Dearest Daughter of Mine,
What a big year this has been for you. We went from you being our tiny fairy child that was still way behind on normal weight gain, to being a chubby cheeked little cherub who wants to keep up with everything her brother eats and proudly points to her belly. You went from giving us all mostly silent stares, to having a rapidly expanding vocabulary (some of your first words definitely surprised us though… after the traditional “mama” and “daddy” and, of course, “NO” you began telling us about “shoes” and “salsa” and of course needing more water in your cup.)
You went from still nursing several times a day to completely weaning- even though you still won’t drink regular milk.
You are so brave, strong, and sure of what you want. You will attempt any crazy trick or daring adventure that you see your brother do, always amazing us with your strength compared to your size. You are a little monkey, just like he was at your age. But you are also so different than him. You give the most amazing smiles, but only on your terms. You are not interested in entertaining anyone or talking to every stranger you meet, but you will stare down anyone who demands a smile instead of patiently waiting for you to warm up. You have strong opinions on clothes, which is a total surprise for me since I basically wear the same ten outfits over and over again and am fashion clueless. (I’m sorry about that! And about how clueless I am when it comes to doing your hair that has grown so much this year… please forgive me for almost always resorting to headbands.) Anyway, you want to dress yourself, but since you are still struggling with the motor skills to do that, the least you demand is to pick your outfit.
You are so curious and you have incredible focus. This gives your dad and I a run for our money sometimes as we had begun to rely a bit too much on the parenting skill of distraction, and that tactic just doesn’t work with you. You will remember what you want and focus on that even if we throw three other new things at you or take you in a different room. You want to sit and learn your letters because that is what brother is doing and we love hearing you start to count and say some ABCs with him. You are SO jealous every time we drop him off at school and can’t wait for it to be your turn.
Speaking of your brother being at school, it has been a special joy to get to spend some one on one time with you this year and I can’t wait for more of that. Your personality shines in quieter moments and you are so caring in your own quiet way. You are up for any adventure I want to take you on- from the Children’s Museum to hiking to an out of state road trip. Your only non-negotiable is that if we go to the park I need to understand that you are ONLY interested in the swings.
You love blueberries and are clearly my daughter because you are OBSESSED with trying to steal sips of my tea and coffee. I can’t tell you how many times I have put my cup down for just a moment and come back to your mischievous grin as you precariously hold a breakable cup or to find that half of my to-go cup of coffee is now being absorbed by the front of your shirt. You genuinely like the taste of my non-sugary beverages and can’t wait to get your hands on more. You love color and music and caring for your baby doll. You love saying CHEERS! And you are constantly scheming ways to take food from anyone else in the family when they aren’t paying attention. And of course you love bubbles. And donuts. And burying yourself in blankets to play peek a boo. And singing Let It Go even though those three words are the only ones you sing over and over and over…
I am so thankful that I get to be your mom, and I am looking forward to getting to know you even more during this next year of your life. To see what new interests you’ll find, what new words you’ll learn, how your personality will continue to emerge. I wouldn’t be surprised if by the time you turn three you are doing my hair and helping you brother pick out outfits for school, but I wouldn’t be surprised by much my fierce, persistent little girl.
I love you forever,