At 2, you still seemed so much like my little baby. But I can't say that anymore. As you reminded me this afternoon, you are a big girl.
You are still working on potty training. Most of the time you make it, but you have a hard time stopping what you are doing. You just gave up your shoosh.
Some things haven't changed. You still love your baby and take really good care of her. Your sister is your best friend. Only you are allowed to call her "Mayno."You push her buttons, but crumble at the sight of her tears. You still request "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" almost nightly. At least now it feels seasonally appropriate, though I think it has taken on a new meaning for me. You also love the ABCDs as you call them. You have almost got the whole alphabet down and you've separated it from Twinkle-Twinkle. Maybe learning "Twinkle, twinkle traffic light" at preschool helped this separation. Old MacDonald is also a regular bedtime song, and you always request a chicken and a cow.
Your spicy side continues to emerge. You test our parenting strategy of giving two choices by often answering "no" showing that neither is in your favor. Your tendency to bolt whenever something is disagreeable, cackling all the way, proves worrisome to your Papa and me as we try to navigate life in
China. You have evening crazies and need to jump and run around our apartment. We often let you jump for 10 seconds in between each step in the bed time routine.
The vocabulary you use has skyrocketed. You carry on lengthy conversations with us now and even use a few Chinese words. You have picked up some of the language precision of your Papa and sister and sometimes will correct me on my plurarization. You enjoy reading books now and will often sit still for long stories. Your favorite is Curious George. Though whenever we read one other than Curious George Goes to the Zoo, you ask me why it doesn't end with "Don't Feed the Animals."
"Coldie, coldie, coldie."You get cold easily, but you often refuse to wear your coat. Sometimes we can convince you by letting you wear it backward, so your hood can become a pouch for your baby or stuffed monkey.
You push your lips out when you are thinking about something. Sometimes you'll dip your head to the side in acknowledgement, like some cool guy nodding to a friend. The rest of the family has picked up this action from you.
You love Monster's Inc. Actually, you love movies in general. For your age, you sit very still through full length feature films. You ask a few questions, but mostly you are quiet, taking it all in. Sometimes you are scared and want to sit near someone. But when the credits roll and the theme music starts, you initiate a dance party in our living room.
You initiate a lot of laughter in our house. Dinner time is often the Kaleia Comedy Show. You've realized that you are funny and enjoy making other people laugh. Your jokes are often repeated by your sister but with less natural comedic timing. Something as simples as "Doh-nan" can get all of us cracking up if it comes from you.
You are brave. You make all the Chinese women nervous as you climb all over the big playground. You aren't afraid to meet anyone new. All the extra attention you receive in Beijing for your blonde hair, blue eyes, and light skin doesn't phase you. In fact, you seem to feed on it. We wonder how such an extrovert ended up in a house of introverts.
Even though you are so brave, you do get scared. Loud noises, like fireworks, and dogs make you hang on tight. You push yourself to face your fears, except at night-time. There usually is something in your room that needs to be escorted out of the house. Sometimes it is a bear, other times it is an old man.
We bought you a tool set for Christmas, because you love helping me with projects around the house and have always been really interested in our tools. Your teachers say you are always curious about any toys that involve manipulation. You looked at the tool bench and stated, "Bed." I tried to explain what it was and show you how things worked. You sat and played with it for more than a half and hour, taking the pieces apart. Your Papa and I were pleased that we got you such a good toy until you looked up with a look of accomplishment, grabbed your baby and showed us that what was supposed to be a tool storage bin, was actually a doll bed. It never went back to being a tool bench.
Your tender heart continues to grow and touch people. Your preschool teachers tell us how you care for your peers and give hugs whenever anyone is down. One morning, when I woke you after I had gone to bed early with a stomach ache your first words were a concerned "Mama, you feel better aday?"
I can always count on you to run to me when I get home from work. You freely give a "tiss and hug," especially when anyone is leaving, even people we've just met. You warm my heart and challenge my patience. I feel like I am getting to know you more and more every day and I love what I am learning.
"I lub you so much...to the moon and back."