Dear Little Elephant,
Two years ago today, at three am, I awoke with my water breaking. I wasn’t sure it was real, that a few hours later I would be holding you in my arms to nurse. Now, two years later, you are an independent, smart, opinionated, stubborn little person– but I still love cuddling you up close, allowing you to nurse, and holding you in my arms. Your smell has changed. How you ask to be cuddled has changed ( now you do it with words, “Mommy! Cuddle!”). The shape of your face has changed. My love for you will never change.
You, my dear, are a social butterfly! You have no fear of strangers. You love being with friends. You thrive groups. For your birthday party, we invited five of your closest friends, all two and under, over to finger paint. You love to finger paint; but this time you played with your friends. You particularly like putting your hand print on their diaper or backside. What a mess! And yet,what a wonderful, wonderful way to celebrate two years.
Lisa, our nanny, says that you are the newspaper of the neighborhood. Every day when I come home, we go upstairs for “Milk” and you tell me what everyone is up to. So-and-so poops. So-and-so upa table. Trucks. So-and-so pushed. Little elephant pool. Swim. Cheerios and strawberry. By the end of your discussion, I know all of the comings and goings of the day.
Two days before your birthday, while cuddling on the couch with books, in the wee hours of the morning while Daddy slept, you announced, “I love you”. My eyes filled with tears at these words coming from your mouth for the first time. It’s not like I don’t know it. You say it with your actions, running to me hen I come home from work, hugs and kisses not asked for, inventing boo-boos for me to kiss, the way you smile when you look up at me while nursing. I know it. But hearing the words… Sheer joy. And then you said it in Spanish too!
You are developing the concept of “mine”. Luckily, at he same time, you are practicing the concept of turns. At the park, you announce X turn now, Y turn now, to keep everyone in line. Sharing can be hard, but your are generally good. You do, however, have a sense of fairness. Th girls up the road who don’t hare well- you don’t like sharing with them. The twins you play with at the park every night- sometimes you don’t want to, but you do always share with them.
There are two boys in the neighborhood that you spend your days with. Twins, a girl and boy, you wait or everyday after dinner. When the twins are coming,you yell “A coming! O coming! Stroller! Yay!” You are liberal with your kisses and the most vocal of the group. Sometimes, with M, you run and and hand.
You are the only kid on the planet who likes time out. First of all, Olivia, the pig, has time out. Second, time out is a moment to cuddle with Mama, talk about your feelings, or have Mama explain he myriad reasons people get sad or angry. It is okay to get sad or angry, we just need to work on constructive ways to express these emotions. You like talking about feelings because you worry when other kids cry. You often ask or posit why so-and-so is crying. You like to give hugs and kisses to make their pain go away.
I suppose I should have expected it, but you have started to throw tantrums. We keep repeating that you need to use your words. I love the idea that’s won’t ave to guess at hat is ailing you. The other day, you wanted milk. I was carrying you up stairs to our glider, but not fast enough. You were wailing! Finally, t the ends of frustration, you used your words: “Mommy. Little elephant crying!”
Your vocabulary is growing I all three languages. In fact, because of you, I can say “bugger” in Albanian. A current fun sampling of your words/phrases includes:
- mommy no want that
- mommy hold that Pooh.
- tiger jump.
- kiss boo boo
- change ( meaning need new diaper)
- more milk!
- flours! (when you want to get flour for pancakes)
- Shoes off! Socks off! Shoes back on now!
- Yay stroller!
My dear little elephant. You make every day fuller, every moment more joyful. Like the line in one of your favorite books. “You know, you wear me out, but I love you anyways”. And I do. Each and every moment. Forever and ever.