20 months is ridiculous. First of all, let’s talk about how you’re almost two. Actually, no. Let’s totally not talk about that. It seems so trite and cliche to repeatedly mention how quickly time is passing, how you’re growing up so fast. But it echos through my heart all throughout the day and I’m trying so hard to remember to stop, collaborate and listen. Oh wait no, that’s not me. That’s Vanilla Ice.
I do have a constant refrain in my mind telling me to stop. To lift my hands from the keyboard and turn the pages of your book to read yet another story because I don’t want to miss a thing. Obviously I have a lot in common with Aerosmith. And also by the time you’re old enough to read this, you’ll know that when it comes to randomly inserting song lyrics in conversations I just completely can’t help myself.
Yesterday I put your hair in pigtails for the first time. Because you were on TPN for so long in the NICU, it affected your bones and your teeth and your hair and so you don’t have very much of it. Hair that is. I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for it to be long enough for me to put in tiny little pigtails and then after I finished yesterday and you ran to the mirror to see, excitedly pointing at yourself I thought “NO! I AM AGAINST PIGTAILS BECAUSE NOW YOU LOOK LIKE A LITTLE GIRL!” I restrained myself from removing them since you were admiring them and also because I thought that might make me a bit dramatic but I admit to not minding at all when they fell out later that day.
I’m always a bit emotional when it comes to you. I look at you hurtling yourself towards life and love and my eyes glisten and I just think “Look at you. LOOK AT YOU.”
We’ve been working a bunch on your fine motor skills. It was months and months ago that we started working in therapy about putting things IN but all you wanted to do was take things OUT. And by “take things out” I mean run into a room and start throwing things out of a drawer like a little Tasmanian devil. All of the sudden the concept of IN clicked for you and the good news is that you are mastering things like your shape sorter. The bad news is that we can’t find anything in this house.
At the end of the day I’ll walk by your pack in play and find no less than thirty different, random items you’ve collected along your travels of our house during the day and thrown in there. I’ll open the refrigerator to grab some salad dressing and am met by an assortment of brightly colored balls from your ball pit. The other day I found Elmo in one of my pasta pots and last night we spent forever looking for one of your flip flops. I found it in my desk drawer this morning.
Your daddy asked me if I’d seen something the other day. “Did you look in the bathtub?” I asked him. “Why would it be in the-oh. Scarlette?” he said. “You just better hope it’s not in the toilet” was my reply.
You talk all the time. All. The. Time. You probably get that from your father. Just kidding. You have your own little Scarlette-speak language and we keep talking about how one day when you say real words and things like “pronunciation” matter we’re going to be a little sad. Because you are seriously cute.
Going to the store with me is one of your favorite things and every person that passes us gets a wave and a “Hi!” from you. And once they walk by you turn to me and say “Where’d da go? Where’d da go?” And forget about walking down any aisle with shoes or princesses or sparkly accessories. You go into an utter fit when we walk down the jewelry aisle at Target. You start bouncing up and down in your seat frantically pointing at everything while yelling “OOOOO! YOOK A DA! WHOA YOOK A DA! WOW YOOK A DA!” (translation: “look at that”) and then people give you things like balloons and cookies because they can’t resist your cuteness either.
Or, if they do resist your cuteness and refuse to say “Hi” back to you, I am overcome with a desire to rush over to them while removing my earrings and being all “Um hi. My child is speaking to you. How dare you not engage her! Do you want to fight?! Do you?! Because I could totally take you!”
Every morning you stand beside me while I get ready and methodically take all of my makeup out of the drawer. You brush your hair, put pretend blush on your face and ask me for lotion, which you then gleefully rub all over your belly. I bought you Christmas presents the other day and I picked up a couple of items just because I know you will love them (see: play tiaras) and realized that you have so much personality.
You’re picking up things so quickly. The other day I handed you the bubble wand and after just a few “don’t eat it!” warnings because you love putting anything but food in your mouth, you figured out how to blow. Well, you’ll dip the wand in the bubbles and then sort of spit at it. And I realize that every other child in the world has done this same exact thing, pursed their lips and furrowed their brow and tried to blow a bubble. I do realize that.
But sitting there watching you do it, surrounded by iridescent shimmers against a sunset backdrop? It doesn’t feel that way. It feels new and sacred and beautiful and I can hear myself talking annoyingly about how sweet you are and how smart you are and how just look at you but I can’t seem to stop the words from tumblingly forth because my cup is overflowing.
I love you punkin pie,