Hey Cutie Bug,
You are 27 months old. I don't think I'm allowed to count your age in months anymore, but since I'm the mommy I'm going to make up the rules. I have been meaning to write down all of the things that have been going on in your little world for a while, but I never actually sat down to make those notes. Lately, you are so funny and so astute that I have to write this down before I forget. So let's start with how much you talk and some of the things you are saying, shall we?
For starters, whenever you cry or you're upset, I rub your back and whisper to you "I know, I know" as in, I know baby, I know you're hurting/sad/scared, I'm here to make it better. Now when you are hurt or sad or scared, you will walk around crying while repeating over and over again "I know, I know". The other day you had a terrible diaper rash and while I was wiping you, you were crying "I knowwww, I knowwww". I was trying so hard not to laugh.
Crying is something that you do often. Mostly for dramatic effect. You like to tell me no. And not in a mean way. But I'll ask you "Reese, would you like to have lunch now?" and you'll look at me and say "no" very sweetly. It's hard to be mad at you when you are just being honest.
A few weeks ago daddy was home alone with all of you guys and you were really having a day. Bubba fell and got hurt and you were walking around crying hysterically. Daddy asked you what was wrong and you said "I'm crying!" (very dramatically). He said "I know you're crying, why are you crying?" and you said "I'm sad!" (even more dramatically). You are very in touch with your feelings.
Today when I picked you guys up from school your teacher pulled me aside to tell me about something you said at snack time. Apparently you were playing when everyone was sitting for snacks. She asked you if you wanted to sit at the table and have snack with everyone else. She told me you put your hand on your hip, turned your foot out to the side and said "well, what is it?" ha! She was floored. I don't know where you get this stuff from.
You have started using your own name with regularity. Share Reese, Reese turn, Reese try. The other day we were playing hide and go seek and I was pretending to look for you. You were "hiding" underneath one of daddy's winter hats (which is to say you pulled the hat on over your whole head and assumed that you were now invisible). I kept saying "Reese, Reese, where are you?" you pulled the hat off your head and shouted "Here she is! It's Puff!" It was the first time I had heard you call yourself Puff and I darn near peed my pants. Loved it.
Other things that you say all the time are "what happened?" and "careful!" and I know this is because I am always asking you guys what happened when someone is crying or yelling at you all to be careful. This house full of monkeys we live in can get crazy sometimes.
When you don't want to do something you close your eyes in this funny little way that makes your nose scrunch up and then you tilt your head to the side. Then you will open your eyes just a smidge, just so they are tiny little slits and you check to see if I'm still standing there. I think the head tilt helps you see out of your tiny eye slits. I wish I could capture this face on camera. I haven't been able to yet. Anyway, this exchange happens no less than forty times a day...when I want to take your toothbrush away, when I want you to eat something that I'm waving in front of your mouth on a fork, when I ask you to put something away. I could go on and on. You literally try to will things away with your mind. What a hoot.
Right now you love animals, especially animals that live on farms. You know all of your animal noises - even dolphins (eee-eee!) and monkeys (ooo-eee-aaa). Your favorite animals are definitely horses. You run around shouting "yee-haw" or "giddy-up". All of your little people are farmers or cowboys. You have just started playing pretend. Eating pretend food, having your little people talk to one another or ride their horses. Your imagination is amazing. My heart explodes watching you translate your world.
You love bouncing and jumping, whether it's on a trampoline or mommy's bed. You jump while screaming "I'm careful!" what a hoot. You also love playing catch and when I hear you shout "RED-DY! catch!" I know I am about to be hit in the head with a ball. We still have to work on giving people time to respond to "ready". You love to take pictures with my big camera. You hold the camera to your eyes and scream "camerrr, smile!" Some of the best pictures I have of your brother, lately, are ones you took.
You are not the kind of kid that likes to be told what to do. You have to be part of the decision making process. It's not a bad quality to have, at all. I love that you are strong-willed and assertive. I have had to learn how to parent you, and I am still learning. I have found what works is giving you choices. Instead of asking if you want to get dressed in the morning, I need to ask you "which of these three dresses do you want to wear today?" to get buy-in. You are able to pick out your own clothes and you do a great job matching already. You pick out your hair bows daily and you absolutely love your routines, and will remind me if I left something out ("I brush teeth now?").
While you are a very dominant personality, you are also one of the kindest people I know. I don't know how a heart so big fits in your tiny body. You give out hugs for no reason. You seek out your siblings to kiss them or hold their hands. You tell mommy and daddy and Bubba all the time that you love us. You are kind. You share without being asked to do so. If you have water, you bring your glass to Bubba so he can have a sip. If someone falls and gets hurt, you run to help them and ask if they are okay. (After you tell them to be careful! ha!) I often find you sitting next to Lola, just holding her hand. You are such a good big sister.
Your favorite TV show is Bubble Guppies and you can tell me exactly which 'sode you want to watch and you know most of the words when it comes on. Yesterday I put your hair in pigtails and when you saw yourself in the mirror, you touched your piggies and said "like Oona". I almost died. Your favorite movie is Finding Nemo. As a result of watching Nemo, you now say "awesome" and "dude" with regularity.
You are slowly becoming a great eater. It took a while. I give you credit because you will say "I try it" and put your tongue to your fork. You don't always eat what I serve, but you always "try" everything. You will request certain foods, even if you'll never eat them (i.e. a sandwich). But since you have started talking, meals have become easier because you can tell me what you want and your requests are always wonderful -- pears, cheese, yogurt, tomatoes -- things I don't mind you eating, so you make my life easy. I asked you what you wanted for breakfast this morning and you told me pancakes. Ha! I didn't have time to make them, so we agreed on cereal and I am making you pancakes for dinner, as promised. Your favorite foods right now are definitely bananas, spaghetti, tomatoes and blueberries. You eat a half pint of blueberries almost every day. I don't know where you put it all.
At night, not only do we have to go through our normal bedtime routine (baths, lotion, milk, books) but now you have to physically be tucked in. You lay down and tell us "tuck in"and hand us your blankets so that we can lay them over you and tuck them under you. We say goodnight to each of your animals -- and there are many of them that you sleep with now -- and place them all around you. Already, you try to find ways to keep us in your room. "I have hug now?" I mean seriously, who could say no to another hug? If I let you, you'd make me hug you 75 times more. I usually draw the line at ten extra hugs and then we really go night nights.
You are beautiful and spunky, funny and kind. Each day I am amazed by your little personality and the little girl you are becoming. I am so excited about all the things that are to come.
Love you, Puff.