Birthday (Versions 2 and 2.5)
Just before Thanksgiving we celebrated Anna’s half birthday. I’m not sure she fully understands the math involved but she loves any excuse to put on a party hat and have us sing to her. Can’t believe this little girl is so big! We played UNO, strung up Anna’s art on our new museum wall, and enjoyed some ice cream. She will tell anyone who asks her name or even looks interested in listening to her for a second: “I’m Anna and I’m two.” Sometimes she’ll throw in the extra “and a half.”
Almost 7 months ago now, we invited our friends over for a big birthday bash for our 2 year old. Anna was so excited for her birthday. She loved that we had a living room full of balloons and couldn’t wait for all her friends to come over. We invited more friends than our little apartment could bear but nobody minded.
We decorated cupcakes and played with the balloons. We all sang to Anna and she clapped quite loud when we finished. Then she took two huffs and puffs to blow her two candles out, which is perfectly fitting. She really didn’t want to get her fingers dirty eating the cupcake, so we got her a fork.
The party favors of maracas were a hit with all the kids and the shaking was (seemed?) endless. Our special gift for Anna was a lighted echo microphone. She loves to sing. Her face lit up with the gasp of joy when she opened it and she sang a mini recital for us of Baa Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
We made so many friends while living in New Haven that it was wonderful to have one last party with all of them before packing up and leaving. We miss our tight knit group of young families there for sure!
My two year old seemed so grown up at her party: handing out hats and maracas, hugging everyone thank you for her gifts, eating with a fork. But then I remember she was just a toddler when I think about how she “hid” her peas in her water cup or threw all her cards on the floor and didn’t want anyone to clean them up or when she asked for a yogurt and would say she’ll get it “ay myself.” Her “dirty” sounded like “gurdy”. She’d run to any undesirable chore if you suggest she use her step stool (actually that is still true). I just loved that she ran everywhere, her clomp clomp clomp through the house was adorable in our old apartment.
At two and a half she is still growing. She is a great helper, she sets our table and loves to carry messages or lunch to Dad in his office. Cleaning together is one of her favorite activities, especially if I let her use the spray bottle. She’ll clean a mirror or the tub for hours. She gets very upset if something she understands as her job is done by someone else. “I wanted to do the dryer,” she told me this afternoon after I started it while she was playing. I should know by now any knob turning or button pushing is her job! She loves craft time. And her current obsession, thanks to too many times watching Mulan music videos, is make-up, hair, and nail polish. Any street fair we stumble upon is the best thing ever if someone it painting faces.
Lately she has taken to refusing to put on pants. This is mostly not a problem here in Texas. She loves skirts and repeatedly tells us that pants aren’t what ballerinas wear. She loves princesses, especially artistic Rapunzel. And she loved going to see Frozen. Although we must be careful with what we put in front of her because she is really developing the “why” syndrome of asking tons of questions about everything, very articulately.
With the development of her language skills has come the development of her bossiness. Oh boy. “Don’t bite your nails, Mom.” I was in the bathroom waiting for her to finish washing her hands and the second she was done she informed me that I needed to wash too. But she doesn’t seem very bossy on the playground. She’ll talk and offer ideas but is usually just content to join in someone else’s fun and go with the flow of play. I hope that sticks when the younger siblings come along!
We love having a talking child in our home, every thing is funny and exciting. And her imagination is endless, just this week Jacob and her spent a whole dinner exchanging imaginary cans between bites. One held new two beans and a tomato while another held 1 million Buzz Lightyears. She was happy when Jacob fixed the number on one of her cans to be 86. It was probably the oddest dinner I’ve ever sat through but the most hilarious at the same time.