Today you are 2 years old. Yes, you really are, even though you told Daddy last week that you’re 8, and even though you refused to let us sing “Happy Birthday” to you this morning. The force of your will is mighty, but I’m afraid it’s not strong enough yet to actually influence time.
The last 2 years have been nothing like I expected, and everything I ever wanted all at the same time. I am so in love with you. I love seeing the signs of the person you’re becoming. As you leave babyhood behind you, you are showing us more and more glimpses of a girl who is bright, funny, fun-loving, caring, and joyful. I am excited to find out what’s next for you.
You might be surprised to hear that, since lately things have been kind of difficult at our house. There is an undercurrent of change that is hard on everyone: in a few months, you’ll have a new brother or sister. At the same time, you’re learning to sleep in a big-girl bed and learning how to use the potty. You’re finding out that you have some control over the things that happen to you, and you’re trying to figure out what to do with that control. It’s a lot to deal with, and I want you to know that I understand when you get frustrated.
You need to know that your Daddy and I want you to be a strong, independent woman someday. It’s just that sometimes we also want you to just let us buckle you into the car seat already. That’s why we sometimes get frustrated with your experiments in self-determination — not because you shouldn’t express your opinions, but because we are still used to being parents of a baby who can’t make choices on her own.
We’ll learn together, Squirt. Bear with me.
In the meantime, please don’t grow up too fast. Don’t stop giving mid-air kisses with that audible “mwah!” sound, or trying to burrow your way into my chest when you’re tired or scared. Please still get excited about every puppy that passes our house. Don’t become too mature for rides up and down the hallway in a laundry basket, or to run around the house with your Hello Kitty hamper upside-down over your head. You can be a big girl and Mommy’s baby at the same time, OK?
Happy birthday, sweet girl. I love you.