Dear Brooklynn, Two years.
I'm going to let that one sit on its own line for just a little while. In fact, I might say it again: two years. Let's recap:
And, back in the present:
Oh my, someone is getting all grown up.
Brooklynn, you talk to us now. You tell us to turn the radio in the car off and open the windows and to close them again when you get cold and the wind blows too hard. You tell me to stop singing so you can hear Mom and to go downstairs to catch your clothes when you drop them down from the balcony before a bath. When you are sitting right on the edge of the couch and you feel a little unstable, you say "I fall, I fall, nope, nope," just to let us know that you are ok there. And when you did roll off the couch, you announced "I fall!" and proceeded to do it several times because it was fun.
You are "silly" and things are "funny" which means we are supposed to laugh with you. You climb all over the playground equipment, you walk up and down stairs, and you have started using your mother and me as your own person jungle gym.
You like to go for bike rides and walks in the stroller, and Mom even took you for a jog one day where you demanded to go fast whenever she would stop and walk. I'm not going to comment because I was not the one out running and pushing a large stroller and you, but I probably would have told you to get out and push it yourself. You certainly fly around the house fast enough to make me think that you hopefully you got your Mom's quickness.
This month, Mom and Dad went to Hawaii for a week with your aunts and left you at home. Don't worry, Grandma and Grandpa came to stay with you. They took you out to eat and bought you a water table to play with on the back deck and generally paid attention to you all the times that Mom and Dad might be busy doing our normal life stuff. You did wonderful staying with them and you only started to miss us a little bit right at the end. As great as it was to go lay on the beach and see new places, it was just as good to come home and see you and get a big hug from our little Brookers again.
Since you're now two years old, we've started to do a few big girl things with you. A week ago, we took the side off of your crib and made it into a toddler bed. The first day you saw it, you were so excited that you requested to go take a nap just so you could climb in it yourself. Now, after a bath, you run in to your room and climb up on the bed for lotion, a diaper, and jammies. And after we finish our bedtime story, you climb up, lay on your pillow, and give us night-night kisses all on your own. Right away, you stayed in bed just like you did when it was a crib, but you are starting to figure out that you can now come out anytime you want.
The second morning after we made the switch, you woke Mom up by knocking on her door. Last night, we had a thunderstorm right around bedtime. I could tell you knew you weren't supposed to come out - you would open your door, see me sitting at the computer, close it, and run back in to bed. But I also knew that you were up and about because you were scared, so we let you stay up with for a little bit longer. And then, in the middle of night, we heard you up again. You don't know how to push open doors yet; you can only open them from the direction that you pull. You like to close doors behind yourself, so when you came out of your room and closed the door, you couldn't get in to our room and you couldn't get back in to your own room. Mom went to help you, but we wondered if you would have eventually gone to sleep on the futon if we wouldn't have been awake to help you out.
The other big girl thing that we're working on is learning how to use a potty. We have one in our living room, much like if we lived in a jungle hut and just used one side of the enclosure for a latrine. Think about it for a second - we live in a country that has had indoor plumbing as a technology for over 100 years, yet we still give our kids the equivalent of a padded bucket to learn on out in public. You've used it a couple of times, but mostly, you know that we will let you watch a little TV while you sit there. You've started hanging out long enough watching a kids show that the padded seat will stick to your butt when you finally do get up.
Your hair is getting long enough that Mom can do fun braids and styles with it. (Thank your aunt Lynn for introducing us to that stage in having a girl.) You request to have your fingernails and toenails painted, but you still lack the patience to let them dry all the way some times and then they get smeared. You are interested in babies and puppies and bugs and birds and planes. You point out things that Mom and Dad never notice and are completely oblivious to the things that we think are plain as day. You identify people in pictures and you know some of the kids on our street by name. You point out the animals in your books and you know what sounds they make: seals go "Arr arr arr", monkeys go "Ooh ooh aah aah", and there is an oddly colored pelican that you think looks like you. And you are very concerned about anyone who has there eyes closed and is sleeping. You know how to unlock and start a movie on the iPod Touch that has become your "phone".
You want to be cuddled and included and helped out and left alone to do your own thing so you can figure it out yourself - all at the same time.
I guess you really are two, aren't you?
I know that you will keep getting older and bigger and smarter and more independent, but we'll always remember the wonderful little girl that you are right now.