I’m not sure what to write since the last time I did this. Surely, you’ve been dragged through more nonsense than any toddler should have to endure. All in all, you’ve shown remarkable resiliency in the face of overwhelming changes. In the last year you’ve visited three countries, several states, crossed two major ocean, and moved from the tropical bliss of the Pacific Islands to the overcast moors of Northern England. Your cheerful outlook throughout it all has been incredible.
Although, you have not been entirely compliant, which pleases me. You know how to make your opinion known. You made your exasperation perfectly clear on our last day in Japan when you asked “Go to Nana’s house?” The implication, of course, was that Nana would not have hauled you by train all over a foreign country and asked you to behave yourself. No, at Nana’s house you could take off your pants and eat bagels on the couch, which to be honest sounds like a nice way to pass the time.
Actually, that was the rule at our house up until recently. The weather in England has brought your days of optional nudity to an abrupt halt. Gone are the days when I put you down for your nap in naught but a pair of bloomers to keep you from taking off your diaper and sleeping bare-bottomed; you have finally given in to necessity and stopped removing those troublesome socks and shoes the second our backs turned. I’m sorry that had to happen to you. For what it’s worth, I wish you could spend all your days barefoot and in simple t-shirt dresses.
At least you have a well-developed sense of fashion. “Pitty pink hat!” you announce, pleased with your choice of head topper. The pink knit hat is ever-present and oft photographed (enough to have created an entire Facebook album focusing on The Pink Hat Chronicles). You also invite strangers to gaze upon your “pupple sparkly shooooes” and nod knowingly when they give your feet their approval. If it’s loud, bright, and flashy, it’s for you.
You yourself can be loud, but you favor soft whispers and gentle sing-song tones. In time you might make a wonderful Marilyn Monroe impression. And you talk a lot. All the time, in full sentences and questions. We never have to wonder what you’re thinking and you know how to get your point across. “Have some milk, please?” “Go to the playground and down the slide!” “More scones, La-La?” (Oh, La-La, your filthy and beloved contemporary. Fortunately you understand when I say that La-La needs a spa day and has to go away for a wash.) And my personal favorite, after many trips on the subway in DC: “Don’t block the doors, La-La. Move to the center of the car.” I don’t mind telling you I laughed at that one until tears came. You’re incredibly gentle with your dolls, actually. You tenderly feed them and offer them drinks and tuck them in at night, and I can’t wait to see if you’ll do the same with the new baby.
I guess most of all is that I love you tremendously and can’t imagine a time where you weren’t in my life. It amazes me that we’ve had two years together already. And really, what else is there to say?
Ah. Yes. Happy birthday, dear Maggie, my brown-eyed girl. We love you.