She is my second child and you would think I would prepared for THAT moment. You know the one. THAT moment when you know your little baby is no longer toddler form of that beautiful baby but a toddler turning into a little girl.
I've seen it coming for the past few months. Her vocabulary doubles daily. She delights me with her sentences that I can understand more and more of. She has started ordering me around and making decisions for herself. My baby is growing up before my eyes.
And so, as I did for her sister, I am writing to her, for her, in honour of the birthday just been.
To my sweet, wild, gorgeous baby girl,
Two years ago, after months of lying transverse, giving your Mumma the worst reflux, moving constantly and being 8 days overdue, you finally decided to enter the world. You entered calmly, 8 hours after I went into labour. 2 pushes, and you eased gracefully and painlessly into our lives. In what we now know to be a trait of your single minded determination, you started feeding straight away, and stayed latched on for the next 4 hours. It did not matter that people wanted to meet you. You were set on what you wanted from the outset. You were the most placid and wonderful of babies. You had obviously read the handbook, as you slept when I wanted you to, fed when I wanted you to, and fitted into our little family as though you had always been there.
I love your determination and adventurous spirit. You amaze me daily with your capacity to find new places and challenges to conquer. There is no such thing as 'risk' or 'fear' in your vocabulary. I love that your personality is so different to mine - that you have so many qualities I envied in others when I was growing up - qualities that will hold you in great stead as you grow. There is no couch tall enough, no staircase too high, no playground equipment too large in your world. I love that the first time you saw children on a flying fox, you turned to your Dad and said excitedly 'Milli turn!"
I love the golden curls on the back of your head that have taken such a long long time to grow. I constantly find myself reaching out to pull them through my fingers, glistening strands of perfect gold, so opposite in colour to mine. Some days you tolerate my hair stroking liberties, but mostly you shake your head with a firm 'no Mumma' and move away. I love that I will still be stroking those curls when you are all grown up, even though you will still be saying no.
I love the mischievous glint you get in your eyes, when you are deciding whether to listen to me, or go ahead and get into the very thing you have been asked not to do. I love the way your 2 year old legs run down the hallway and the high pitched giggle you get when you are being chased.
I love that when you wake up in the morning you sing out "Daddy hoooop uuuupp!" before you think about calling out for me. I love that when Daddy does get you up, you come straight to my side of the bed, hop in for cuddles and watch Bananas in Pyjamas on my phone as I struggle to wake up. Those moments, when you actually lie still and snuggle in with me, are more precious to me than gold little girl.
I love that you love Pink Bunny, Moo Moo and Baby more than any other toy, and that they have to be in bed with you for you to fall asleep. I love that Pink Bunny is THE toy that calms you down when you are upset and the way your tongue pokes out of you mouth when you hold her when you're tired.
I love that you love and adore your older sister, and watching you play happily with each other, and support each other and help each other, gives me reassurance that you are learning to be there for each other, as you will need to be, in ways that only sisters can be when you are grown up.
I love listening to you talk to me, the sentences that you are constructing and the words that you use. I love that you still call me Mumma, as well as Mum and Mummy. I love that you still call Daddy, Daddy and think it is hilarious that this week you started to call him by his first name. I love that you call Uncle Michael and Aunty Shelley 'Schmichael", that you call our puppy 'Barney Boy' just like Daddy does and that you called your sister "Dora" a long time before you started using her actual name.
I love that you love to stroke the fabric in storybooks. I love when you bring books to me asking 'Storwees pease Mumma'. I love that you still pretend not to know where the green sheep is, despite having read that story more times than I could ever count.
I love that you love green vegetables and will choose to eat them over eating chicken nuggets, chips or sausages.
I love that you are equally happy playing with your tonka truck and match box cars, as you are playing with dolls and prams with your sister. And I love that you have started asking me 'cuppa tea Mumma?' as you hand me a tea cup. I love the way you have started tilting your head to the side when asking important questions and how you answer with 'alwight', 'tankoo', and 'your welcome Mumma' when we reply.