My favorite thing this summer is to watch you run at full speed. You do crazy things with your arms and face, often throwing your hands out behind you and jutting your chin out. Sometimes you run towards me so fast you can’t stop yourself, flinging your body into my arms, or wrapping your arms around my legs to slow yourself down. You live your whole life like this, at full speed, fully invested in everything.
You speak in an amazing declarative yell, full of lots of emphasis. Yesterday we talked about all the fun things we will do in Wisconsin next week, and you repeated it all back to me, making relevant hand gestures all the while: “we going to go SWIMMING, and I going to FISH, and there will be BEACHES, and we going to PLAY on our NEW BEDS.” We love to contrast your speaking style with the sweet, inexplicably French accented, voice of your best friend Ingy. “Here is my bébé, I love my bébé,” she whispers. “This is my DOLL,” you yell. Then you start singing. When you’re not declaring things, you are singing little songs like “Now I’m walking to the living room!”
Ezra’s defining personality feature has always been his deliberate nature. He waits until he is sure he can do something right before doing it. He loves to be an expert. You are different. You are brave and willing to try crazy things. I’ve had to work hard to get you to stop leaping into my arms from the top step without checking to make sure I’m looking at you first. You didn’t need swimming lessons to be willing to stick your whole head under the water.
You have traveled the midwest this spring, with weekends in Michigan, rural Illinois, and Wisconsin. You no longer sleep in a pack ‘n play on trips, and I’ve been so proud of how easily you’ve adapted to so many new beds in so many new rooms. In Wisconsin, you and Ezra slept in a bunk bed, and it was fun how excited you were to be on the bottom bunk, yelling all your thoughts up to your hero upstairs.
You and Ezra play together more and more, and I have to very consciously notice how I discipline you guys when things get out of hand. After several years of automatically docking Ezra, just because he’s bigger, it’s clear that you can make mischief of your own just fine, and that sometimes the time out or the stern talking to is meant for you.
But when it’s working, watching the two of you play together, or listening to you have conversations, is amazing. The other day we took the swords that you bought with dada at the Renaissance Faire out to the park and the two of you (King and Princess, according to Ezra’s calculations) had a treasure hunt and slew a dragon. He has only the most tenuous understanding of anything royal or magical, and yours is even shakier, but you don’t care. Ezra told you to be a princess and kill a dragon, and so of course you did.
Of course it’s not always sunshine and hilarious declarations from you. Some days you whine every request, cry like it’s going out of style, and bury your head on my shoulder in despair. Sometimes you get a look of wild mischief on your face and start defying me and giggling about it. You need to nap or you get nutty in the afternoon, but you can’t nap or you’ll be nutty at bedtime. You won’t eat breakfast, but you fall apart at 9:30 without it. In other words, you are 2 1/2.
At 2 1/2 you love riding your bike, eating ice cream, chomping on whole cucumbers, and blowing milk bubbles over the top of the cup. You love nursery rhymes and Timmy Time. You love finding our cat Lucy, picking her up in a full-body hug and yelling “here’s my sweet Lucy-Luce!” You went through a few weeks of obsession with my boobs (“Are those your boobies? I going to SMOOSH THEM!”) and have now moved on to tushies (“You got a tushy? And you got a tushy too? And I got a tushy TOO?!”) You use the potty almost every day, far earlier than Ezra showed any interest. You have opinions about your hair (“two ponies, a top pony and a bottom pony”) and your clothes and your shoes, and when we did manicures a few weeks ago, you went straight for the hipster grey.
This week you get to start soccer camp with Ezra, sneaking in even though you’re not quite old enough just on the sheer force of your personality.
Are those your cheeks? I going to KISS THEM.