Holy Toledo. You're TWO! I can hardly believe it. Looking back at your 1st year letter, it's like you're a completely different person. You've passed a lot of major milestones this past year, kiddo. Walking, for example. That's a pretty huge one. And talking, also quite huge. You have so many words now I can't even count them all, and you're also turning into quite the mimic. The other night a Subway commercial came on talking about "five dollars for a foot-long" (which if you ask me sounds like nothing so much as a cheap blow job, but then I'm a perv like that) and without even watching the TV, you started saying "fi dolla foo" over and over again. Your father thought it was high-larious. I kind of felt like maybe we should turn off the TV.
Also, hair! You have that now! Which is good, because it would have been awkward going to college essentially hairless. Not that I ever worried about that, at all. No sir-ee bob. I admit that, at this point, I enjoy playing with your hair far more than you enjoy having it played with, but you can revenge yourself on me when you hit fifteen and decide to give yourself a hot-pink mohawk. Good times.
If there's one thing I'll remember from this past year, it's your incredibly joyful nature. You really are just an amazingly exuberant kid. And it's not just your fatuous parents who think so - almost everyone we know comments on it. One of the mothers at your ECFE class wanted to know if you were taking joy pills; another one told me she loved it when you come to class because the mood of the whole room lifts. And it's true! You just love being around people and exploring everything that life throws at you. From the awesome welcome dance + rap that you do when people come over to the house, to the deafening "HIIIIIII" you yell across rooms, across streets, across whatever, coupled with your patented homecoming-queen wave, you're a one-person positivity machine.
Or at least you are about 90 percent of the time. The other 10 percent? That's where the two-year-old/born drama queen thing comes in. As joyously exuberant as you mostly are, when you get riled, you get R-I-L-E-D. You're definitely at that point where your reach exceeds your grasp sometimes, when it does, all hell breaks loose. There is stomping, there is screaming, there is hitting (though you mostly hit the coffee table or other inanimate objects) there is even the occasional rolling on the floor with irate abandon. But at this point, the tantrums really don't happen very often or last very long. (This is where all the parents of older children start laughing to themselves in a just-you-wait kind of way.)
Things you especially love right now: Elmo, cooking in your play kitchen, naked time, going to the park, the kitties, and making new friends. Things you aren't so fond of: being told "no," leaving the park, and getting dressed. "Discipline" is a concept we're just beginning to address, and so far you're not quite hip to how it works. Mostly when we really seriously tell you not to do something you give us a long, semi-verbal "explanation" of why you weren't really doing that, or alternatively why it's actually totally ok for you to do it and we just need to UNDERSTAND. Complete with hand gestures and an oh-so-reasonable tone of voice. It's pretty freaking funny. We can't wait until you can completely talk, because I'm sure your rationalizations will be worth their weight in comic gold.
You're getting to be such a big girl, Hatchling. Not just size-wise, though your growth continues to be so off the charts that I have to reassure parents on the playground that you're not a retarded 3 year old ("Ohhhh, she's only two! That makes a lot more sense"). It's also your mental and emotional development that's come so far. We're in a new ECFE class where the parents separate from the children about 1/2 way through. On our first day I was preparing myself for a major meltdown, as that's been your usual response to me leaving you even just to go upstairs to the bathroom. But you did so great! I told you I was going to go across the hall for a little while, and then I'd be back, and after a hug you said "OK" and "bye, mama" just like it was no big deal. I was so proud of you, and so relieved, and just a little teensy tiny bit sad that you're getting to be so grown up.
It sure is nice having you around, kid. We love you the mostest, and we can't wait to spend another year together. Happy Birthday.