This took me longer than I thought to start writing.
I read through the letter I wrote to you when you turned one and, combined with some other stress I'm currently feeling, I burst in to tears.
Of course, I was more rested then. And our days were just filled with just me and just you. Playing, eating solids with my boobs tucked firmly away, hanging out.
These days, I have the pull of two on me. And in many ways I feel like you are left out - you have to watch tv while I feed The Bubby so I can keep an eye on you close-by. And I feed The Bubby a lot. You are exploring and learning, and you are cheeky. Oh so cheeky. And I am tired and often feeling the weight of being at home all day (I'm not terribly good at it).
In the same vein, I also feel like The Bubby is left out - I skimmed back over what I wrote to you when you were three months old and you sound so much older than The Bubby does now. So if you're both left out, who is left in?
You are a real little person. Every week it seems like I am telling someone how in the last few weeks your vocabulary is exploding. You're stringing words together, you're getting better at articulating certain things, you are clearer at expressing what you want. And again, oh so cheeky.
One of your favourite games is "mummys girl, daddy's girl". Which was a silly game to start but, at the time, seemed like a good, fun idea. The concept being that The Husband and I sit on opposite couches with you in the middle, each of us holding one of your hands, and you rock side to side while I say "Mummy's girl!" and The Husband says "Daddy's girl!" and then you pick whose girl you are. 99 per cent of the time, you are mummy's girl, and you lay your head down on the arm of the chair for a hug - before The Husband acts shocked and whips you in to his arms to tickle and rile you up. You love being riled. You love being tickled and swung around and raised up in the air and turned upside down. And you love to say "mummy's girl" to rile daddy up out of the blue.
You are starting to become braver in a physical sense - we joined a tumbling class once a week and you are getting better at balancing and climbing and scooting through tunnels.We went to the park and you climbed up on the big kids ladder, only just within The Husbands reach, groaning with exertion (you must have learnt it from me!) with each step and pull until you realised just how high you were and answered with a soft little 'yes' when you decided that you would agree to come down now.
Socially, you are not so brave. When we first meet people, you get shy. You hide beind our legs or in another room until you are comfortable enough. That said, your party went better this year than it did last year, in that you didn't cry when all the people filled the house. You are also always not shy when you see Uncle Jonno or Uncle Will, two of your favourite people (after your grandparents) - they're always ready to rough and tumble play with you.
You are developing lovely manners, which makes me really happy. I almost always get a 'thank you mummy!' when I get you a muesli bar (your favourite treat) and you say please when you really want something.
Some of your younger habits still hang around - you love your teddy when you sleep, you request "up up!" in the kitchen or anytime you want to be picked up. But you're becoming more independent in other ways - you like to brush your teeth, you can put your own socks on, you hand me the remote when you want to watch tv. You can turn your toys on and off, you can steer through some of the apps, you're getting better with playdoh and you peel your own mandarins. You tell the dogs to get in their crates, you help feed them dinner, you lay out the mat when we change your nappy.
And you adore your baby sister. There have only been a very few times when you have been anything but totally loving towards her. You like to point out her features. WHen she cries you tell her 'shhh, s'okay', you show and share toys with her, you put your hands on her sides and say 'come here' and make like you're going to pick her up.
I hope she is the best gift we ever gave you, and you to her.
Happy birthday, sweetheart.