Preface: The below reflections were originally written in April 2017. I managed to draft this and must have intended to include more and never got around to doing so. It’s been in drafts and I discovered it today as I was about to write about yet another birthday and another year of reflections. The below were my feelings and experiences with a two-year-old. As I publish this, it is now the eve of her third birthday! Looking through these images was a wonderful trip down memory lane and a realization at just how much she had developed, physically and intellectually in the past year. So much of the following passage still holds true, yet if I were to rewrite it with the past year’s experience and wisdom, there is so much more I’ve learned, or rather, she has taught me. For another post, I suppose…
May she always be the girl who is willing to say hi to a stranger (every stranger at the grocery store!), share smiles, offers hugs before judgments, lets her eyes give her away, laughs with her mouth wide open, wants to help in any way she can, appreciates getting her hands dirty, exhibits patience, politeness and kindness, and loves with her whole heart.
She has this wonderful spirit about her and if there is any way I can help her hold on to it as the years continue to fly by I’ll consider that one of my greatest achievements. Though, I don’t know that I can take any credit. The cosmic powers and assorted influences have aligned to gift my daughter with a friendly, outgoing, and honest personality. I love what I witness.
She loves her grandparents, animals, books, music, farm equipment, yogurt, Bubble Guppies, stuffed animals and baby dolls, playing pretend, “making food” in her kitchen, and digging in the dirt. The words are many and sentences are forming with greater clarity every day. The most adored words currently are “Thank you, Mama,” “Silly Daddy,” “I wanna play,” and “Hi Mama.” All said in a toddler voice so sweet and soft and lovely.
A year ago, on her first birthday, she measured 22.02 lbs (83%) and 32.75″ (100+%). (One-year blog post.) In the past 12 months she has grown 3.75″ making her 36.5″ and in the 97th percentile for height. While she is taller than most of the kids in her age range, she is no longer “off the charts,” so maybe she’s slowing down. Though it certainly doesn’t seem that way. She’s been holding steady at 28-29 lbs for a few months. Pants are a challenge as she needs the length of 3T-4T but the waist of a 2T. We appreciate the adjustable bands some brands offer.
So here is what I have learned in the past two years–I’m convinced she has taught me much more than I have taught her!
- The list of intentions grows faster than I’ll ever be able to overcome. I think we (moms) put pressure on ourselves to document everything, to make everything memorable, to create unique experiences. Most days there are just not enough hours or energy, or there are too many competing intentions.
- The Grandparents are harder to train than my toddler. The ‘grandparent entitlement’ is endearing as much as frustrating at times. Sneaking sweets and processed foods, giving in, too much screen time, skipping naps, etc. The individuals who were strict parents and enforced moderation, limitation, and discipline of their own children now are somehow incapable of doing the same to the next generation–for all the best-intended reasons.
- There is no time for hair and make-up. I spend less time on myself (contrary to my husband’s opinion) in order to get out the door with a youngin and all the necessities (perceived necessities) for said youngin. If it is a matter of she or I looking disheveled, I’ll take one for the team. A coat of mascara and ponytail is the new norm for this mama.
- Children do not know hate or judgment. They are taught these things. I think we all know this on some level but my daughter has exemplified this before my eyes and it offers hope in this scary world where hope seems lost more often than not.
- We live in a pretty rural and white community–diversity is lacking in these parts. The majority of people she interacts with look very similar to her. When we do meet people of different races and ethnic backgrounds she does not notice difference. In a world so full of judgment and hatred, I hope she’ll always be ‘color blind’.
- Perhaps less inspiring, she accepts me regardless of how I look. This may seem silly but there are days that I look in the mirror and am troubled by the reflection. My hair is a hot mess, the area under my eyes looks bruised, blemishes visit occasionally, and 37 isn’t as kind to me as 27 was. She doesn’t see any of that. She just sees me. And she accepts me just as I am.
She doesn’t care what style my hair is in or if I have makeup on or if my outfit matches. She certainly does not acknowledge the label on my clothes, how flawlessly makeup is applied (if it is applied) or if there are hairs out of place–or if those hairs are a shade of grey. Society has not yet taught her to look at a person and judge first before accepting or to determine worth based on someone’s appearance and wardrobe.