Georgia Kate Riggs, you are turning two. Two whole years with us. 730 days on the planet. You no baby no more, baby. You a "toddluh" as you say, or even a "beeg gul" if you've done something astounding like climb our full flight of stairs or clear your dishes from the table.
George, you are such a lovable, hilarious creature. We are finding it quite hard to begin disciplining you (which we had to start thinking about when you began routinely dumping both your drink and full bowl of food at the dinner table). “Oh no!” you’d say, and clasp both hands to your cheeks, opening your eyes wide. A couple of lonely minute-long timeouts in the hallway have cured you of that, but you’ve found new ways of messing with us.
We’re lucky if we get through the day with three or four full outfit changes. You have very little time for clothes unadorned by animals, and other than a brief flirtation with skirts before Christmas, you are committed to jeans and pants. Socks come off and go on at least twenty times a day, and shoes are considered carefully before a decision is made. If “Beanie,” your adored San Francisco cousin and competitor, has ever worn anything you own, it is always first choice, and a delighted and perhaps triumphant smile plays upon your lips once it’s on. “Beanie’s pants,” you’ll say, and you feel both closer to her and as if you’ve taken something away from her, a wonderful combination.
Two days before you turn two, allow me to tell you some of the things you love:
- The moon (you squeal if you see it in the evening sky: “Mooooon! Da Mooon!” For a while you thought it should be closer: “Tum down moon! Moon! Tum down!”
- Polar bears (this covers all bears: grizzly, black, whatever)
- Cats (“Cattie”) and bunnies
- Avocado (you can inhale one in a sitting)
- Ham (which could be ham or smoked salmon, and which is usually met with an “oooh!”)
- Being joked with (“Daddy punny!”)
- Putting things in the garbage and closing cupboards and doors (“Dere!”)
- Elmo (if we rotate in another show, or book, it’s not long before it’s “Elmo turn” “I watch de Elmo! I watch mogstas [monsters]!”
- The mirror (every new outfit deserves a run to the mirror, where you smile coyly at yourself, sometimes checking out your bum, sometimes lying on the floor to look up from there, and always sticking out your tummy until it touches the mirror glass)
- Bouncing up and down on my tummy at night (“I sleep on mommy bey-yee!” which soon turns into sitting on said bey-yee and “Bouncy, mommy?” [No thank you] “Up, down, mommy?” [No thank you, laughing] “More, mommy?” [At least twenty times].
- Hugging your BFF Annabelle at school as you greet her and say goodbye
- Your sweet teacher Paula, whose name you said about 50 times a day when you realized you could say it, and who is always the answer when I ask what you did at school that day: “Pauya!”
- Reading upside down (right-side up is for amateurs)
- Telling me to stop singing whenever I try
- Holding hands with Oliver in the car and bopping to awful pop
- Being included in EVERYTHING ("My too! Mine too!")
- Dancing with your dad
- Playing bouncy up-down with beloved Auntie Kell ("Key-yee! Again!")
- Feeding us your awful leftovers ("O-En, mama. Moh? Moh?")
- Hanging with your grandparents, all four of which you adore
- Calling GG on the phone and refusing to ever allow me back on to talk
- Candy (such a sweet tooth!)
Some of your mispronunciations we never want you to change. “Otay” is better than okay, “tar” just as good as star, and “Ahehver” a lovely variation on Oliver. Speaking of Ahehver, oh my goodness you love him, and vice versa. You always need to know where he is, and you like to have him near as possible. When you’re together, you often shriek at the injustices of many of the things he does (“Ahehver teasing me! Ahehver bugging me!”) but should he leave, you want him back. And, you tease just as well as he does if not better. If he’s ever in a mama mood, a little clingy and needy, you know exactly what to say to ramp him up: “My mama.” If he screams at this, which is 99% of the time, all the better … you’ll just say it again. Or if he really wants to make a point, you’ll calmly say, “No.” “Yes, Georgia!” he’ll cry. “No. No Ahehver.” As many times as it takes to drive him right out of his mind. It’s love.
Anyway, Miss George, dad is downstairs making you some delicious nut-free zucchini muffins to take to school for your class (I hate baking), and I am bone-tired and completely unprepared for your real party on Saturday (four of your wee friends are coming over for a craft and sing-song event). But there will be balloons, and there will be cupcakes, and Ahehver is beyond excited to be the big boy helper. It will be great, because you are two and we love you so incredibly much it’s silly. Happy birthday, sweet, wondrous thing.