A Letter to 2.5-Year-Old Marin

 

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Dear 2.5-year-old (but technically, 2 years and 7 months old) Marin,

I’ve been trying to write this little ditty about you for a month, and everytime I do, I find the rate you’re changing to be incalculable in one blog post. I’ll type something out, and by dinner time, remember that there is a handful of other “new” things you’re doing that I hadn’t yet written out. So forgive me, but this post is going to be a “short list” of all you’re doing now, and it’s still a long one at that.

Since you turned 2, you’ve become a big sister and now you’ve been at your new gig for 4 whole months. I was completely terrified by taking on such a huge transition, and although the winter kicked my butt, I am feeling increasingly confident having two of you to care for. It helps significantly that your brother is becoming a more predictable sleeper, but you’ve made some considerable adjustments too. You play much more independently than you did before, and your ability to entertain yourself doesn’t mean you prefer it over me. The second I am fully available (or not, ha!), you are happily wanting to be held in my arms, or curled on my lap, or sitting beside me while we do a craft together.

I love our one-on-one time together more and more. Today, I took you on a date, and while I realized quickly that it’s hard to have a meaningful conversation with you at this age, you don’t actually care. You just want to spend time with just me, act silly together, and eat at Five Guys (or “Triple A”/ChickfilA). You do some of the most absurd things that I can’t possibly articulate in writing or in pictures that crack me up. Seriously, I laugh all the time with you, Peanut. You will move your body in some odd way, and say “like this”, and then I’ll imitate you incorrectly and say “like this?”, and then you go back to showing me how to do “this”. But “this” always changes, and so the game is hilarious because you will come up with something different every day, and then burst out laughing with me. See, ah! It’s impossible to type up all your unique gestures and do them any justice. Just know this, you make me laugh to the point that correcting you appropriately is very difficult because even if you’re doing something wrong, it’s usually also pretty funny.

On a related note, you think poo poo is HILARIOUS. And “popo” (ladyparts in this house). You are *totally* obsessed with seeing your brother’s poopy diapers, or if you sing a song 9/10 you will start it correctly and end with “POPO!”. As in “Old McDonald had a farm…in his POPO!” and then crack yourself up. When Isaac “talks” and I ask you what you think he is saying, you will tell me “poo poo” and laugh 10/10. When we were in Florida, and I changed Isaac’s diaper, you told Mimi, “Buddy has a penis!” and I think my mother just about died. See, what I mean? Your 2.5-year-old age has been marked by your innocent, jubilant, curious nature and I think having a pooping, younger brother has definitely opened up a lot of that side of you.

Your motor skills are growing almost as fast as your sense of humor. I’m going to say something ridiculous, but I feel like all this constant drawing and painting is starting to show in your penmanship. Don’t get me wrong, you can’t write a letter (although, you are starting to learn them!), but you can hold a pencil pretty firmly and correctly at this point. You are practicing how to draw shapes, are about 80/20 for colors if I ask you, and don’t enjoy counting. You can count to 9, but I’ve noticed that you get very frustrated if I ask or encourage you to count so I’ve quit pushing it (for now). You will, however, begin counting if I start counting (while reading a book, let’s say) because “Iwanna doit”. So…you’re a pretty normal 2.5-year-old who is loving exploring your own independence and abilities. And man, oh man, EMOTIONS. Ya…we’re experiencing the full of extent of all the ones you contain at this age.

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Besides changing your mind constantly, and changing it back and then changing it again, you love playing with kinetic sand and your UPS truck (just outside from where Isaac is sleeping), or exploring the tot trays I’ve started making you regularly, or making “bone broth” and “soup” in your kitchen set, or painting in the bath tub. And also, playing on top of your brother – I can’t tell you how many times he’s laid quietly with you trying to sit on him in his bouncy chair or be in his face while he’s on his floor gym, but I gotta say, he really loves you (and smiles all the time when you’re near). You are into towers, puzzles, and zippers, and I usually have you “get Isaac” once he’s up from a nap, by unzipping his sleepsuit for me. You love it, because it means one more opportunity for you to jump on our bed. You loooove jumping on the bed, and I know our mattress will probably suffer, but I’ve loved giving you every chance to expend your energy this winter. And seeing you jump all around Isaac while he laughs was worth every compromised spring in that sucker.

I’ll give you a two minute warning usually once I’m done hanging out in our bedroom, and you’ll hand signal back to me two fingers and your thumb and say “two mo minutes” sternly (because you mimic a lot of what I do). But it kind of breaks my heart that you do that, and can properly separate your pinky and ring fingers now, since you used to always do it with your whole palm, fingers together. Every time someone would ask how old you were, you’d tell them “two”, but with your five-finger motion. See, the trouble with you growing up is that you’re growing up. And with every new phase is also the loss of a little bit of the last one. However important your normal development is my sentimental heart just can’t take it!

I’m trying to tell myself that one day, you and I will be able to go on a coffee date and have a real, adult conversation and I will like that a lot too, but my heart aches that your “ya” is now a “yes” or that you are increasingly articulate while simultaneously being extremely proud and grateful that you’re now able to advocate for yourself more and more. Even in weird ways, like taking yourself to the potty without me, makes me appreciate that I still get to wipe Isaac’s butt for awhile longer.

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Oh Marin, you are just so lovely at this age, and Daddy thinks you look like Sally Draper from Mad Men. I am constantly in awe of your beauty, which I try not to elaborate on because as a woman, I don’t want your physical image to be your whole identity. But those eyes, Marin. Your eyes are absolutely stunning, and your face is starting to look like a kid’s, and not my little toddler’s. Today, you wore REAL JEANS for the first time. It felt like a way more serious milestone in my head before I typed that out, but you’ve just lived in comfy leggings your whole life that it seemed worth documenting here. See? Eck, it’s dumb how sentimental EVERYTHING you do is, but I realize more and more that I don’t want to forget it all. Or any of it, actually. Even the leggings-to-pant transition as silly as it is.

I love everything about you – even your ability to negotiate every.single.thing. Whether it’s the amount of books you want to read before bed or what you want to eat for lunch, there is no day that passes without you trying to negotiate some part of it. You often don’t accept “no” as an answer, but will often press the matter further, by saying “laytuh?” (translation: later) and nod your head with hands clasped. Again, I try not to laugh because you’re dead serious and I’m simultaneously trying to parent you, but it tickles me that you always see an opportunity to get what you want. Even if it’s laytuh.

You’re even getting a little sneaky. You will invite me into the pantry to “show me something” which is always the candy box you know is hidden in there. You’ve started stacking stuff in the pantry when I put Isaac to bed to reach it yourself, but after a good little heart-to-heart on how that is a “bad idea” and me adjusting its placement to the highest shelf, you’ve thankfully stopped without breaking your neck first.

But ya, you’re just so cool. You’re so fun to spend time with. To laugh with. To cuddle with. To explore with. To watch the beginnings of your imaginative play – by telling me your green bean is the letter “I” or stacking the rest of the veggies from your vegetable soup into a ‘tower’.  To go to the zoo with to look at goats or monkeys. To have you give me a shot with your doctor’s kit. To remind again and again that Mommy has personal space that is further than an inch from my face. To have dance parties in the kitchen with Kuncle with. To make pizza with Daddy on Friday nights. To share this life with.

As always, thanks for being my girl.

I love you,

Mommy

PS: Thanks for finally starting to smile in pictures again. I am so happy to have you not run for my camera every time I pull it out – even if you now think for every picture, you earn a ‘pop’.

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