Happy birthday, my darling girl.
How quickly you are changing from a toddler to a little girl. I have loved this past year with you. One year olds are so much fun. You have grown so much, but you are still “baby” enough to easily sit on my hip or climb into my lap and, while you talk in sentences all the time and use correct pronouns, you still mess up the “me” when you say, “Mama hold you.” I’ve never corrected you because it’s so cute and makes you still seem little.
With your birthday and Christmas being so close, you have been heaped upon with gifts and, while you do enjoy the presents, you will happily rip off the paper only to continue…playing with the paper. You like to rip each little piece into smaller pieces until there’s just a pile of tiny little wrapping paper pieces all over the floor. You are still obsessed with coloring (“do some art,” you’ll say) and some of your favorite gifts have been markers, coloring books, and Play-Doh. (I also recently let you play with kinetic sand because I had the time to sit down with you and make sure it didn’t get all over the floor and we played with that sand for 45 minutes straight!)
You also got a scooter for Christmas and, thankfully, we had some really beautiful days where you could already put it to use. You have learned the basics quickly on it, but steering is your biggest challenge. You continuously say, “I need help!” but then yell “I do it myself!” when we try to help you.
You love your brother and it has been a joy to watch you two together. Especially and mostly when you’re not fighting. Just last week, you guys made up a game that Henry named “slam dunk” where you would throw his puppy back and forth to each other and laugh and laugh. It made no sense to me, but I also joined in laughing because you guys were so being so cute together. You want to do everything Henry does, including go to school. Some days you even insist on taking your little backpack along to preschool drop off just because you’ll look just like the big kids. You’ve pitched more than one fit about not being able to stay with him at school and you get really excited when it’s time to go pick him up again. Next fall when he starts kindergarten, you’re going to have a tough adjustment having him gone all day every day.
You are still very much a pacifier girl. You sleep with anywhere from 5-8 pacis in your crib and if even one falls out, you’ll start crying because “I drop my paci!” Never mind that you have plenty of backup. I kept thinking we’d ditch the pacifier when you’re two so we shall see how soon that happens.
You’ve been really interested in potty training for a while. Santa was kind enough to bring you undies and a potty watch. You reallllly love the potty watch and you don’t mind sitting down and trying, but we are nowhere close to actually getting you potty trained.
You are a jumpy little girl and by that I don’t mean that you bounce a lot (though you do really love to jump!). I mean, if I see something at the window, let’s say, and I’m like, “Henry! Come look!” The excitement of the moment freaks you out and you come running, not to see, but to have me hold you because my alert scared you. The same things happens if you’re playing quietly and the doorbell rings or if you’re doing something naughty and we say, “Perrin! No!” Basically, whenever your little world gets interrupted with something louder than the moment you’re in, you get scared. You are also very shy around strangers, even if those strangers are people you know, but just haven’t seen in a while. It may take a whole day to warm up to cousins, for example. I remember very vividly being shy myself as a kid—mom says it started around age 2—and so I get it and I’ve realized the best thing to do is to just go about our lives as usual and not make it a big deal. You warm up to people much quicker if it’s not forced on you.
This past Halloween was your first to really get into it and, unfortunately, we got hit with snow! You were so excited about being a tiger though so we went trick-or-treating at a local retirement home the night before Halloween where we could all be inside in the warmth. On Halloween, you stayed home with Daddy to pass out candy while Henry and I bundled up in snow clothes to go out trick-or-treating for a little bit. The best part of all was that you guys didn’t really know what to do with the candy. You just kept playing with your baskets and the candy pieces, using them as freight for Henry’s semi trailer. And at Christmas, two months after Halloween, when I said something about “getting dressed,” you said, “I go twick-or-tweating!” I didn’t even know you’d remember that.
Your hair is still too short for braids, but it has grown a lot and it makes two amazingly springy pigtails now. Just 6 months ago, I could only make one little sprout on the top of your head. In the mornings, you always ask for bows in your hair, which just means that you want two rubber bands and pigtails.
I’m cherishing these years with you because they are going so quickly. We are entering the final year of any little chance at “baby.” I feel like by the time you turn 3, you’re full on kid. So I’m enjoying these moments, however more rare they become, of you being purely and innocently little. You have so much joy and so much silliness and so much laughter and so much to say and I’m just here for it all, cheering you on and hoping to guide you into being a curious, adventuring, joyful, caring, spirited adult. This beautiful world is made up of so many people with so many unique traits and I hope you embrace your own talents and personality with such fieriness that you set the world ablaze with love and hope. And if that seems too tall an order, my sweet girl, know that you don’t actually have to reach the entire world. Just make an impact on the people you meet and you’ll end up having a reach far greater than you will ever know.
I love you, Perrin. I have loved you from the moment I saw the double lines on the pregnancy test. And I’ll love you forever and ever.