Happy Birthday, my sweet two year old! You are now speaking in clear sentences, pairing them together into a form that borders on actual conversation. You often mimic words and phrases that we use, which forces us to be far more conscious of what comes out of our mouths! Your memory has become quite remarkable and I will not be surprised if your first memories for the future have already been formed.
Your two new favorite foods are spicy chili with cornbread and pomegranate seeds. Every morning you ask for "cheery wif milk, mama?" - cheerios with milk. You also have a bit of an obsession with yogurt, and we've had to put our foot down about trying everything on your plate and eating a decent amount of something you like before you're allowed a yogurt for dessert. We have now decreased our nursing sessions to no more than four in a 24 hour period as I slowly and respectfully wean you. The last two years of breastfeeding has been a wonderful (and at times furious) experience that I have enjoyed fully. I have quite mixed feelings about the idea of weaning you, though I am convinced that it is the right time. You are still fully night-weaned and sleeping for up to nine hours at a time, which is glorious!
Our weekly homeschooling group has been so beneficial to you since we started a few weeks ago. We meet with your three new friends once a week and do all sorts of different activities based on a letter of the day. We do singing, dancing, crafts, reading, sensory activities, work on fine motor skills and of course, play! You've gone from being a bit timid and overwhelmed during the visits to being super excited every Monday morning when I remind you, "we're going to school to see your friends today!"
You are call your friends (sort of) by name now, for example, "come here friend!" In the morning you exclaim, "good morning!" You are all about words and phrases and are constantly chattering and conversing. You have most of your books memorized now and love to read along with me and finish dramatic sentences. You are also able to answer somewhat abstract questions like, "What do we need to do when someone is sleeping? We have to be very...?" And you put your finger to your lips and whisper, "quiet."
Another aspect of life with you lately is the observation of your ever broadening empathy. The first time we watched Bambi together, we talked about death. A little sooner than I was expecting, to be honest! When Bambi's mother is invisibly shot during an emotionally turbulent scene, talking about what happened to her is rather obligatory in my opinion. Especially for you, since you are so sensitive to the emotions of others. When Bambi calls out for his mother in the snow, crying and looking for her - you became very intense and touched by Bambi's confusion and sadness. We talked about how his mother got shot by a hunter, that she died and it's so sad that she can't be with him any more. You seemed to grasp some rudimentary understanding, and you cheered up after our talk.
Then, weeks later, you were watching The Lion King while I took a shower. When I returned to the living room, the film was playing the aftermath of the death of Simba's father. You looked as though you were ready to burst out crying and cried out, "Papa fall down! Die! Oh no!" So, we hugged and talked about how sad it was that he was gone. Both your intuition and compassion astound me, my love.
I really dislike the term "the terrible twos" because as much as being a parent can be frustrating, it is far more furiously beautiful to watch you blossom into who you are becoming. The persuasion of your deep emotional tides occasionally overwhelms us all. But you make life more real; more explosively worth living and growing ourselves, as you remind us of the vastness of what it means to be human.
We love you.