Two years. Two weeks. Two days. That’s how old my Earth Day birthday girl is.
Numbers are big these days. Last week, three days of fever (so sad! so unlike her!). Three balloons for her birthday, two of them mylar. She can count a bit: one mouth (she scrunches her lips to ascertain that, yes, there is only one mouth), two ears (she touches them, reassured), two eyes (seeing out of them seems to be proof enough), one nose (a touch to the side, like Santa, but without rising up the chimney), and…three feet. Ah. Well. She can count to twelve, but give her three things in a dish, and she’ll count “One, two, dee, doh, die, dih, deh, eight, nigh, teh, weh, teh,” running through all the numbers in her repertoire. A fine counter she is – as long as the number is one, sometimes two, or twelve.
Her awareness of time is growing, too. When she saw her juice on the table, she was it was “from yesterday.” And it was. A couple of days later, she saw and then was happily eating a sucker, always lollipops to her, or really, “wahweepops.” I asked Matthew, “When you were a kid, did you eat the swirled Lifesavers suckers?” And if you, readers, did not, you’ve missed out – and apparently, they are no longer made, so you’ll need to continue to live with this gaping, life-preserver-shaped hole in your life. Ah, the blueberry ones…which prompted our dear girl to say, “When I was kid, I ate wahweepop, too – like this!” as she brandished the sucker in front of her. When she was a kid – and it’s true, her first sucker was on Halloween, nearly a quarter of her life ago. It kills me.
And colors. It’s been about a month, maybe a little more. But she nails them. Red. Blue. Silver. Yellow. Cars are her favorite color-identification-item of choice; their variety, their speed, and their sudden appearance and disappearance all make them great focal points, whether out on a walk or just looking out the window. So what if orange is yellow?
Finally, the potty. For at least a month before her birthday, she was diaper free. For probably a month before that, she was diaper free during the day and sometimes during nap- and nighttime. I’d give her the choice, and sometimes she’d pick diaper, sometimes undies. Now, even with the occasional wet pair of undies, I feel safe in calling her potty-trained. Hooray, girlie!
Where’s the thrill, the storyline, the cohesion, something to make all of this hang together? Good question. I don’t know. I just knew that I didn’t want my remarkable and much-loved girl’s second birthday to pass wholly unremarked. As a mother, now, birthdays seem as if they really mean most to parents (and anyone already living), the memorializing of the day that the world and we, in particular, had the great fortune to make the acquaintance of a new life, THIS particular girl. These bits and pieces of her don’t add up to the whole, but they are part of her, and by sharing them, maybe I’m reminding myself just how lucky I am to be privy to even this much knowledge of another’s life.