Almost every single morning you wake up singing. You did so as a baby, babbling away learning your vocal chords. And you do so now, only belting out a medley of your favourite tunes. After 15 minutes of song, you are ready to get up. “Mooooommmmmyyy, where arrrreeeee yooouuuuu?” you call. Happily and with a huge smile, I enter your room anxious to start our day. This is big you know. Me, happy and smiley, at that time of the morning. It used to be that only coffee could do that. A dark, strong brew. Or two. But now it is your song that motivates me out of bed. Well, a song followed by some coffee that is.
The other day your song was especially spirited. I want to enjoy it with you so I crawl right into your big girl bed with you. Delighted, you immediately get some books for me to read, then gather penguins, gorillas, dogs, octopuses, and monkeys as my captive audience. Feeling rather poetic and fun in that moment, I pull out Shel Silverstein and begin reading. One poem stands out and I reread it a number of times while you giggle putting an octopus on my head. To me, this poem is you:
I will not play tug-o-war.
I’d rather play hug-o-war.
Where everyone hugs instead of tugs.
Where everyone giggles and rolls on the rug.
Where everyone kisses, and everyone grins
And everyone cuddles, and everyone wins.
Or to put even more simply and in your own two-year old words:
You, my love, are a sensitive soul and if you are feeling scared or sad or tired you call out “Cuddles Everybody!” You grab my hand, then Daddy’s. Sometimes you call Riley over and often you pile all your stuffies amongst us. Then we all cuddle and we all feel better. You also react immediately to our moods. If Daddy yells at the ref on the hockey game or Mommy grumbles under her breath annoyed at Daddy or Riley whines, you wisely call out “Cuddles Everybody!” and we do. We cuddle it out and all feel better. Once again, it would seem, you are teaching us as many life lessons as we do you.
So far, your two’s have been far from ‘terrible’. You have a great sense of balance about you that I admire. You are at once independent and will take hold of Mommy’s hand when required. You play hard and sleep hard. You observe first, then interact in your own time. You know your likes and dislikes, and even if they are absurd, I promise to try to accept the fact that ice cream and chocolate are on the ‘do not like’ list. You are polite and empathetic and for some reason this constantly surprises me. Every time you say “Thank you Mommy” or “Sorry Daddy” or “You okay Mommy?” of your own volition I am taken aback by the sincerity there. Some days it takes everything in me not to just scoop you up right there and plaster you with big, slobbery kisses of adoration. When I have done so, I am usually told “No Mommy! Stop!” as you madly give the sign language sign of ‘Stop’ that you have been learning at daycare (your teachers have needed to teach you how to stand up for yourself with the other kids)
So it is not all cuteness and love! You say “No!” often and whine even more. But we’re working on that.
In an attempt at modeling for you how you should be asking for something rather than whining, I put on my bright sing-songy inflection-goes-up tone and teach “Sippy cup please Mommy?!” You learn quick. Too quick. Because before I know it, you are using my exact sing-songy voice to ask for EVERYTHING. Only hearing it recited back, modeling my teaching in your voice, do I realize how over-the-top and fake it sounds. But it is also ultra adorable and hilarious. I do not do a re-teach and to this day, 2 months later, you still ask for things sounding like you just did a double-shot espresso with a hit of speed after inhaling a helium balloon. See? Too funny to put a stop too!
At 2.5 years old, this is what I know about you. My girl: a cuddler, lover, crooner, poet and peacemaker. A giggler, player, joker, twirler, and jumper. A nurturer, story teller, observer and artist. A rock thrower, sleeper, monster lover and swimmer. You are sly, silly, imaginative and hilarious. And oh girl, can you laugh! You are a thesaurus of laughter what with all your chuckles, guffaws, chortles, giggles, snickers, snorts, grins and crack ups.
Carolyn Birmingham once said:
A smile starts on the lips. A grin spreads to the eyes. A chuckle comes from the belly; But a good laugh bursts forth from the soul, overflows and bubbles all around.
Love and Bubbles All Around,