You are two and a quarter today, and as I sit down to write this I am listening to you sing a lullaby to your Little People, 15 or so of whom are tucked into bed with you for "Quiet Time." We had to start calling it Quiet Time instead of Nap Time, because the mere mention of a nap causes you to flip out, bounce off the ceiling, and insist that you have never been tired once in your entire life. If I tell you be quiet and rest, however, most of the time you manage to drop off for two hours or more. We'll see how it goes with the Little People - if they fall asleep first, you may follow suit.
So much has happened since I last wrote to you that I am going to try to cover the big events in order. First, we moved into our new house. You handled the whole thing brilliantly, delighted in packing and unpacking, fell in love with your new big room and new big yard and possibly even more in love with your dedicated playroom where Mama sometimes lets you go days at a time without picking up a single carefully-strewn toy. For a long time, you called this house "Mia's New House" and we talked a lot about "Mia's Old House." We've been to visit the old house several times, at your request, but you haven't asked to go in weeks, even when I know you know we are driving right past it. Perhaps most telling, you now call the new house simply "Mia's House" or "home." I think we can call that a successful transition, and one you handled with your usual good nature.
You also found out that you are going to be a big sister, that hiding somewhere in Mama's tummy is a baby brother whom we are not going to name Rocket no matter how much you beg. You are owning the big sister thing. You tell everyone you meet that you are a big sister, you talk to the baby and give him hugs and kisses and milk and granola and peanuts and strawberries. (We're going to have to talk about some of that once the kid actually arrives.) You give him band-aids to make him feel better and check with me to make sure he isn't hungry or crying. I love how sweet and generous and caring you prove yourself to be every day, and I just hope that you will be as happy with the new baby once he is born as you are now.
On the toddler milestone front, you moved into a big girl bed a couple of weeks ago without a peep or protest. More accurately, you adore it. You are incredibly proud of your new bed, love the power of being able to climb in and out on your own and to get to any toys that are left there in the morning without getting Mama to help. You are sleeping very well in your new bed and have yet to get out on your own because you know that Mama and Dada told you not to. You also peed in the potty for the first time a week and a half ago. We haven't had a repeat performance, but it was proof that the day is coming and is probably closer than we think.
On the person milestone front, you talk a blue streak - entire conversations that I frequently can't believe I'm having with a two year old. You go on kicks, one day is an anatomy kick and we spend the day naming all the parts of our bodies (and those of cats and dogs and fish and frogs) and the next day is a person kick where we talk about everyone you know and love and where they live and what they might be doing right at that very moment. You talk well enough that you no longer have to cry to express yourself. You just come out and tell me if you are scared or hungry or angry or happy. Not tired though, never tired.
You love the moon, funny clowns, all animals, babies, peanut butter, chocolate milk, and the idea of ice cream, candy and cookies, but when given the opportunity never want to actually eat them. You dress yourself, brush your own teeth and hair, take on and off your own shoes, climb into and out of the car on your own, close your own straps in your car seat, and insist on getting the newspaper every morning and opening and closing the garage door each and every time it needs to be done. You have a huge and active imagination and like to tell elaborate stories and make up intricate games. You love music, whether at our weekly music class or playing your "trumpet" (really a yellow recorder) or harmonica or jamming with Dada in the basement.
You have discovered your independence, and with it your defiance and a bit of a naughty side. You have realized that rules can be challenged, and so can Mama. It doesn't happen often, but when the situation warrants you can throw a tantrum that seems likely to tear a hole in the very fabric of the universe. You are learning to argue, to bargain, to compromise, and to contradict me. In short, you are doing everything exactly as you should and even when I really want you to just put your shoes on already so we can go, I am happy and proud to see you developing your own opinions and personality. You come from a long line of strong-minded women, and I expect nothing less of you.
My love, I admit there are some days when I don't know whether to scream or cry and those days are hard on both of us, but I spend most days laughing with you and at you and enjoying all the little bits of you. I am so fortunate to be your mother and I am grateful for it with every breath and every heartbeat, and even in those times when I'm wishing it were legal to lock you in the garage for a couple of hours.