Exactly one month after the Summer Solstice, you will be two and a half. On a daily basis, your emerging personality teaches me something new about the spirited little person I am raising.
Your favorite book right now is “Little Mommy” and you call it the “baby book.” It’s about a little girl who loves her dollies very much; they are her children and she is the mommy. You can often be found traipsing around the house with a baby doll in each arm, or a baby doll in one arm and a miniature baby bottle in the other hand, also known as the “baby wa-wa.”
When you want to nurse your baby, you ask everyone else to leave the room. Sometimes you pull your shirt up, sometimes you pull it down, sometimes you take it off all together. And sometimes you prefer for me to nurse your baby, “baby wants nummies,” and to humor you, I nurse a doll, which promptly leads you to take over the coveted position as “Baby.”
You played hide and go seek with Grammy and Emile, and a few days later, I watched you hide your face with your hands and count to ten while sitting in the carseat, as if you were going to wiggle your way out of the straps (I wouldn’t be surprised) and find whomever was hiding under your seat. You are always ready to play.
I ate a piece of dried mango before nap time the other day. I scooped you up and you said “Mama, I want mango!” I told you it was time for a nap and you leaned forward and pressed your little nose against my cheek to get a better smell, then you said, “Mommy have mango?” when I conceded, you said, “I want mango! Me!!” The same happened again with a chocolate kiss. Nothing gets past you.
On the playground, you like to climb, walk across balance beams, ride the zipline, and hug little babies. If they’re a few sizes smaller than you, you turn into an affectionate big sister. You show caution around big slides, sometimes you like the swing and sometimes you don’t. You are adventurous and friendly.
You approached a little boy about your age who was climbing up the slide, you followed him, patting your chest and saying, “I’m Giovanna.” When he turned away, you followed him, forgetting the usual shyness you exhibit around adults, telling him again in case he didn’t hear, “I’m Giovanna.” You are persistent.
You like using the phone. And while you beg to call your people such as cousin Haven, Grammy, Juju, or Jimmy, you don’t want to talk to them once their voice pipes through the speakerphone. You prefer to listen. Actually, what you really prefer is to see as well as listen, and you often request “FaceTime.” You are so familiar with technology and smartphones that it’s a little alarming. I left my (locked) phone on the dresser, where I thought little hands couldn’t reach, and I found you with the phone, watching Dora, ever so innocently.
Every day you stand on a chair to help Mama in the kitchen, usually by cracking eggs or washing dishes. You are meticulous and thorough.
Sometimes you narrate your actions, like when you’re doing your business on the potty. “Wipe. Throw it. Flush it.” My favorite part being “throw it” as you toss the paper into the toilet.
You insist on doing your own hair, and you like to do mine too. So I let you brush it gently and I’m rewarded with your tiny little voice, “pretty hair, mama!” Then, you turn the brush back onto yourself and I hear you saying, “pretty hair, Gigi!” You make me smile.
Grammy introduced the concept of a princess to you via Dora’s Snow Princess story, and now you’re hooked. You chose a pretty dress with a ruffle one day and called it your princess dress. Then you added a tutu underneath for extra oomph, and called yourself a princess. And while I am not a fan of princess propaganda, I am glad you know your worth. I will teach you someday, every one is the princess of their own life.
I find myself overcome, every few minutes it seems, by my love for you, and I cannot help but plant little kisses on your forehead. As if this kind of love creates an unstoppable force, and a kiss unleashes it onto the world.
I love you, sweet girl.