Yesterday you turned twenty-three months old. Your birthday is quickly approaching and this is a fact you are not oblivious to in the least. Lately you have become OBSESSED with birthdays. When you aren’t singing “happy birfday to Swiper” you are telling me all about your birthday party:
Ana: Mama, I have a birfday party.
Me: That’s right. It’s coming up. What do you wanna have at your party?
Ana: Um. Birfday cake.
Me: Of course. Anything else?
Ana: Um. Birfday hats.
Me: Sure. We can do that. Is that it?
This last part is frequently changed to whoever is your favorite friend at the moment. Apparently all you need for your birthday to be complete is cake, some party hats, and your best buds. Sounds good to me!
Being the little charmer that you are, people are always stopping us to say how cute or well-behaved you are. The first thing they ask is your name and in true little girl form you have to assert your independence and therefore have started to answer the questions yourself, telling them, “I Ana.” Then anticipating their next question you chime in with, “I be TWO in Dis-ember!” More often than not, people are shocked that 1) you know how old you are and 2) you can speak so well for not even being two years old. I’ve said it before and I will say it again: you continue to amaze me.
Sometimes the fact that you are a nearly-two-year-old-prodigy goes to your head and you have been known to show off a little bit. For example the other day we were playing at the park when two little boys (I’m guessing about three and five years old) came over to the play structure where you were climbing. They were playing hide and seek and the younger brother peeked over the edge and shouted, “Where is you?” to his hiding brother. Wanting to play too, but always striving for perfection, you ran up behind the little boy and shouted, “Where ARE you?” Clearly illustrating the “correct” way to find someone who was hiding. Like I said: SHOW OFF.
Several weeks ago you were the flower girl in your Aunt Darcie’s wedding. It was a beautiful wedding and you played your part wonderfully. Leading up to the event I kept talking about “my sister” so much that you started telling people that you has a sister. At first I was a little concerned that you had developed some sort of imaginary friend but upon further questioning I solved the mystery. You started out by telling me your sister was little… and you loved her… and liked to kiss her… Then you informed me your little sister’s name was Amalia (your friend Everett’s new baby sister). It sounded like Maria when you said it so it took me quite awhile to figure this part out. I think all the “sister talk” made you want a sister too and the only person you knew who had a little baby sister was Everett. If you’re lucky, maybe he’ll be willing to share until you get one of your very own.
Here in the Bateman household, we love fall. We love the changing of the seasons, the falling leaves, the cool weather, the pumpkins and especially Halloween. And you are thoroughly enjoying all the activities we set up to celebrate this amazing time of year. I was really excited how involved you wanted to be in each activity, particularly when it came to pumpkin carving. You climbed right up beside me at the table and plunged your tiny arm into the sticky, slimy pumpkin, just as I had done. You laughed out loud in glee upon discovering what was inside the pumpkin. You delighted in the large slippery seeds and helped me (mostly) clean out an entire pumpkin before tiring of your role in the process. You slipped away to catch up on some Dora the Explorer while I did all the intricate carving, but quickly rejoined me for the exciting unveiling of the finished pumpkin.
I showed you the pumpkin I carved especially for you and asked if you could tell what it was. You looked up at me in disgust and informed me it was a pumpkin. I laughed and showed you the design I carved and asked again. This time you paused, and studied the varied shapes and slices, then muttered, “Umm. A car?” I knew it was a little tricky to identify in the daylight, so we took you down to the laundry room, lit the candle, and turned off the lights. You instantly shrieked out in delight, “It DORA!!”
Seeing how excited you were about your Dora pumpkin, I carved an Elmo one as well. This time you were much quicker at identifying the carved character. Anytime we were returning to the house from our daily outings you would shout, “Pumpkins! I see my pumpkins! Hi pumpkins!”
Then after all the excitement of pumpkins we got to celebrate Halloween. I was really excited because of how excited you were to go Trick-or-Treating. You wore your lion costume like a pro, even giving a nice “rawr” upon request. You said “trick treat” when asking for candy and whenever you forgot you filled in with the ever acceptable “candy please” making me the proudest mama of all time. You were completely in awe of the total strangers that were just giving away candy and probably would have trick-or-treated all night if it weren’t for the fact that you are a tiny littler girl who requires lots of sleep to maintain your pleasant nature. Lots and lots of sleep.
Oh honey, you know I only tease you because I love you. And how could I not? There are just so many things about your personality that make you totally and completely lovable. I love the way you are suddenly obsessed with Rice Krispies cereal and insist upon eating it for breakfast–“at the BIG table”–every morning. I love that you beg me to “sing Rock-a-bye Baby and tickle me” every time I try to put you to sleep. I love that for a week straight you counted like, “1, 3, 4, 9, 10, 9.” Every. Single. Time. I love that you think it’s hilarious when you ask someone, “What’s your name?” over and over again. I love that you say “cheers!” and chink your glass at least once during every meal. I love when you burst into song and sing one line on repeat. I love that you want a vacuum cleaner for Christmas. I love that you understand the library is a wonderful place. I love when you ask for a family hug. But most importantly, I love you.
All my love,