It is shocking to think my baby is turning two tomorrow. Wherever has the time gone? Your dimply cheeks and baby fat has slowly been disappearing before my eyes, and in its place has been left this tall, running-wildly-through-the-world, gorgeous and defiant toddler.
To say that you are ridiculously cute would be quite an understatement. Every grown-up you know is wrapped around your little finger, vying for a cuddle, which are are astounding good at, and which you really make people work for! I think especially because you don't give 'em out to just anyone, people are always thrilled to earn one of your full-bodied Girlio hugs.
You are a little impish ball of energy, often seen running by with your own particular pony-like trot. The house is often filled to the brim with your laughter, which is one of the most gleeful, joy inducing sounds I've ever heard. You are constantly chattering and so unbelievably articulate and aware and bright (Sigh - it's possible that you're smarter than your parents already). You amazed us by uttering your first sentence at 18 months ("Kitty off the table!" you shouted, all bossy and brazen). And since then, the sentences have just kept spilling out of you. It is such an incredible privilege to watch you grow and change and learn like this.
You love books, puzzles, painting (particularly yourself!), jumping, anything barefooted, streaking around naked, running, (and like your brother before you) anything death defying. I'll never forgot when at 22 months of age, you informed me resolutely: "Girlio BIGGER. Girlio SKATEBOARD!" You'll give me a heart attack, the two of you! You also have an enormous heart, and love all creatures big and small. Particularly puppies. (Ahem, Mommy!) But I think your greatest love is reserved for your big brother, whom you follow through the world with just as much fearless abandon as him. The utter joy you feel when he relents and plays with you is evident all over your body, and the adoration in the way you say his name is so so sweet.
You are a bundle of passion, and everything you do, you DO with vigour. (I have no idea where you get this from?!) When you are pissed off, look out! You are a little tornado of mad. And then, when the storm clouds clear, you'll grin through tears and state emphatically, and a bit ridiculously, "I'm just so happy!"
And you still despise sleeping. I've never met a kid who hated sleep more! When you do finally fall asleep, it's almost always with a concerted frown on your face, often with one hand out, as if to convey even in sleep, your proufnd displeasure with the situation. Though I really really (I mean really!) wish you'd sleep, one really does have to admire the depth of your tenacity.
Sweet girl, here you are at two, caught in this really strange place between seeming so big and so small at the same time. Still a little bit baby, and stretching towards 'big girl' as fast as your chubby legs will carry you. And I am torn, standing in that place of bittersweetness, of wanting to hold you in the here and now of the last moments of babyness and wanting to watch you dive in and grow and explore in the world.
But as I waffle, one thing is clear. My life, and our family, is so blessed to have you in it.
Happy birthday, sweet wild child.