And at this time, 1:06am, a little girl entered the world who, unbeknownst to me, would change my entire life, and my entire self. But that story began on April 15th. The little girl’s unique, personal story begins two years ago today, when she was born to her other mother. I don’t know anything about her birth story. I wasn’t there, nor did I have any inkling that anything important was happening on that day, or at that time. So this day belongs to her, and to her birth mom, much more than it does to me.
A snapshot of M at two years old:
Favorite person: by far and away, her mommy 🙂 She also loves her “dada” (my mom) and “C” (my girlfriend)
Favorite movies: Lion King, Finding Nemo
Favorite vegetable: celery and carrot sticks (dipped in ranch)
Favorite fruit: Apples (she likes to eat them whole)
Favorite snack: cheese
Favorite breakfast: cereal and milk
Favorite junk food: veggie straws and fruit snacks
Favorite toys: tool sets, balls, trampoline
Favorite activities: Jumping, running, climbing, drilling and “building”, eating ice, feeding/not feeding the dogs, watching fish, getting her nails painted, being swung around by her arms or armpits in circles, pushing buttons, putting keys into locks, snapping belt clasps together, zipping up anything with a zipper
Dislikes: wearing shoes and socks, having a wet/dirty pull-up, the vacuum cleaner
New words/phrases: “ow!” (whenever she is bumped or accidentally jostled, etc), “noo-noo-noo” (pronounced ‘new new’) for things she shouldn’t do, saying words she used to sign for, like “milk”, instead of signing hungry, she says “bite!”, “thank you mama”, “here you go mama”, “are you ok?”, “ok” for yes, “uh uh” for no, “bah-ee” for potty, “pees” (please)
New achievements: saying and counting to two, going in the potty, opening doorknobs, taking off clothes and diaper, singing to Megan Trainor “Lips are Movin'” and “Twinkle Twinkle”
Most popular reasons for time out: going out the doggy door into the cold winter (usually barefoot and bare-bottomed), hitting the dogs with objects or sitting on them, hitting people (she really likes to hit kids smaller than her)
Awake time: 7:30am
Nap time: 12-2pm for one hour
Baby “security” objects: baba (bottle of milk) and pacifier (in her hand, sometimes mouth) at bedtime and nap time
Places visited the year she was one: Dallas, St. Louis, Traverse City, Chicago, New York City, New Hampshire
Number of flights: five
Personality: M is a take-charge type of person. She is serious about pursuing whatever she sets her mind to, even single-minded when working towards a goal. She is not easily distracted or persuaded to change course. She does like to laugh and be silly but only in the right time, if she’s in the right mood. She’s not talkative around new people or situations, and takes some time to warm up to new people, but she isn’t shy in the sense that she will go for what she wants no matter where she is or who she is around. She likes activities that have traditionally been labeled “boyish”. She is very physical and very mechanical-minded: she prefers to take things apart and put them together, manipulate locks and latches and buttons, and figuring out how contraptions or technology works. She prefers to learn how to manipulate her environment and takes great satisfaction in doing so. She is often affectionate and sweet, but she prefers to be the one who initiates such moments. If she’s not in the mood to be hugged or cuddled, she doesn’t hesitate to let you know. She prefers not to be held or touched by men if she doesn’t know them well.
Habits: M is a good sleeper, sometimes not waking in the night at all, other times needing only a pat or two for reassurance before falling back asleep. She doesn’t mind disruption in her routine, although for a nap or bedtime she does need it to be dark and quiet to settle down and fall asleep. She is ok with skipping a nap. She can go with the flow of any daily activity and keeps herself very busy and active and curious in every environment. She prefers to go “bye-bye” at least once a day and usually will request it if we stay home. She is not that interested in taking a bath these days, it isn’t always a great experience. She likes to be held, and would prefer me to carry her around more often. She likes to participate in any grown-up activity: cooking, laundry, typing on the laptop, sweeping the floor, like most toddlers. She is used to long car rides and sometimes doesn’t want to get out of the car.
My love for this child grows with every passing day. I never knew that a heart could hold so much love. I’ve grateful every moment of my life for this day in 2013, and for the woman who brought this girl into being. I think of her on this day with gratitude and a love that is like no other.