Today you are 22 months old. Such a big girl.
The other day you were mimicking the dance moves in Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies” video. We’ll have to get you a single black glove. Your most wild tantrum to date occurred in Target. Over having to put back a doll stroller. That night you refused sleep for hours, and I’m convinced you were imagining baby doll strollers rolling away, just out of your grasp. Grandma Jane gave you a bag of large plastic bugs. You preferred the four beetles (which we proceeded to name John, Paul, George and Ringo) and the Praying Mantis. You can say “mantis” perfectly. You can sing the tune to several songs, including “You Are My Sunshine,” and Feist’s “1, 2, 3, 4.” You’ve started coloring with more precision. Bubbles (or at least their general area) are colored blue. Eyes are scribbled brown or green. You can say so many things now. You drop the first letter a lot…”slipper” is “ipper!” or milk is “ilk!” I can usually understand you, and you’re starting to make sentences.
My grandma used to say to me, “I love you to bits and pieces.” I did not know what it meant at the time, like some other things she used to say. How she used to use the word “doofer” as an insult or sing a song that went “Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra” (apparently an Irish lullabye).
But now I understand. Because I feel that way about my daughters. I do not just love you. I cherish every single detail about you. Each baby toe and eyelash. The facets of your personalities that make you who you are. I love you wholly. Each bit and piece and to my core.
You are working on your two-year-old molars on the bottom of your gums. We’ve had some horrible sleep-refusing nights. This morning, you woke up at 4 and did not go back to sleep. So I took you downstairs and sat with you while you ate squares of toast and drank juice and watched Sesame Street on Netflix. I was so tired and grumpy, but there are far worse things than being snuggled on the sofa with you. You stayed up until 11am. When after plucking a balloon from a display in the Home Depot and eating a bag of free popcorn, you came home and gathered your plastic bugs. You finally fell asleep in my arms—bugs piled on top of you, with your balloon in hand.