My Char Char baby,

I’m writing this three days before your actual birthday because the next few days will be full of celebrations for you and I’ll never find the time.  You are TWO my baby girl!  How did this happen so quickly?  The changes you’ve made from year one to year two are astounding.  For one, your hair is finally starting to grow to an acceptable length that is almost out of your eyes.  You know if you just kept the clip in that mama tries to put in every single day you’d never have to push the hair out of your eyes.  Maybe by year three we’ll keep the clip in?

You can’t possibly imagine how much I love to hear you talk.  The new words you say every day constantly make me laugh.  When you hand me your empty bottle of milk and say “empee!”  or when you see me with my coffee mug and grab yours and say “cawpee!”  The way you grab me and say “come mama, sit!” when I get home from work.  How you call bananas “bun” and pretzels “petz.”  The games you love to play with me and your daddy.  “Mama, dada, seep!” as you tuck us in and scare us awake.  The way you memorize every Mickey Mouse Clubhouse episode and follow along.  How you still love Pete, but now say his name correctly instead of calling him “Pee.”  Every time you open that little mouth and words come out my heart is so full.

You’ve gotten so much more independent this year.  Everything is “I do! I do!” even if you can’t really do it yet.  You love to feed yourself yogurt even though you make a god awful mess.  You love to watch me cook and try to do it yourself with a pot and spoon on the floor.  I love watching your little mind work as you put things together.  You’ve become an expert at opening the lid of the toilet and throwing anything and everything inside the bowl.  I think we should stop this now, but that’s just me.

I love teaching you new things this year.  Teaching you shapes and colors and songs and having you actually remember the information.  Teaching you numbers even though you always skip one here or there.  Teaching you how to say please and thank you, even though all you’ll say is thank you.  “Gank oo!”  It is adorable and I smile so hard every time I hear you say it.

But really my sweet Charlie girl, in your two years here you have actually taught me more than I have taught you.  Every day you teach me patience.  You have shown me that the less I try to control, the better.  You teach me how to be present in the moment instead of trying to do a million other things.  You teach me what it means to really, truly smile and really, truly laugh.  You teach me that love is a verb.  You teach me that there is nothing better on this earth than the sweet sloppy kisses of a toddler.  You teach me that my  reality with you is better than any of the expectations I ever had.  You teach me that it is possible to continue living without sleeping.

You’ll never be able to understand the joy you have brought to me and your whole family.  There aren’t enough words to even describe it.  Everyone loves you so, so much.  You are beautiful, but more importantly, you are smart and you are tough.  I’ve never seen a kid run head first into a wall on purpose and shout “I’m OK!”  You love to run and play which makes me feel better about the TV we let you watch.  I apologize now if it somehow damages you in the future, but it is a lifesaver for the both of us.

These two years haven’t always been the easiest my girl.  There were days when you would cry and I would cry.  There were days when I would count down the minutes until I could toss you in bed.  But I wouldn’t change our two years together for anything in the world.  You are my life.  You are my sun and moon and stars (one day you’ll get this reference when you watch the greatest show on television, Game of Thrones, when you are much, much older).  Maybe I would change a few of those sleepless nights, but really even then it just gave us more time to spend together.  I love you my girl.  I can’t wait to see what the next year brings us.

Happy (early) birthday to you my sweet Char Char baby.  I can’t wait to celebrate you!

 

(Side note: Shouldn’t we also celebrate ME on her birthday? I did all the damn work.)

 

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