My darling girl,
You are 2 1/2 years old, my sweet, and the light of my life. Each morning you come bounding into our bedroom, generally not long after 6 am, announcing quite loudly "I'm HERE!" (you certainly are) or "I'm AWAKE!" (and now so are the rest of us). You greet the day full of sunshine, even on the grayest of days. This is in direct contrast to how you usually wake from your 2-hour afternoon nap, when you are decidedly grumpy, but sometimes also drowsy and cuddly, melting into me in that delicious way of a child. On the other hand, you might wake up and melt down over a minute detail of your existence that isn't to your liking... one never knows.
You are now quite articulate and continually surprise me with the words and concepts you understand, especially since you absorb so much at nursery that your world-view extends far beyond what I expect. You are developing a sense of humour, and are tickled by absurdity. The other day, Daddy was explaining to you that the tall bamboo in our garden is actually a type of grass, and you giggled mightily that he could say something so ridiculous. I'm amused by the courage of your convictions. "What colour is the sky?" Daddy asks on murky, rainy day. "Blue!" you exclaim confidently. "That's not blue, that's gray," we assert. "No," you say seriously, "That's blue," and dare us to disagree.
You are independent and fearless at nursery, standing your ground in the minor disputes that occur among children but rarely, if ever, acting the aggressor. You simply won't stand for interference. Speaking of nursery, I'm pleased that you enjoy your time there so much. Each morning when we arrive you shrug off your jacket and throw yourself into a cuddle with one or another of the staff that are so charmed by you, or run off to play with your friends, all without a backwards glance for me. "Say good-bye to Mummy," the staff entreat, but you never do because you are already absorbed in your world there, which doesn't include me. On the other hand, your enthusiastic greeting of "MUMMY!!" when I arrive to pick you up warms my heart, and you're so excited to share with me what you are doing at the time.
You are sometimes a bossy little thing. "Sit down, Mummy." "Cross your legs, Mummy." "Like this, Mummy." "You don't go get it, Mummy. I'm going to get it!" You are stern and serious in these commands and sometimes it is deeply important that you are obeyed. Perhaps I haven't done you any favours by acquiescing when it matters little to me to do so as that does mean that you can be terribly offended at the times I refuse to comply with your orders. Sometimes I simply get a strict, "I'm. Not. Happy." Sometimes you cry like I've broken your heart, and it breaks mine a little too.
Other times you are deliciously sweet. We play a game where you stand in a corner, lining up a run like a gymnast. Then I throw my arms wide and you charge across the room toward me, collapsing into my arms and laying your head on my shoulder. Then I stroke your back and you stroke mine too. Sometimes you murmur into my neck, "I love you mummy" and I'm reminded that I can't and don't tell you often enough how very much I love you. And I do, baby girl; I love you with the heat of a thousand suns...
...And with all my heart,