Monday, June 6, 2016

And she's TWO!

There is no better occasion to return to this place of memories than a birthday. Two. Two years since we became a family of five. Two years since they placed our third baby girl into our arms. Two years since the big girls became the big girls. Two. years. old.

Dear, sweet Anna baby... you are a walking, non-stop talking, never-a-dull-moment, notice-everything, engaged-with-life toddler. You wake up with a "Momma, come get the baby!!!" (often referring to yourself as "the baby", much as we still do), followed by "Hey Daddy! Whatcha doin? You shaving?", and then "Good morning, Abby! Good morning, Elise! May I come sit with you in the green chair?". Next it's "Momma, I'm HUNGRY! Can I have a waffle?" and "Look! I have a teeny tiny blueberry". You stopped a stranger on the street, asked her what was in the to-go box she was carrying, and when she told you it was a slice of pie, you're face lit up as you said "Ohhhh, that will be SO delicious!". This stranger then gave you her fresh piece of pie because she was overwhelmed with your response. You walked to the car, carrying the box, saying "Momma, let's go home and eat some pie!". 

Your manners are often pristine, very carefully enunciating "May I have another peanut butter cracker PLEASE" or "Excuse me, Grandpa" (squeezing past to throw away a kleenex) and "When you're done, would you please read a book to me?". You LOVE storytime at the library, galavanting through the house saying "I'm dancing about Michael... I'm so excited about Michael" at the mere mention. Your first toddler mommy-and-me dance class at the Art Center has been a treat, watching you share, participate, take turns, and squirrel around like the "goof goof baby" that you are! (That's what Abby calls you). 

I couldn't choose a favorite food for you because you happily eat it all - just in the past month you FINALLY took a liking to avocado, which makes this momma so relieved. 

You answer nearly all questions with "how come?", such as "Anna, let's put jammies on!"... "How come?"... "Anna, it's time to come to the table!"... "How come?"... "Anna, go pick out two books to read!"... "How come?". Get the idea? Your other favorite phrase is "But how can we do that?" as in "Anna, have good manners for momma while we change your diaper"... "But how can we do that?". It's really quite hard to keep a serious face when you put it that way. ;) 

After a bout with the stomach flu, you had a little lego bird upside down in a little lego bucket, saying "Look! He's getting all the yuckies out of his mouth!". You picked up two stomach bugs just 6 weeks apart, which we didn't see coming as it had been at least 6 months since you'd even had a runny nose. You managed to find the humor in the situation by cracking yourself (and us) up with "Hey Daddy! Knock knock?"... and your punch line response to "Who's there?"  was "PUKE"! During the second round of stomach stuff (23 months old) you got a taste of your first screen time - one episode of Sesame Street. In two years, you have had less than two hours TOTAL of any kind of screen time. I feel so strongly that your ability to play, interact, self-entertain, and communicate are very much a result of that parenting choice. Clearly, like your sisters, you are handling the screen time deprivation just fine. ;) 

You love books, your felt board, coloring, playing with little tiny toys, destroying arranging the dollhouses, watering and rearranging your fairy gardens, building with blocks, drawing with chalk on the driveway, riding in the stroller while I run, snuggling up and reading books with Daddy, dancing and dressing up with Abby and Elise... You are easy to entertain and so very, very entertaining. 

We find ourselves often stifling laughter when you do get angry: if we ask you to clean up, you might drop your toy on the floor, give us your best scowl, and say "She threw it on the floor", again, referring to yourself as "she". More recently, you've become rather fond of the phrase "I will not" instead of just saying "no". Again, quite polite and proper but it is a treat when you say "I will" instead. I thank you for deferring to the serious, silent anger rather than a tantrum. 

A recent conversation between the two of us will forever hold it's place in my mommy memories. 

Me: "Anna, what does Daddy say to you?"
Anna: in a deep Daddy voice "Good night, sleep tight"
Me: "What does Abby say to you?"
Anna: "Good night Anna banana"
Me: "What does Elise say to you?"
Anna: "Good night Anna banana"
Me: "What does Momma say to you?"
Anna: "Goodnight... LAY DOWN!"

I've made a conscientious effort since to silently tuck you back in on those nights when your legs are flailing about through the crib, banging against the wall while you sing yourself to sleep... You love to sing "Mr. Sun" and "The Pina Colada Song" (yes, the one about being caught in the rain).

The relationship between you, Abby, and Elise is amazing. I want you to know that, at two years, your big sisters NEVER get upset with you. And do you know why? Because the second you turn on the tears, any impending battle instantly ends. Abby swoops in at the slightest whimper or reprimand to rescue you. As fast as she might have withheld a prized possession from you, she hands it right over if you show signs of distress. Elise, on the other hand, may not be your knight in shining armor, but if I had a dollar for every time she approaches you and says "Do you know what I need?", which is her way of asking for a squeeze... The mutual love and adoration between you and "the big girls" is just. the. best. 

I referred to you over the weekend as our "grand finale" and you treat everyday as if it is so incredibly grand. We couldn't have a better finale for our five! Happy Birthday, Anna!

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