with your hands moving up towards the camera, only inches away.
And soon you were walking. A few steps here and there(Dada got to see the first ones, of course). You had a push-toy, and you loved that thing. You weren't the best at steering it at first, but you would get behind it and go go go. And about a month later, on Halloween, Daddy and I were sitting about 5 feet from each other, and you would walk between us. Five feet was a bit much for you, and we were so proud when you'd make the distance. After making it a few times, you seemed to realize there was nothing stopping you, and you started to curve around in order to go farther. That night, you truly started walking. You went from something like 7 consecutive steps to 28 in one night. By the end of the weekend, we'd quit counting. I think we got to 63 before we decided that you were basically unstoppable.
Then came the talking. Watching you learn to talk has been so much fun. I love hearing you say new words. Yes, sometimes being Mommy to a toddler can be super frustrating. And now that you have words, you are always trying to exert your independence. So we battle over putting your toothbrush away or taking off your PJs or sitting while you eat or any number of other things. And while there are days that I just want to shake you and say that Mommy is trying really hard to do what you want if you could just figure out what it is that you want, I have to say that part of me loves the battles. I love seeing you express yourself, and say what you want. And the times I'm most frustrated are the times I see you struggle because you just don't know what it is that you want. (And no, you do not always get what you want... But those times are still easier than when you just can't decide.)
Now you are running, and learning to jump, and trying to skip, and climbing all over the furniture, and making me proud every day. I love you so much, and I'm so happy to be your Mommy.
And today, even though it was your birthday, I think you gave us the better present. Before today, you would sing along to a song, but only for one word (such as "ashes" in Ring Around the Rosie, or "Row" in Row Row Row Your Boat). You could express which song you wanted, but only because we have our language. Today you sang Happy Birthday, and it was awesome. You sang it to yourself, and you sang it to each of us.
You are my perfect little girl, and I love you so much my heart swells just thinking about you.
Love today and always,