Thursday, March 25, 2010

Letter to Layla at 2 1/2 Years Old

My Daring Little LaylaBug,

So in 3 days you'll be two and a half and boy is that evident in the way you act. Terrible two's aren't actually terrible though. I think they should rename them Testing 2's being as you try to get away with everything you know you shouldn't at least 2 times a day. You are the child that doesn't care about impending punishment, it just doesn't phase you enough to make whatever it is not worth it most of the time. You don't like thinking people are mad at you, that will make you cry. But, that's about it.

You are a child of high spirit. You are usually happy and by happy I do mean over the top zealous for life happy. When you are not happy though you tend to throw the biggest tantrums known to man...which I am told is part of that 2 year old thing. You are very sensitive to the emotions of others and usually get upset if someone else is upset. You are also very very stubborn just like both Mommy and at least we can relate to you.

You love to dance... to anything... the radio, movies, songs you make up and sing to yourself. You love to repeat your ABC's and count things. You love to sing parts of songs you've learned from your favorite movies (currently you do a smashing version of Super Trouper from Mama Mia and a lovely C is for Cookie because we like to mix things up around here). I actually think 90% of your current rapidly increasing vocabulary is from a love of music and nothing else. While you'll learn words because you want things and you're smart... you'll learn entire phrases from a song in moments.

You have an undescribable knack for finding ways into things you shouldn't have access to. You can open, climb, and contort yourself into the strangest places. This is especially entertaining because you are fearless so hiding in a closet, writhering under a bed or standing on your tip toes at the very top of a chair while reaching with both hands and holding on to doesn't bother you one bit.

While Daddy and I sometimes make you stop your wild and carefree antics for your safety it has become clear that we will not be helicopter parenting you. This is evident by the fact that several times a week we have to remind a Grammi and/or tell a store clerk or stranger that you will not and do not fall while doing daring stunts. In fact, you usually only hurt yourself when you're being absent minded and trip on something random. You have yet to hurt yourself jumping of stairs two at a time, tumbling over objects, balancing on the back of furniture or otherwise testing the faint of heart with your adrenaline issues.

Other things that you are passionate about right now include but are not limited to...chocolate in any form, pepsi with ice (which you steal when we aren't looking), running and jumping into people's chairs to take their seats before they can sit down, drawing with markers, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (which has lead to a love of polka dot dresses- which you call Minnie Dresses), going for rides in the car, baths with bubbles, getting away with murder while you are with Nannie and last but not least dogs.

In fact you are so in love with the concept of a dog that you pretend to be one. You point them out on the side of the road. You ask to touch every one that gets close to you. You watch movies about them. You play with stuffed ones. You have an excellent lone wolf howl and a decent bark and pant down for pretend play. You also rock a game of fetch.

You have picked certain things that you associate with people and love doing only with them. You like to walk holding hands with Daddy in public places, you like playing with him at the park and sitting just like him (right as close as you can get to him) on the couch to watch movies. You are a HUGE daddy's girl and are overjoyed whenever he comes home from work. You like to cook with Mommy, I set you on the counter and mix/stir/make chaos all while yelling "cooking" over and over. In fact, you get quite upset when I don't let you cook with me so I am always looking for something you can help with. You also like to play with playdough and color with Mommy. We spend a lot of time color small bits of each page of a coloring book. You've developed skills already which rocks. You color parts of things now and I can tell your working on it. You have a special place in your heart for Nannie, probably because she lets you play in the car, never says no and has a lot of access to sweets but... Mommy tries not to bias... with Nannie you spend a lot of time getting horsie rides on her legs, climbing all over her and directing her through games that only you and her understand which usually involve playing with something that is not normally a toy (like an umbrella or a hair clip).
Other things of note, you have better hand eye coordination than most kids I know. You can eat with a fork or spoon without issue, you can pour liquids, spoon solids and use tongs. You have excellent balance but also great stamina for running (even with Asthma and cat allergies). You can throw a ball and almost always hit where you are aiming. When you try you can catch things. You kick in a straight line.
You have come back to sleeping in our bed after almost a year of sleeping in your bed in your room. This transition happened when at Thanksgiving/Christmas everyone was sick, and you were going to preschool (which gave you a ton of anxiety) and to top things off we got new ghetto neighbors behind us that make a lot of noise. You will nap in your room if we ask you to but you have no interest in sleeping there at night and react to it as if we were asking you to sleep outside alone. Mommy doesn't like that it scares you so you've been permited to sleep in our bed until further notice. Perhaps we'll work on potty training first...that seems like more fun...NOT.
Two has been such a wonderful age to know you. Mommy hopes that she can remember the great parts forever. The way you show affection with big open armed hugs, the way you pucker up for kisses and then turn away and laugh at the last minute, the way you fill with joy jumping on the bed or the way you melt into the pillows when you fall all the way asleep. I hope that I can always remember the way your eyes sparkle when you're excited about seeing Daddy and the way you giggle with all of your soul.
And I hope that some of the things that are true about you now stay with you forever. I hope that you stay vibrant and confident. I hope that you remain full of life and willing to love without limitations. I hope that you always know you are safe where we are and that no matter what we will always love you...because how could we not... you are perfect just as God gave you to us.

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