Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, little one

My little baby turned two this weekend. When I brought her down stairs to say good morning to her daddy and Hannah, I announced that today was Maggie's second birthday! Hannah immediately instructed me to put Maggie down. Then she asked Maggie to put her baby doll down for just a minute. Hannah cocked her head to the side, squinted her eyes, and said, "I guess she looks a little big."  

To Hannah, being two years old is the magical line between a baby and big girl. And I get it. I always greet the second birthday with a sigh of relief. To me, it feels like they got over that "hump" where they are really understanding things, wanting things, and doing things, but not quite saying things. I mean, saying the basics. But it always reminds me of how I felt in Costa Rica when I did a language immersion program. I had studied Spanish a decade before and retrained a surprising amount of it. The program was just two weeks long and by the end of it, I was literally in tears. I knew just enough Spanish to know (more or less) what people were saying and how to convey (more or less) basic ideas. But it was exhausting. And isolating. And super frustrating. And probably how a lot of toddlers feel. But now we have an honest to God sentence talker! And oh sweet Jesus, we are all feeling a lot better around here.

I will never forget the first time I got to hold Maggie. (I didn't really get that with Hannah because she had to be checked out for meconium aspiration. Cue my lingering bitterness about not inducing Hannah sooner). And oh, it was magical.

Maggie was a full pound smaller and seemed so fragile compared to her sister (both the real-life one-and-a-half year old, and my memories of the 9lb 2oz baby Hannah). But what she lacked in post-due-date baby fat, she made up for in feistiness.

I remember even in the hospital I couldn't put her down without making her cry. I had to ask the nurse to take her around 2 am so I could get a few hours of sleep. And it wasn't just a first-day fluke. It was her personality. But whoever tells you that holding a kid too much will keep them from walking is talking crazy. Because this child was held (in my arms or a sling) pretty much nonstop as a baby (I mean, tummy time and naps, but that's about it), but she took her first steps before she turned nine months. She has always had this weird mix of wanting her mommy in her arms and wanting to run off all by herself.

I know I'm going to miss the wanting mommy part as she gets older. But there is something incredible about watching your child take off on their own and become their own person.

And Maggie's personality is coming through loud and clear. She isn't afraid to ask for what she wants (and I hope she NEVER loses that). But what she wants is generally what ever Hannah has. Nothing is off limits, not even the potty. If Hannah has to go, NO! My go potty!
One of the things Maggie does that absolutely melts my heart, is she will say "that makes me happy." Or will ask me, "Mommy, that make you happy?" She is definitely tuned in to other people's emotions. She is excited when you are excited, laughing when you are laughing, and scared when you are scared. She takes in every little thing, so I have to be really careful what I put out there. Except that is a lot to ask of someone like me. So I just hope the universe/God/whoever knew what they were doing when they put us together.
She is also a really nurturing little girl. She loves her baby dolls with a passion. And she is always ready to give a pat or a kiss or a hug to anyone who needs it.
As difficult as she can be, she also came with a few easy streaks. She eats anything; she only drinks water and just the right amount of milk, and she isn't that interested in television.
She loves to be outside. She loves to snuggle. She loves to draw, especially on things that shouldn't be drawn on.
I'm excited to get to know this little munchkin even better as she grows and talks even more. I'm excited for her and Hannah to become even better play mates and friends. And I'm so grateful to have this crazy little big girl in our family.
I love you, baby girl.