You are a steam engine, running around tirelessly from the moment you awaken at 6:30 am to your midday too-short nap to your evening slumber.
You beg us to go outside, rain or shine, even though you’ve already been three times that day, shouting “Ousside ousside ousside ousside” as you bang on the door. I hear you, my love. I hear you.
OUSSIDE OUSSIDE OUSSIDE
You stand proudly on the couch jumping, shouting, “BOOKS! BOOKS! BOOKS!”, arms held high in the air, your high-pitched squeal and lisp barely making out the words. Oh, Brown Bear, Brown Bear? Again? Of course.
You take the exact moment I take to look at my phone to dash away upstairs, pausing just long enough to look back at me and smirk before you scurry up the rest of the way. I see you, you 18 month old terror, and I know you know. Yet, you run, giggling the whole way.
You, my little Evel Knievel, scale atop the couch ledge, searching for the exact spot to stand in the window sill where you balance further, all while shouting, “LALALA, BABABA, BOOBOO, MAMMMMMMAAAAAAAAA!” in your off-key, singsongy voice.
I cannot keep up with you, my toddler. I am tired. Some days, my darling girl, I just want to watch t.v. As much as you beg me to go outside, I beg you equally to just let me sit and do nothing on a Saturday, as if I were in college again.
Then, as I’m dreaming of what a nap feels like, I look at you and that smirk. I gaze at your grimy hands after you’ve dumped your applesauce all over the table to make a painting. I see your little mouth begin to open wide, ready to belt a song and your feet stomping in asymmetry.
You are magnificent.
Thank you for being so adventurous. You bring me out of my comfort zone. Thank you for forcing me to rediscover the beauty of the outdoors and the iridescence of bubbles. Thank you for giving me pride each time you point at that bear and ROOOAAARRR at the top of your lungs. Thank you for singing to me and loving music. Thank you for literally dancing like nobody’s watching.
I even thank you for running up the stairs. You are independent. You are your own beautiful, dangerous, and wild girl. Thank you for showing that you have some mind of your own, but perhaps you could listen to your mother once in a while.
But, my darling toddler, thank you for having so much spunk and life. I am so proud of the firecracker you are. You will change the world.