Twenty-One months, I’ve already started thinking of you as two. I remember when you were small… You are small still, but this is a different sort of small. A small that stamps around the house and that runs and climbs and jumps. You once were a different sort of small that could hardly move the weight of her limbs, that could not focus her deep blue eyes for long, and that spent whole days curled heavy against my body in a wrap where you now seldom ride.
“They” all talk of the fourth trimester, the first few months after a new baby is born. The first two years is something else altogether. A time that none of us remember as adults because we were not yet formed enough to hold onto such a memory.
In the first year you tripled your size, you went from eating only milk to eating food. You went from being barely able to move to crawling, to walking. From cries to first words. From toothless to pushing sharp jagged teeth through your gums. In the second year you walked, you ran, you jumped and you climbed. You have begun to form short sentences, to express feelings and desires. Your sense of humor has become impish with the glee of being.
When a human child is first born they barely have the ability to regulate the bits of their body that keep them alive and breathing. They develop the skills meant to keep them close to us and within our protection. Then and only then do they start to grow the seeds of self regulation and the basic logic of cause and effect.
You were born a baby and in under two years you became a human child that can do so many of the things that a human must be able to do. On a smaller scale, certainly, but all of you is there for growing.
Every parent knows how difficult those first two years are for the parents. The world is full of books that are meant to teach us how to manage you in your youngest years. Full of forums and groups and boards and meetups meant to get us the support as we raise you. Full of humorous things about what monsters you are, and full of less humorous things about the same.
We don’t spend nearly enough time wondering what these first years must be like for you. How exposed you are to the overwhelm of the world, the littleness of your abilities and the hugeness of your emotions that you have not yet learned to control.
Sometimes I’m frustrated with my own ability to deal with the things that come from your being little. But you? I admire you, little critter, for the things that you have learned and the scale to which you have grown. For the amazingness of a brave little child who is not even yet three feet tall.
I look forward to watching you grow into the fullness of your being.