My name is Jen. I have a contagiously funny husband, three awesomely gorgeous daughters, a knack for design, a love for writing, an obsession with kids fashion, a secret desire to be a photographer and a curfew of 10 pm. WHO'S WITH ME?
OTHER PLACES I HANG OUT
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Dear Lily Bean,
I completely intended on writing this letter to you 5 months ago, right when you hit the big 2. But, you know, things kinda got in the way for a bit…like… trying to breathe. And cook dinner. And grow my hairline out.
I know those aren’t very good excuses, because, what kind of mother cares about food and personal beauty when their only 2nd daughter is hitting a milestone that is far more important? I’ll tell you what kind. The kind that also forgot to write a letter to your sister when she turned 4 a few months later. THAT KIND.
What I’m really trying to say is, I’m sorry it took me so long.
But, the great thing about you being 2 1/2 next month, and me going into cardiac arrest when I think about it, is that I have an extra almost-six months of things to write about AND I had an EKG with promising results last month, so I know I’ll probably survive. So, if you think about it, this is a good situation all around.
Lily Lu Lu, where do I even BEGIN? HOW do I begin? You are so much LOVE and HILARITY packaged into one little toddler. You are also the epitome of a 2 year-old. When your big sister was 2, she was really 22. Or maybe it just seemed that way. Or maybe it’s because you’re not only 2, but also the second child. Or, maybe, I have no idea what I’m trying to say here, other than you are the EPITOME OF A 2 YEAR-OLD. And I guess what I really mean by that is that you are so friggin’ cute that I just want to explode into a million pieces, with happiness bursting out of every seam of my body. That’s the level of cuteness you have going on. From your spirally ringlets of golden-brown hair to your gigantic joyous smile that could stop traffic, you emit adorableness. Almost every single thing that comes out of your mouth is just so damn CUTE. Unless, of course, you’re throwing a tantrum of epic proportions, telling me that you just ate a huge ball of playdoh after I asked you not to, kicking your door after you’ve been put in time-out for the 3rd time that hour or screaming at the top of your lungs, “LOOK OUT BELOW!!!” and then dropping diaper bombs down the stairwell. In those instances, you may have not been the cutest, however, I could never stay upset with you for long. Plus, you were kinda helping out with the diaper bombs, anyway, because they had to eventually make their way down to the garage and off of the living room floor.
You have, by far, the most titles in this family. I’m not sure how that came to be. Maybe because some of them morphed from expletives in response to something you weren’t supposed to be doing. Or because you stopped listening to the same name being yelled out loud when you weren’t supposed to be doing something. Or even it could be because YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO BE DOING SOMETHING. Whatever the reason, you have names and we like to use them.
I love all your names. I really do. Because they all have a moment. A meaning. A way to get pretend we have your attention. Lil, Lils, Lily Belle, Lily Bean, Lily Lu Lu, Yiddy, L, LJ, Wrecking Ball, Tornado, Hurricane, Frodo (a personal fave), Bruce Lee, Beatrice, Mon Chi Chi, The Renegade, The Lil Monster, My Little Lily Girl, and many more. I think at this point if I called you Candy Cane, you’d flash one of your million-dollar ear-to-ear toothy smiles, stare up at me with your large deep brown seducing eyes and reply in your sickingly adorable tiny 2 year-old voice with, “Me love candy canes. Mommy, can I have a gum ball?” And then you’d rip your pants off and pee on the floor. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH, CANDY CANE.
We’re constantly AMAZED by what you have accomplished in your short years. I find myself saying, “Did she really just do that?” more times than not during the week, and it’s not just when you bring your sister down with a spinebuster that moves her to tears. In all seriousness, we should have known you’d be a go-getter from the start–rolling over at 2 months old; walking at 9 months, talking back at 10. You’re quick advancement through life has been incredible and ever-so-apparent in your wardrobe choices as you dress yourself alone in your room every morning. For example, this morning, you ran out wearing a purple, fuschia and grey dress with bright orange, yellow and turquoise patterned leggings. With rain boots. If that doesn’t say, “I’m awesome,” I don’t know what does. And if people don’t agree with this, they just have to be gently reminded that your older sister STILL has me dress her, because the one time I let her do it alone, she came out wearing two sets of long-sleeved fleece pajamas on top of one another. I couldn’t understand why the girl was sitting on the couch, sweating profusely, until I noticed a tiny peek of her bottom layer. Clearly, you, my sweet child, don’t need my help.
You have tremendous balance and athletic capability and are excellent on your feet. You can climb just about ANYTHING. I know this because I often find you on top of the kitchen counters or 3/4 of the way up the fridge. There is no “safe zone” with Spider Man in the house. (Another name!) But most times, I’m just so blown away at your repelling skills, that I don’t mind what appliance you’re coming out of. Just the other day, you were walking across the window shelf downstairs when the extra-long double rod came crashing down above you, which made you leap off the wall and into the middle of the room like you were 007 avoiding a bomb. If you had all black on, the neighbors would have thought I housed ninjas. I’m just surprised you didn’t tuck and roll at the end of your 20 ft. jump. Have they taught you nothing in Special Ops?
I LOVE that you emulate your big sister, A-Z. That’s what you call her: A-Z. Not to be confused with Jay-Z, who has an Empire State of Mind and a hankering for girls with sparkling booties. Unlike Jay-Z, though, A-Z and you are best friends and the only yacht you frequent together has porcelein siding and is located in our bathroom. And is actually a bath tub. But, you love A-Z with all of your heart. I see the admiration for her in your eyes. I feel the devotion you have for her in how you repeat her every move or need to give her a kiss before she leaves the house. And, the excitement in your voice when you want to share some news with her, or say hello to her when she climbs into the car after school, is palpable. She reciprocates this love for you in everything she does as well. Now, you also have a little sister to dote on. Cha-dee baby, what you call her, is another one of your “babies.” If she’s hungry, you feed her. If she’s crying, you’re sure to find her binkie. If she’s awake in her crib, you take her clothes off. Often times, I find her confused and nude, but she’s your BABY, and for that, I am grateful. Although she might be slightly frightened of you at the moment, she will soon be linked to your hip and a friend for life.
I don’t know of another child who wants to be held more than you do. In fact, if there has been one consistent phrase out of your mouth for the last year, it’s been, “Hold me.” It’s hard to resist, when you stand at our feet, binkie in your mouth and blankie wrapped around your head. And before anyone gives you any lip about still using a binkie, just know that I’m OK with it and that’s all that matters. You won’t have it forever and things could be much worse, like, you could crawl into our bed 3 out of 7 nights a week. And, let’s be real, I’m OK with that, too.
Lily girl, you are charismatic, playful, hysterical and brilliant . You are OBSESSED with shoes and it’s the FIRST thing you notice on someone (and try to steal from them). You love to dress up, but you love to get dirty, even more. You are the first to dump everything onto the floor and single-handedly destroy the house in nanoseconds, yet also the first to grab a dust pan immediately afterwards to be sure you “clean up.” You can sing the lyrics to songs you love and you dance like crazy to Party Rock Anthem. You ask me to play Dirty Bit EVERY time we get into the car. (Note to self- change CD options in car.) You can ride a bike (with training wheels), count to 15 and roller blade around the house for three hours without blinking an eye. You are inquisitive and smart and silly and have a memory sharper than a tack. And you make my heart melt.
You are amazing. Wonderful. Gorgeous. Lovable. And maybe even slightly psychotic.
You are TWO.
You are my 2-year old daughter. And I love you to pieces.