Two years ago today, I woke my husband in the middle of the night on a school night, and then we woke my mother-in-law, who was very excited, to tell her she needed to get the boys off to school in a few hours because we were on our way to the hospital.
A short while later, Toots made a slip-n-slide style entry into the world shortly before dawn. I nearly dropped her on the floor before Honey and a nurse could swing me up onto the bed.
Her eyes are brown, dark brown, like two drops of deep dark molten chocolate, yet they sparkle and twinkle with curiosity and mischief.
She still sucks two-fingers more often than not, and squeezes a handful of my belly as a comfort, where other kids have a favorite stuffed animal or blankie. I can tell where she is in the house by the rhythmic sucking noise echoing off the living room cathedral ceiling, or from the corner of the office behind my desk.
She talks a lot now. She was a very quiet baby for a very long time. She was just taking it all in, assessing what was useful before she would speak. She is very polite, using yes please, no thank you, excuse me please, and blesses you when you sneeze.
She is initially shy with people, but once she warms up she loves to do things that get a reaction from her new audience. She flirts with Mr. Cynic's teenage friends.
She loves her big brothers and will follow them around to be a part of whatever they are doing. She and Captain Comic particularly enjoy jumping on the twampowine and digging up my garden patches when I'm not looking. Mr. Cynic and she have a special language consisting of a raspberry-tongued greeting and giggles.
She loves clementines and chocolate, cheese and popcorn. she says, "Mmmm, dass good! Yes it is!" when she tries something she likes.
I can't believe how much she has grown. My boys' toddlerhoods seemed so much longer then. I'm older now, and I am with her all day, and her toddlerhood has flown. She astounds me everyday.
She has a generally easygoing nature, calm, serene, even. She is cautious, but loves a thrill ride, high on the swing, thrown into the air, down a slide, flips off my lap, the faster the better, the higher the better, the steeper the drop the better.
Her smile can charm the most cynical. She melts the world with a glance from under her curly coppery mop.
I'm the luckiest mom alive. I love her, too-too.