You are so brilliant. You know so many words. When you don't know them, you make good guesses, like calling aardvarks "elfants" and various bugs "bees and butt-flys." You can "opwen" water bottles and juice cups and your jewelry box by yourself. (You love putting bracelets and necklaces on and saying "pretty pretty!" with this little princess headshake/hair-flip)
You have a great sense of humor. You dive into the freshly turned garden dirt, sitting right down in it and tossing handfuls onto yourself, yelling "bath! Baaathhh!" You like to play "sleep." You gather "plows" and "bank/nite-nites" (pillows and blankies) and collapse into them, sighing dramatically with contentment and squeezing your eyes shut. You fake a throaty little snore, pull the blankies over your head, then peek out at me with one eye and a conspiratorial smile at the corners of your mouth to let me know that you are not really asleep, but man are you good at pretending. You came up with this Quidditch/Cowgirl thing all on your own:
You are so bad. Your favorite thing that you are not allowed to do is put your feet in the dog's water dish. Daddy and I are getting good at noticing the sly look that crosses your face when you get the idea to do this. You stop in your tracks, a mischievous dimple appearing in your cheek as your eyes slide in our direction. Your whole body goes still, limbs paralyzed by the sudden need to place yourself in the water. Your feet are your biggest tell. When you are just about to do something naughty, they break into this little shuffle that we have dubbed your "bad feet." You make these quick little short steps toward the object of your temptation- the TV buttons, the tissues, the tall glass of ice water-all the while looking toward us (but not at us) from beneath your coyly lowered lashes. If we do not reach you in time, your bad feet dance takes you directly into the dog water, both feet and your butt too, if you can manage it. I'm not sure if your favorite part is the way the water splooshes into your shoes, or the slapping of your socks when you jump out and go soggily smacking down the hall, whooping in obvious glee at what you have gotten away with. In either, case, you delight in being bad.
You are very independent. You want to feed yourself, hold your own cup, rock your own chair, and decide on your own when you need help, thank you very much. (You say "hands?" when you need a hand, reaching out your own with the full expectation that your personal valets will always be immediately available to assist. Which we are.)
You are also a good sharer. When you have noodles, you want Mommy and Duke to have noodles. You see puppies in your books, and point to their big woeful eyes, and say "Duke; eyes. Cookie! Mmmmmm!" You sympathize with these dogs. You know your dog, and how much he likes his cookies. You thing every dog should have cookies. You love them all that much.
You are concerned for the welfare of others. You exclaim "stuck! stuck!" when you see cartoon squirrels shoved in glass jars, or kitties sleeping half-covered by blankies, or Mommy's butt sticking out from behind the entertainment center.
You have such a big heart. You love your Aunt "Mimi" and Pop-pop and Gramma and Duke and kitties (Flip-up and Punking), whom you kiss and chase and squeeze every chance you get. You gaze adoringly at Erin when she comes home from school, reaching up with your little arms that she cannot resist no matter how stressed out or difficult her day has been. You talk about Daddy when he's at work, and melt his heart when you lay your head on his shoulder and pat his back with your tiny hands. You banish all of my worldly concerns when you wrap your arms around my neck, resting your cheek against mine while gathering my hair up in your gentle fingers.
You are happiest when all four of us are together, and so are we.
You are so many glorious things. Every day, every moment, I love you. I cannot fill my eyes enough with the sight of you. Even when you are whiney, cranky, stubborn and cantankerous (and you are), my whole being is filled with knowing every amazing piece of you. More amazing is how you sense this helpless welling emotion that leaks and overflows from my previously well-governed reservoirs. You see my adoration, and you give it back. You know that you are loved. You have incredible love to give. You are only seventeen months and eight days old and you are already a wonderful person.
We love you so much.