Somehow the first week of October is already behind us and it occurred to me that not only have I been quiet here lately, but we are less than a month from RL’s second birthday. How did that happen?! It would appear that Miss Raegan is anticipating the upcoming arrival of Two as she has turned into quite the toddler here recently. She is talking, talking, talking all the time; so much so, that when folks who see her on a regular basis miss a week with her, they are amazed at her speech the next time they’re around her. And she is quite proud of herself, as she should be, for all the things she is doing on her own – putting on shoes, for example and even her own pants yesterday (never mind that they were backwards). “Me did it!” is what we often hear after these accomplishments and of course they are always followed with her signature, huge grin that is so darn infectious. How could we not celebrate (with) her?!
Of course, with the Twos (and, as my friends so rightly predicted, the Threes and the Fours), comes some muddy water to navigate. There is the flip side of “Me do it!” when she no longer wants help with tasks but doesn’t quite have the patience or fine motor skills to achieve said tasks. And there is also the crazy making, “Me want!” “No want!” that she’s been doing lately, especially at the table. It doesn’t matter what you offer the child. She will first declare, loudly, that she doesn’t want it. When you then comply, she shrieks about your mistreatment and failure, demanding the exact item that she just denied. And rinse and repeat. A dozen or more times a day. I mean, I love the girl to pieces, but seriously, my eardrums and my patience are fraying.
But then there is Raegan’s running. Oh, be-still my heart, how I love to see a toddler run. The little arms pumping furiously, the little legs taking choppy and chunky, just-as-fast-as-they-can-go little steps that really don’t seem too quick until you’re in a parking lot and then, look out! The girl’s got speed! But really, parking lot heart attacks aside, I adore watching her run. Whether it is through the house or in the yard or after her brother or her daddy, Raegan running always makes me smile. She’s always been my bubbly little peanut, full of life and sass, and to see her run is to see all of that come together in pigtail bouncing, pure joy, especially when she hollers: “Me running! Me running!” [But seriously, back to the parking lot thing….I once mocked mothers who used leashes and now I am thinking I might need one to get her to and from preschool pick up when we collect Harrison because, dang, the girl can get away from me quick.]
As with every change of the season (hello, sweaters and SmartWool socks; how I’ve missed you!) and every birthday, I get both excited and nostalgic. I love that Raegan is gaining independence because it literally saves my back and it is just so enjoyable to see her taking on the world. At the same time, I can’t believe my baby girl is already now closer to being a big kid than a baby. Again, how did that happen?! There’s no good/clear answer other than life happened. And some days we have been able to slow down enough to recognize and appreciate that while others have been a bit of a blur, lost to survival mode, but that too is life (especially with three Littles under the age of five in the house!). So while I know Three will be here in a flash, I hope we can savor Two a bit. Of course there will be challenges and tantrums and who knows what else, but no one ever said growing (or parenting) was easy. And of course there can certainly be beauty throughout it all, too; especially with this little love driving the bus: