This whole toddler thing all started with me switching your blog posts from Baby Face Friday to Toddling Thru. On August 31, 2013, it felt like we said "Adios" to all things baby and "Hello" to all things toddler. Your weekly posts went from documenting every little developmental milestones to funny stories or videos of the mischief that you got yourself in to. This past year we have watched you transform into your own little person. Some days it may feel like we are dodging airborne food and tantrums but most days it is just fun to be in your presence. Eloise you are one creative, sassy, fashionable, caring, smart, and determined toddler.
I am so thankful that I am the one that brought you into this world as I now to get to see everything through your eyes. I always thought that I had an impressive imagination, but you have me beat! I only wish I could have your imagination. All of your stuffed animals and dolls are your babies. They all need to be rocked and put down for a nap with anything that you can find that can pass for a blanket. We watch you take things out of our changing table and use them correctly on your "babies" every day. Who knew you were paying that much attention when I clipped your nails or used the purple Destin diaper cream on your bottom. I'm in awe of how observant you are and precise. Sometimes, your Dad and I will sit back and watch you play by yourself because it is better than anything we will ever find on TV or read in a book. The little conversations you carry on with your toys and yourself are so entertaining. It's a riot to watch you line up your toys on the bottom steps and talk to them or sit down next to them as if they were your little friends. Hold on to that wonderful, innocent imagination for as long as you can.
One day someone is going to tell you that your Dad complained about you being an early riser or that we had to bring your chair and ipad into our bathroom so that we could shower while still keeping an eye on you. Just know that when I actually get to sleep in, take a shower in private, or do anything without you, I miss you and wonder what you're doing. I know, Mommy is a weirdo. It's true, you are an early riser. You wake up everyday around 5:30-6am. Even though you are in a toddler bed that you get in and out of just fine, you still stand up at the end of the bed, calling for Mommy when you wake up every morning. As soon as I come in to get you, you grasp your "ke-ke" (your blanket) and reach out to be picked up. No matter how tired I feel as I make that walk down the hall to get you, it all goes away the second I pick you up and your rest your head on my shoulder. We normally let you wake up a little in our bed by watching "toons" and drinking milk. If we are lucky, you let us snooze a little longer while cuddling you. For the record, we could do without the random face smacks or hammer kicks that you dole out but no one is perfect. As many parents know, privacy becomes a thing of the past with kids. Our master bathroom is the epitomy of this idea. On any given day, all 3 of us are in there doing something. Most of the time, you are in our closet trying on Mommy's belts, hats, purses or shoes. What can I say - you love your accessories just like Mommy. You love to stand in front of the mirror and talk to yourself or "do ma hair." Even at 2 years old, you know that a pick is curly-haired girl's dream.
When you aren't trying to wear Mommy's clothes, you are making demands for your own clothes. One of the biggest hits this year were "ma boots." The pink rain boots were the key to your happiness for half of the year. After that came your red Minnie Mouse sunglasses or your "Minnie gasses." Once the weather started to warm up, you were really confused as to why you couldn't wear your coat or jacket. Some days, I'd let you hold your fleece jacket the entire car ride to work just to avoid a meltdown. This summer you developed an interest in watches. After we indulged for a while with letting you wear our watches, we decided it was time to get you your own. Now when you make requests for "ma watch," we are happy to hand you your pink butterfly watch. I guess I shouldn't be surprised that you are already expressing preferences with your clothes and shoes overall. You regularly request "ma Ariel" when we are picking out your pajamas. Thankfully, you have now embraced that clothes get dirty and can't be worn everyday. When I tell you now that you can't wear your Little Mermaid nightgown, you promptly ask, "it dirty?" Keeping with the same theme here, every day besides the day you have lessons you ask if you can wear your "baby suit" (aka bathing suit). It kills me sometimes to tell you no because you really do look adorable in it as you know how to coordinate your sunglasses and sun hat accordingly. In the last few weeks, the phrases, "I like it" and "I no like it" have been throw out when I've gotten you dressed. I'll continue to laugh now and pretend like I will always be able to win these battles.
During this last year, we have witnessed the evolution of your friendship with Piper. That first year I don't think you were really that aware of Piper. Now the two of you behave like siblings. You ask about her when she's not around and offer her your food at every meal. It's actually adorable when you hold your food over the highchair tray to her and say, "Want some?" However, you regularly tell her, "Outside, Piper" or "Piper - No, No." Piper loves to swipe your toys - especially the Little People figurines and oven mits. I love how sweet you two can be together when you snuggle on the floor or on the couch. You never see it but Piper sleeps outside your room every night for the first few hours you are asleep. She worries about you when you get to close to the stairs or if you are really crying. I love that you try to hug Piper every chance you get and giggle if her wet nose rubs against your cheek. Thank you for being worried about her when we take her to the Vet to get shots and offering her your cheddar bunnies when you think she is sad. Thank you for covering her with blankets and tucking her in even though she really doesn't want you to.
Eloise, you are the easiest person to love in my life. My love for you is like breathing- it comes so naturally. I feel like I don't have to try or work at it, I just love you. I'm so sorry that I have "mom fails" every day but thank you for loving me anyway. I look forward to you growing up but I want you to stay little at the same time. Please always call me Mommy and ask for me when you wake up, get out of the bath tub, or fall down. You called me "Ma" for a week this Spring and I about died. Please always run to me at the end of the day when I come pick you up from school and tell everyone with pride, "that my Mommy." Thank you for believing that I'm the most important person in the world. According to you, everything that we own is Mommy's - Mommy's bed...Mommy's car...Mommy's bath...Mommy's house. Let's be real - Mommy runs the show but don't tell Daddy. Eloise Joy, you live up to your name and bring everyone in your life so much joy every day. I'm beyond blessed to be the one you call "Mommy." I love you more than you will ever be able to comprehend.