This little one turns two this Saturday.
While this is only my second time navigating this age as a parent, I feel reasonably qualified to say that it is not "terrible", at least not most of the time.
But "not terrible" does not equate to "easy". In fact, the "terrible all the time" two-year-old stereotype might actually be easier than the reality. At least you'd know what to expect.
No, two is not terrible. Two is...something like a temporary bout of bipolar disorder.
It's waking up to the sound of bare feet and a swishing, soft nightgown padding into my bedroom. It's having a baby still small enough to curl up on my chest under the covers, but communicative enough to pop her head up and say, "Mommy, thank you for snugglin'. J't't't'aime! I love you so!" It's hauling her into school like a sack of screaming, writhing potatoes thrown over my shoulder an hour later, because her answer to "Do you want to walk or be carried?" is "NOT!"
It's full sentence observations about the world. ("Mommy, lights are pretty!") But having to add fifteen minutes to every trip anywhere because of her stubborn, achingly slow, insistence: "I do myself!"
It's the miracle of her new best lovie, "Pink Pig", and discovering pockets in her clothes. It's the agony of not being allowed to listen to "Buddy Holly" ten times in a row on repeat.
It's the most gorgeous May sunshine and the blackest summer squall, all contained in her little thirty-pound body, all within the same sixty seconds.
It's watching her learn how to be a human in the world, but also that she is not the only human in the world.
It's the exhaustion of making what feels like 100 decisions a day to help her on that path. And it's the exhilaration of that one moment when it feels like she's going to come out the other side as a child who's going to grow into someone I'd enjoy having a cup of coffee with in twenty years.
Of that last part, even on bad days, I have no doubt. She's going to be like her dad in that way--sturdy and easy to like--but with a bit of added sunshine that seems to have been kissed onto her forehead by a good fairy at her birth. (Maybe it's her particular manifestation of the good luck superstitions that come with being born in her caul?) I saw a t-shirt a few weeks ago on Pinterest that said, "Aspiring Beam of Light", and immediately thought, "That's my girl."
Happy Birthday Peanut Butter! J't't't'aime! We love you so!