It’s been said that time flies when you’re having fun and while I’m not willing to compromise joy in exchange for minutes, I wouldn’t necessarily object the option of certain phases in life lasting just a bit longer. In a few days, I’ll watch my little girl collect her third year and as excited as I am for her, it’s bittersweet to near the end of the toddler chapter. I feel like I’ve said this about every age thus far and I may continue the trend going forward, but this particular year… age two… has been my favorite.
Her mother and I sat on the edge of our seats this time last year waiting and begging for her vocabulary to expand, waiting for the moment when multiple syllables would flavor her taste buds and roll out sentences full of innocent insight and childlike discoveries. She started preschool and the words came almost immediately, conversations we've come to treasure littered with laughter and joy.
This past year has seen growth in every facet of her being, as I'm sure every year ahead will, too, but something about the curved arches forming in her feet and the curls touching her shoulders and the dimples appearing in her cheeks as her face loses its defining baby qualities all seemed to happen much quicker than we were prepared for. Yet it's all so unbelievably amazing to watch.
This year she made friends and developed opinions and changed her mind and learned to run. She’ll tell you her favorite color is purple with pink as an alternate and her preference for cartoons bounced from a self-proclaimed toy doctor to a feline Sheriff with a woodpecker for a Deputy and the endless songs from a selection of two sisters whose icy relationship only rivals the warmth of her own heart.
She skinned her knee for the first time and she walked away without a single tear despite a bow in her hair that would lead you to believe otherwise, she’s tough. She developed an aversion, by her own choice, to pants and spent most of the year in dresses as a result, a preference that will undoubtedly carry her into age three.
She learned that pushing the pedals of her tricycle causes it to move and she did so until her tiny calves burned. She conquered fears and learned lessons and grew a little more every day. She had her first haircut, her first trip to the zoo and experienced the fair. She transitioned into her toddler bed. She became a butterfly for a night. She saw her face in a book. She watched princesses trade their slippers for ice skates instead when we went to Disney on Ice.
The tantrums and time outs were few and far between while the hugs and kisses were not. She loved us a lot and we loved her in return and we all learned more about the purpose of life than we ever could have imagined within the span of 365 days. She's sweet and funny and charming and smart and friendly and warm and creative and beautiful and... perfect.
Age two, despite the reputation that proceeds it, wasn’t terrible at all. In fact, it was quite the opposite.