I sometimes wonder what I was like on a daily basis as a two and a half year old, now that I’m living with one. I’ve probably said this every time I pause to consider a milestone or transition as a parent, but I really think this is my favorite stage so far.
To be able to sit and have a dinner conversation with your child is just so entertaining. And as I watch the daily evolution of language, independence and personality, I revel in your growth; so much so that I sometimes overlook the fact that you’re still so little. You’re no longer reliant on us for all the things you used to be (you can get your own snacks, brush your own teeth and clear your dishes), but I crave the sweet, fleeting moments each day where you still need mommy and daddy.
The funniest part of parenting you right now is the spontaneous generation of your thoughts and speech. It’s like a never-ending, in-person sitcom where you’re the writer, director and producer. You wake up singing every single day, like clockwork, and from that moment forward it’s non-stop chatter and observations on the world around you.
I could never anticipate the hilarious things that come out of your mouth, but man I love observing it all. I never knew kids your age had a sense of humor, but you love hiding from us, shouting, “I’m just kidding,” and saying things that you know are “just being funny.” Like yesterday when you told us rock- flavored ice cream would “siwwy.” You also offered me an espresso when I picked you up from school today, so there’s that.
Parenting is very different right now than ever before. It feels like there are endless combinations of what can be considered right and wrong, and being a good parent is far more subjective today than a year ago. I’m very focused on teaching you to be kind and to be brave. We talk about what this means every day. Both your dad and I encourage your independence and to keep trying when things are hard (like climbing into the car by yourself or working on a tough puzzle). But we also prioritize letting you evolve as your own individual self (you can choose your own clothes and the books we read each night).
We work to maintain a sense of order and set clear expectations and routines for you, but we also try to avoid creating rules and structure just for the sake of it. We want you to fully and freely enjoy being you before the world starts becoming far more demanding.
You know you’re going to be a big sister, and you love offering the baby in my tummy food, kisses and a paci. I’m simultaneously excited and terrified for how the change will impact you, but I know you’ll take it all in stride.
Cool things: you can identify all of your letters and numbers by sight and have about 25 songs memorized. You also make up your own words to songs now. You eat absolutely everything we offer you. You are starting to let me brush and style your hair instead of flipping out when I try. You have an incredible (and somewhat unnerving) memory.
Favorite activities: painting, using a rolling pin and cookie cutters to cut out play-doh shapes, going to the park, giving all your plastic animals a bath in the tub, jumping on your “trampayeen.”
Dislikes: being woken up before you’re ready, when anything is out of place in your room before bed, having to come inside when you’re playing outside, when someone takes your food without asking.
Cute recent phrases: “Guess what? I wuv you.” “You put a lotta pepper on your food? You like it spicy?” “I wanna go to the farm, I like pig-wits.” “This our fam-a-wee car. No one else. Just our fam-a-wee.” “You feel a wittle sick mommy? You feeling better?”
Through it all, you’re my favorite human, without a doubt.