Two years ago, after two or three weeks of extremely frustrating prodromal labour, I woke up at 4:00 in the morning with the usual contractions, got up to walk around as always, then realized that finally, this was the real thing. Four hours later, we had a beautiful little daughter.
And then she turned one…
And now she is TWO!
She is a chipper, physical little girl who loves to climb and run and roll around. She enjoys singing, reading, colouring, playing with the wooden train set, pouring tea and making sandwiches for her toys, eating tomatoes and berries and carrots right out of the garden, and following her big brother around. She has taken to kissing things she loves, so she kissed her birthday balloons yesterday, and her pony figures before we went out shopping today, and drops random kisses on the cats when she feels like it. (I do that, too, so I can’t blame her. They are so soft, after all.) She kissed my spinning wheel goodnight for the first time tonight. I suspect this was a delaying tactic on the way to bed, rather than done out of love.
She has become fascinated with shadows over the past month. She always stops on the stairs going down to the family room and points out Mummy’s shadow, and then her own shadow. She also stops while going up the stairs to pat the new banister HRH put in, saying, “Daddy build!” (It’s a good thing she wasn’t really aware that HRH painted the stairwell the other day, otherwise there would have been a lot of washing of paint-smeared hands as she approved of his ongoing work.)
She has also become obsessed with pockets, tucking balls and wooden puzzle pieces and small toys into pockets belonging to other people. If she can’t find an actual pocket, she will tuck it into the waistband of your pants or down the front of your shirt. Sometimes when we call her, she stands up and a little cascade of tiny things fall out from under her own shirt, because she’d put them all in her own “pocket,” which means she stuffed them into the neckline of her top.
She is past thirty pounds, wears 3T tops and bottoms, size 5 disposable diapers at night, size L training pants, and size 6 to 7 shoes depending on the fit. Her curls are turning into true ringlets. HRH showed me how long her hair is when it’s wet, and it reaches down her back almost to the bottom of her shoulder blades! But curls being curls, they end up sproinging much, much shorter:
Big milestones this past month include cutting her bangs (both she and we were getting fed up with the ends in her eyes, so we trimmed them, and the curl makes them sproing up past eye level now), and turning her car seat around to face forward. I was ready to keep her facing the back — the research and safety ratings is more than convincing enough — but a friend mentioned turning their car seat around because there was a rear-facing weight limit of thirty pounds on it. Hmm, I thought, Owlet is awfully close to that; I should check, too. Lo and behold, our rear-facing weight limit was also thirty pounds, and when we weighed Owlet she was past that. So around it went, and she was very pleased indeed:
(Does anyone remember Sparky’s Calvin face, the weird twisted facial expression he’d give when you asked him to smile? Owlet has one, too. Whenever you ask her to smile, this is what she does:
We have to start telling her to look happy instead, as we did with Sparky.)
Dipping and licking are her newest food-related discoveries. She will eat through an alarming number of carrots if there is a dish of dip with them, and a small puddle of gravy on her plate sends her into a state of bliss. This also means that if you’re not paying attention, she will dip her fingers into your drink and lick them, then again and again until you catch her. I discovered this a couple of days ago when I had made myself a tea latte with vanilla syrup and frothed milk in it. HRH taught her how to eat Freezie-style juice popsicle this month, and now as soon as she sees someone with anything that remotely resembles one she says, “Lick? Lick?” Except she latches onto the popsicle and sucks it until all the flavouring is gone from the end, which isn’t exactly licking. But semantics aren’t big in a two-year-old’s world when juice pops are involved. She had blueberry iced tea from Davids Tea one day, too — the server thought she was cute, demanding sips of my little tea-of-the-day sample glasses, and he gave her a whole cup of the blueberry for free — and now she will pester me for “Tea? Tea? Ice tea? ICE TEA?”
She is currently crazy for beebugs (ladybugs) and bees (actual bees), so those are what HRH and I made to put on her birthday cupcakes:
I committed the cardinal sin of trying a new cake recipe for a birthday, which can always backfire, but I’m enshrining this one. The cupcakes were light but moist, and the flavour was great. HRH bought her a birthday balloon with ladybugs on it, too, and she was terribly excited. While shopping today I found a cup with a ladybug on it, so I picked it up for her and she was so excited at supper. (Consider that part of your birthday present to her, MLG!) Her party was lovely. We had family and godfamilies over, and my mother handled most of the food, bless her, with contributions from my mother-in-law, and the weather cooperated. We got to see people we hadn’t seen in person for ages.
As for our present to her, we were a little stumped for a while. She didn’t need anything; grandparents and godfamilies were covering little things she’d enjoy playing with, and we’re not fans of buying things for the sake of having something to give. And then I thought back to a wonderful, wonderful trip we took to Ottawa in late July, to meet two of my online friends who both had little girls who were born around when Owlet was. (They’re part of my brilliant online mums group, who all had babies due in July ’11.) Both the little girls wore amber necklaces, which are said to help soothe teething pain as well as providing other benefits (heck, I wore a large amber drop for over a year when my back was really bad just after I left retail and I was dealing with a lot of murky social interaction; it’s not like I don’t know the associated energies of the stone). There were play necklaces there, too, and Owlet had fun with those, as she doesn’t have play jewellery. So I thought that perhaps we could buy her an amber necklace. I asked her if she’d like that, and she considered it. “Like Sylvie and Audrey were wearing,” I added, and then she nodded very firmly. “Yes, please. Neckliss?” she said. So today after her nap we headed out to a local shop and looked at them. She chose a multicoloured one right away, over the lemon or cherry amber. “This! This neckliss, Mummy. For me. My neckliss.” She picked another one up and held it out to me, and said, “Mummy neckliss? Too?” I am not one to refuse amber (ever), so we found a Mummy-length one in the same multicoloured amber as hers, and we bought the two. And when we got home we both put them on and looked in the mirror together, and she was very happy indeed. She took it off for a bit, but then she asked to put it back on. She was unhappy when we said she had to take it off at bedtime (it was just a bit too long for our comfort level, and we didn’t want her chewing it), but I found a special little dish for her to put it in and we promised she could put it on again first thing in the morning. After HRH read to her I went in for my little cuddle, and she fussed at my necklace, wanting hers on again, but I took mine off and put it with her necklace, promising her that she could put it on for me when she put hers on the next day.
I had an ulterior motive for acquiescing to the matching necklaces. Tomorrow morning Owlet has her very first half-day at daycare, or “cool,” as she calls it. I wanted her to have something from me that she could see in a mirror or touch, and remember that I had one, too, and that when I touched mine or saw it I would be thinking of her as well.
She is terribly excited about “cool.” She has asked at least once a day to go for the past two weeks, sometimes going so far as to put on her hat and get her bunny and stand at the front door before asking. Her little head and shoulders would droop with disappointment when I’d tell her no, not today, there were still however many days to go until the big day. “Oh,” she would say, her little voice echoing with the pathos of crushed hopes and dreams. But tomorrow is the big day at last, and I was excited as I packed her bag tonight. I’m a little worried about the nap issue, but we won’t address that till Wednesday since they’re only doing the half-day tomorrow. She’s attending part-time, and normally she’d go on Tuesday, but she has a doctor’s appointment that day and so she’s going tomorrow as an exception.
Recently she’s had some hard nights. Her two-year-old molars are doing their thing, and sometimes it’s just difficult to fall asleep. The other night I was in her room cuddling her, and then I stood up to put her back in bed. She clasped her arms around my neck and swayed back and forth, mumbling something as she did. It took me a moment to understand her. She was saying, “I love you and love you; and love you and love you; and love you and love you.” It’s from the end of Night-Night, Little Pookie by Sandra Boynton, and it just about made my heart explode. I teared up as I kissed her curls, and I whispered, “I love you and love you, too.”
Because who can’t love this character?