I wrote this letter at the end of February, but then saved it to add photos to later. But once the flu and ear infection hit our house, it was all but forgotten until today when I unearthed it. I still don't have the time to add photos, but here's Edie's 2.5 year letter, as is.
You are two and a half years old this week and this milestone seems worthy of a letter. The months are passing quicker than ever and I don't want to forget the little things that make this time so amazing/challenging/special/exhausting/hilarious.
Living with you at this age is a little bit like sharing a house with a really adorable bipolar monkey with selective deafness and authority issues. You say the most charming and hilarious things at two and a half - just today you were parading around with your green blanket tied around your waist saying, "This is my ball gown. I'm going to the royal ball." When asked what you planned to do at The Ball, your reply was, "Kick it (presumably "the royal ball") to my friend Cinderella!" A month or two ago, you were drawing with a ball point pen, furiously scribbling fine lines all in a tight corner of a large piece of paper. Your Dad complimented you by saying, "I like all the detail here in the corner." You practically sighed and rolled your eyes, explaining, "That's not detail Dad, it's spiderwebs."
You have entered a "why" phase so extreme this last month or so that it almost seems a parody of the real thing. I wasn't expecting the relentless "whys" this early in the game and I frequently have no response other than exhausted and defeated laughter. Because seriously Edie, sometimes there is no answer to the question "why?" A sample conversation will go like this:
Edie: Mom, is that your book?
Me: Because that's the book I'm reading for book club
Edie: Yeah, why?
Me: Because everyone voted and choose this book
Me: It was everyone's favorite?
Me: Lots of reasons.
Me: (screaming inside, laughing on the outside) Just because honey, just because.
Edie: But why?
Now multiply this conversation times eleventy billion and that's how many times we do this per day. Jen, who runs your daycare says you've taught all the other kids this new habit. Sometimes it works to turn the game back on you, but not always. I will often answer by saying, "Why do YOU think?" and I'm frequently surprised by the number of times you are able to stay on subject and continue the line of questioning with YOU as the interviewer. One time I even responded to your why question with, "Why did you ask why?" just to see what would happen and you answered, "I don't know Mom, why?"
'Somewhere Out There' from the 1986 classic film, American Tail has become your anthem. You have the entire thing memorized and love to watch the song on Youtube while singing along. Anytime you hear a ballad-type song you like on the radio, you ask, "Mom? Can I sing Somewhere Out There?" as if to compete with the singer on the radio. Other musical interests include James Brown's 'Ants in my Pants', Lisa Loeb's 'Big Rock Candy Mountain', anything by Feist or Adele and Elvis' singing 'Lucky Penny'.
You've been sleeping in a twin bed since late January and truthfully, it hasn't gone very well. Things seem to have leveled out now, but the transition combined with a variety of cold and flu season type illnesses really disrupted your sleep. For a while I was certain you were having nightmares and wondered whether they were associated with the new bed, but after re-reading the Ferber sleep book that helped us so much when you were a baby I discovered that nightmares don't occur during the 10:30-11:30pm time frame during which the bulk of your upsetting awakenings were happening. It turned out to be a sleep phase transition thing, likely triggered by the new bed and illness and has finally tapered off in the last few weeks.
You are now fully potty trained; we haven't bought diapers in a while now and it is FANtastic. You were very quick to take to potty training - after the first 2 weeks you've really only had 1 accident and it was waiting in line for the potty at daycare. A week or two ago we ran out of pull ups for bedtime and decided to just go with it - you've been dry at night ever since and only once or twice have you asked to use the bathroom in the middle of the night.
You gave up your high chair and then your booster seat months ago, preferring to sit in a regular chair for all your meals.
You just had your second ear infection since December. It seems like most of your colds do tend to end in ear infections but your doctor recently said we've made it through the worst and advised against having tubes put in your ears - cue sigh of relief.
You are showing interest in the very early stages of literacy. You memorize your favorite books very quickly and recite them while running your finger along the words as if you're really reading them. You are also very interested in what words "start with" - frequently asking out of nowhere, "Mom - what starts with Dad?" and then clarifying, "What letter does Dad start with?" When you ask this question, I always suggest we sound the word out to guess and you love "sounding words out" with me. If the word you're asking about happens to start with P, T, D, or B you can always guess it after I make the first "sound" in the word. I know every parent thinks that their child is brilliant, and really, they all are - but I do find that your language skills are particularly impressive. You whip words out (in context) that surprise strangers in public places - words like disgusting, glimpse, fascinating, delicious, interesting... and not only that, but your pronunciation is almost always impeccable, so strangers rarely have any difficulty catching your meaning.
For all your brilliance it's only fair that I say how incredibly stubborn, temperamental, and bossy you are right now. You say things that are funny, but super rude all the time.
"I don't want this cake! It's rotten! I need FRESH cake!" (for the record the cake was most definitely not rotten, you were just being bratty)
"I don't like this dinner, it's yucky. It is NOT delicious."
"That snake is DISGUSTING." (at the zoo)
"I don't want that milk - it's STALE! Pour me NEW MILK."
You've started stomping one foot flat onto the ground and screaming, "NO!" at the top of your lungs when you don't get what you want. Which happens all the time, because you are always wanting stupid, unreasonable things like to dance at 2am (this really happened), watch Sesame Street when it is not on, to eat Pirates Booty in the car when the bag of Booty is at home, cookies for dinner, to watch a movie we just returned to the video store, cookies for lunch, to read "one more story" at bedtime when we clearly agreed to only 2... you get the idea. You are pushing boundaries, pushing my buttons, learning limits and too smart for your own good.
I tell you all the time, but I love you to pieces and you make me laugh like nobodies business. I look forward to your third birthday when we've tentatively planned to take a family trip to Disneyland for the first time. You are SO totally into everything Disney, and while I thought I would feel guilty about this, it brings me incredible nostalgia to watch Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella with you. I think seeing Sleeping Beauty's castle in real life might make your head explode. In the meantime, we'll have to make do with your first international trip - we are headed to Mexico in April with the extended family for Grandma and Grandpa Toby's 40th anniversary. I've been hoarding cute sundresses for months :)