You’ve just turned two. You are amazing.
The last time I sat down to write you a letter, you hadn’t yet taken your first steps. Now you run and jump and dance and climb (and hit and bite and scratch, but we won’t talk about that). You are so fast. Sometimes you hold your arms out behind you and run with your head down, because that’s what you think a butterfly looks like, and you want to be a butterfly. Sometimes you put a toy or a napkin between your legs and shout “neigh!” and stumble around until it drops because you imagine yourself riding a horse.
I was worried, when you were born, that you might be overshadowed by your big sister. She takes up so much energy and attention, but you assert yourself and make sure you get your share. “Look me! Look me!” you call, always wanting to show us something new. “Mama, put phone away,” you tell me when I’m distracted. You love for us to watch you and you love to show off, spinning in circles and running fast. You’re an artist too, and you proudly present me with your scribbles, which you always describe as a snake, a duckling, or an airplane. That’s what those lines look like in your eyes, and, at least with the snake, you are somewhat accurate.
You and Wildling are not just sisters now, but friends as well. Did you hear Wildling last night when I asked her who was her best friend? She immediately pointed to you. You are the Starling to her Robin, the Orko to her Teela, and the Anna to her Elsa. You never picked those roles (and you aren’t too happy about being Orko ; “No, Wi-wi, no, two Teelas! Both Teela!”), but you follow along because you love to play with her. I see how you watch your sister and follow in her footsteps. Sometimes I wish you didn’t, like when she won’t try a new food and says “blech” and you immediately push the food away, even if you’ve already eaten and enjoyed it, and you say “blech” too. I wish you wouldn’t listen to her when she tells you there’s a ghost in the room and it’s going to chomp you up, though technically you don’t really listen, since you’ve developed a fear of goats coming into our house to devour you.
You are fiercely independent, and that drives your papa and I crazy sometimes, but we also love it. I love that you get into the car by yourself (except on days we’re running late, and then I am frustrated with you) and insist on buckling your own chest strap. I love that I can tell you to go get dressed and a few minutes later you walk out of your room fully clothed. Granted, your shirts and pants are often inside out and backwards, and sometimes I’m confused by the number of layers you’re wearing. Fashion tip: You don’t need a diaper and panties and pants and shorts and a skirt and a dress all at the same time. It’s a bit much.
Sometimes you smile and say “love mama,” and I don’t know if you understand what love is or if you’re just repeating something you’ve heard, but I don’t care, it makes my heart melt and I love you, too.
Happy birthday, Mellow. You just keep getting better and better.