Tonight you stayed up past your bedtime by a full hour for no other reason than I was watching you play. 8:00 hit and you were in a great mood and it just didn’t seem right to make you go upstairs to bed. So while we laid back on the couch and just unwound from our days, daddy and I watched you play with “baby” and your imagination run wild. You made, and unmade, and made, and unmade a bed for baby a dozen or more times. Each time saying “I got a nice bed for you baby.” How hospitable of you!
You’d then lay the baby in the middle of the bed (your fuzzy spread across a couch cushion), wrap her up, and carry her, saying “Ohhh you’re so heavy baby.”
I love watching our actions come to life through you. You are a little mocking bird. It’s incredibly comical to see you say things to your baby that I say to you. Or watch you hold your baby in a way that resembles how I hold you. I’m sure it’s the same thing that my mom, your grammy, experiences when watching me with you. Because I am turning in to my mother.
Want proof? At Hobby Lobby the other day (aka “Hobby Dobby”) you JUST. KEPT. TOUCHING. THINGS. On the verge or just past of losing my cool, I said something along the lines of FORTHELOVEOF stop touching things! You very cooly replied, “OK. I look my eyes,” and pressed your face against the bottles of brown Tempera paint so close you probably batted them with your lashes. Do you know how many times I heard “look with your eyes and not your hands” when I was a kid? Apparently you’ve already heard it a few times, too. You say it all the time now, and I just laugh and shake my head. Little circle of life we’ve got going on here.
My heart has been so heavy this week, Paisley. It’s weighed down with the happiest and saddest feelings I have. It’s like my heart drank a beer and took a hit of ecstasy and it doesn’t know which way to go. You’re turning two the day after tomorrow. It is impossible to me. I’d more quickly believe a talking, flying pig sitting in my room than fully grasp that my baby is no longer a baby. You could say she’s a toddler. But really, she’s at the tiny end of being a little girl. You left babyhood in your shadow months ago. I’ve done my best to leave a trail, but I know there’s no going back. Those breadcrumbs have blown away in your wake.
We’re most certainly seeing signs of those legendary terrible twos. I don’t think you’re terrible, I think you got every ounce of strong-willed independence your mama had to offer. I do think it’s terrible that you choose to exercise that dominate part of your personality at the most inopportune times. Like every SINGLE time I ask you to do something. Or when I’m already five minutes late. Or when I’m awake and in the same room with you. It is exhausting. I have to tell myself to back off because I know I’m just getting in your way. And seriously, let’s level with one another, there is no harm at all in you climbing in to your car seat instead of me placing you there. Why wouldn’t I let you do that? Oh yeah, because my patience does not exist. But I do it. I take a deep breath and watch you announce “I climb! I do it myself!” and grab a hold of the car seat, step in to the floor board, hoist yourself in to your seat, stand up, turn around, and beam with pride that you did, in fact, do it. I do, too. No one cares that we were late.
You climb the stairs by yourself. You get highly irritated if we even attempt to follow you. Like a spy you keep one eye fixed on the path in front of you and one fixed over your right shoulder to make sure we don’t move an inch off the ground floor. When you figured out that you could do this and retrieve forgotten toys, pajamas, or just escape from our hover for a few minutes, we’ve had a hard time keep your feet down here.
We went on your first picnic. I honestly can’t remember ever taking a picnic with your dad; and I’m pretty sure I haven’t been on a picnic since your aunt and uncle and I would take leftover cabin breakfast to the nursery next door and eat on top of the soil bags. It was an unbelievably gorgeous Sunday afternoon. The previous Friday, during a walk, you pointed to a grassy knoll spot in the park and said you wanted to go down there. I promised we’d take a picnic, and I made it happen that Sunday evening. The three of us walked to the park with homemade blackberry lemonade, guacamole, grilled chicken, crackers and cheese, berries, Snow White tea party dishes, and a blanket. You just kept exclaiming “We’re eating outside!”, as if you simply couldn’t believe it.
We also got to have some fun with you on Easter. We went to visit Uncle Kyle and Aunt Larenda. Fortunately the Easter Bunny found us in Joplin. A small, reasonable basket was delivered to you in your sleep with a very, very minimal amount of candy. Because, you know, I’m “that” mom and we just say no to superfluous sugar. The couple of small pieces of candy that were in your basket were outshined by the three Elmo head “eggs” stuffed with pistachios (or “she-she-ohs”). You ate them all in less than ten minutes. The Easter Bunny also stopped at Papa Jerry’s and Grandma Pam’s house, where you hunted eggs with actual candy in them. I wonder what happen to all of that?!
You survived for your first near-death tornado. Kid, I’m telling you, I’ve lived in Kansas and Oklahoma my entire life and I’ve never been as scared as I was that night. For one, tornadoes are supposed to sneak up on you. We got 36 hours of notice that this thing was coming, with 99 of its friends. One hundred tornadoes swept through Kansas that fateful Saturday night. Fortunately, none of them hit us; they did cause quite a bit of damage on the other side of town. You, daddy, Grandma Rochelle, and I went down in to the basement and hunkered down. You refused a nap that day, so by the time the sirens sounded yours was screaming too. You actually did really well, and then an hour in to our bunker hideout, you hit a wall and passed out in grandma’s arms. It was pretty sweet.
The greatest thing I’ve ever heard you say was “fucky bucky.” We were looking at your 1000 words book together one evening and you pointed and screamed “fucky bucky!” I said WHAT?! And then I looked where your finger rested on the page and it was pointing to spaghetti. Fucky bucky = spaghetti in Paisleyism. It’s my favorite thing you’ve ever said, ever.
OK, maybe second behind “I love you mama,” “Mama, you booful,” “Mama I awake.”
I think you’re beautiful too, I love you too, and thanks for awakening so much inside of me. These two years have been nothing short of bliss, heaven, perfect. You’re everything I worked so hard to get, and much, much more. I cannot wait to wish a happy birthday on Friday and start a new Koskie family tradition – birthday pancakes, or cake-cakes.