Everyone speaks about the difference in the first year of growth and the second year of growth. But not much is said about the third. What you hear about is the physical changes that go on. But you, my dear Zuzu have soared in this last year. Not only do you barely physically resemble the toddler you were a mere 10 months ago- but your ability to make yourself understood at such a young age continually astounds me. When you were born- you came out hollaring. You would be heard. You were being induced out of me at 41 weeks of gestation and you were not pleased. You let us know how you felt about it and we listened- all day and all night- for many weeks. The first time you said Mama was during one of the nights you had a horrible fever and we had you cooling in a tub. You again did not want to be out of mamas arms and you let us know. These days there is rarely a one word sentence that comes out of your mouth. It is more like a paragraph- and typically one that I recited to you earlier in the week. I love it. I love how free you feel to tell me what you know, what you think, what you want and what you feel. I know I don’t always deal with it well in the moment. Sometimes it is hard to hear past my own needs for sleep or food or quiet. But trust me- I hear you and I am so very grateful that you are talking to us. Hearing your words, your tone, your exact mimicry of myself is astounding to me. It makes me want to be a better person and it pushes to me there.
One of my favorite things in life right now is your early morning chatter. Since you were able to put two words together you have always been chipper in the wee hours of the morning. When you wake up you tell me that you had a good night, you had sweet dreams, you love me and your daddy and your “stister”. If your sister is up before you; you coo over her about what a good baby she is, how she is your best friend, how much you love her and what a good job she is doing. I know these are all things you have heard us say to her and have made these words your own. You say them to her with such joy and caring- well beyond your almost 3 years. Hearing you makes me realize that we have done something right as frazzled new parents and ironically it is something that no book could have taught us. We’ve talked to you continually since you were kicking in my belly and you have answered back. And now that you have been transformed into a big sister you have embraced that with the same vivaciousness that we have embraced you. You are an amazing big sister- so caring, concerned, sensitve, fun and loving. I know that these qualities have been engrained in your character- because they all flow from you towards us and your sister unprompted.
Our conversations get more and more involved- already- at two! You are my mirror- you reflect back to me what I have shown you or what you have viewed in me- whether I was aware you were watching or not. And now with your enhanced vocabularly-you are often able to remind me when I am not being my best self and to call me out on it. Just yesterday you said- rather calmly, ” Mommie- you make people sad when you are frustrated with them.” You can only guess what was going on that prompted that commentary from you. I love, love, love though that you can hear my frustration – (definately not my best self when I am airing it to you)- and calmly and so objectively and rationally point it out to me to give me another chance to be the good momma for you. Hearing you say that reminds me that I don’t want to sound that way with you and I do have other options. I learn so much about being a good person from you and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead of us in our futures together. You have so much to say already. You know yourself so well and have such a sense of self and confidence. I promise to never take that from you. And I promise to listen to you, your words and your heart. And if I forget- just keep reminding me!