Two years ago today, I held you in my arms for the first time. I had been so nervous before you were born. I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to love another baby as much as my first. I was afraid that I would be so relieved to be done being pregnant that I wouldn't revel in the amazing-ness that is a new baby. I was silly. Of course I was silly, I was pregnant and hormonal. I needn't have worried. The second you arrived, I was instantly overfilled with massive amounts of love. Well, that and amazement. We had no idea you were going to be almost 9 and a half pounds. I was fully expecting you to weigh in around 7ish. Oh, also, I was very grateful that the doctor didn't drop you. Because he almost did. I watched you slip-slide in his hands as he told me that he hoped I hadn't bought too many newborn clothes. Ok, so, I was full of love, amazement and gratitude. Those are pretty good things to be filled with when your baby makes her arrival, right?
These past two years sure have been crazy. Before you entered our life, your daddy and I thought we were pretty amazing parents. I mean, Molly was a really good kid. She didn't cause us too much trouble at all. She wasn't highly opinionated. She didn't throw too many tantrums. She was fairly self-reliant from an early age. We thought it was our great parenting that created such an easy-going child. Oh my goodness, how naive we were! Because, Charlotte, then came you. And then we realized, it wasn't that we were great parents, it was just the luck of the draw.
You started off pretty happy and smiley. And then, you started to get opinions. And, you feel that it is your right and duty to share these opinions with us all the time. When Daddy picks out jeans, you want to wear knit pants. When Daddy picks out knit pants, you want to wear a dress. When Daddy picks out a pink shirt, you want to wear a red one. Are you sensing a theme? This is new to us. Molly still lets us pick out her clothes. You want to dress yourself, and you're only 2! New territory.
And then there's the fact that you are a complete Daddy's girl. Do I need to remind you that I threw up every single day that you were growing in my stomach? Because I will remind you of that, do not fear. It doesn't seem to matter much to you now, though. You only want your Daddy. He says it gets old being the only one you want. I say, I wouldn't know. Because you doesn't want me if Daddy's around.
Oh, sweet girl, do you remember how you absolutely refused to let your picture be taken by a professional when you were 18 months old? I sure do, not because I have any pictures of the event, but because I remember buying the adorable outfits and trudging you out three times to attempt it. You screamed, cried and clung to me instead of frolicking through the grass happily with your sister. Because that is how the picture was looking in my head. Before your opinons about the subject got in the way. You didn't want to do it, so it wasn't going to be done. And that was that.
But, lest Kelly the photographer feel bad, it is not just her. At both your 18-month doctor's appointment and today's 2-year appointment, you felt the need to scream your head off. Not when you were getting shots, mind you. No, when you were being weighed. Or measured. Or having your heart listened to. These are not scary things, I assure you. I'm pretty sure the entire office could hear your wails. You wanted absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Riley or his nice nurse Nikki. And, you made that known.
You even have strong opinions on your food. You love cake, cupcakes, and candy. You also love meatballs. You LOVE guacamole. And, you like Mommy's cereal. Right out of her bowl. You like to eat in your highchair with the baby tray on. We've even had to start hiding it so you will sit with us like a big girl. You eat carrots and green beans, but want to dip them in ketchup. Applesauce is a big favorite, but apple chips? Not so much. You like mac-n-cheese and hot dogs, but if you happen to remember that there is dessert around, you are completely finished eating and start whining for your sweets. I know you understand me, but you look at me like I'm a crazy person when I say, "You have to eat some more dinner before any ice cream." I know you know what I'm saying! Don't look at me like that!
Now, we have the last couple weeks of sleeping. Or, not sleeping, rather. At first, I gave you a pass. You had a cold, you couldn't breathe. It's hard to be sick and wake up and not be able to breathe. We would come get you, calm you down, hold you upright in a chair. But, then, you wanted to sleep the whole night in the chair. That wasn't going to happen. I tried to get you to sleep in your crib with me on the floor. But, you refused to be in the crib. So, I let you sleep on the floor beside me. Now, the only way to get you to sleep at night is to put you on the floor. By yourself. On your floor. You are a strange one, my duck. Who chooses to sleep on their floor? But, if it's the only way to get you to sleep all night, well then, have at it. Personally, I prefer mattresses, but maybe I'm the one missing out on all the fun.
But, with all the opinions and wailing and fighting and crying, you start laughing like this, and it makes every second of it worth it:
So, my precious little bundle of joy ... I wish you a very Happy Birthday today. You constantly surprise and confound us, but you are very much loved and treasured. (Especially when you sleep all the way through the night!) I am both excited and terrified at the thought of where your opinions will take us all in the future. At least I won't have to worry about you being a shrinking violet. You, my dear, are going to a laughing rose. Well, that is, if you choose to be.