Monday, March 4, 2013


Dear Quinn-Love,

Just like all the parents before me promised, I blinked, and suddenly you're turning two this week. Two! I'm fairly certain that, at this rate, you'll be driving next month. When did you get so big? Was it yesterday?

You're curled up in bed next to me as I write this. And for now, let's skip past your sleep issues that I'm fairly certain are related to separation-from-mama-anxiety that only gets worse when your dad is out of town. The truth is I don't mind. I love hearing your soft snores, love falling asleep next to you, love waking up with you nestled in the crook of my arm--even if it means getting kicked in the face a few dozen times as you climb Mt. Everest and run a marathon in your sleep.
From the minute you wake up--this morning at 6:30, saying "Bite-a, mommy! Bite-a," as you lifted my head off my pillow (that's "get up!" in Quinn-speak)--until the moment you fall asleep at night, you are an energizer bunny, climbing anything that's got elevation, rearranging furniture, building forts out of couch cushions, and lately, trying to help me in the kitchen.

Tonight while I was cooking dinner, you pulled a chair over to stand on so you could see into the utensil drawer, which was fine while you were playing with measuring spoons. But in the time it took me to turn around and stir the marinara, you found the scissors. You were so excited about your discovery--something shiny and sharp? Awesome! Luckily, I caught you before you had the chance to sprint around the house with them. Like a responsible parent, I picked you up and sat you on the counter where you could watch the spaghetti water boiling instead.

I love your curiosity. I hope you never lose that. "What's that?" is the soundtrack of our lives the last few months. But more and more, our answers are sinking in and taking hold. So sometimes we'll say, "You know that one. What is it, Quinn?" And you can usually give us the answer with a proud grin. "It's a wall!" "Yellow!" When we were reading your alphabet book the other night and I said, "U is for..." your dad's eyeballs just about popped out of his head when you shouted, "UNDERWATER!"

Suddenly, in the last couple of weeks, you're speaking in full sentences. You and I were counting in the car the other day--with an emphasis on the number nine that for some reason was cracking you up--and when we got to number ten you clapped, then said, clear as daylight, "One more time please, mama?"

You examine everything, want to see how it works, how it fits together, turn it upside down to consider it from a different angle. You have your dad's patience for solving problems.

And you seem to have inherited both our bullheadedness; we'll do our best to channel that in a positive direction.

For now, you demonstrate it with your aversion to pants. A couple of weeks ago, we did not leave the house until 2:30 p.m. because it just wasn't worth the meltdown that forcing you to wear them was causing. On days when we have to be out the door in time for me to make it to work, you and I have occasionally ended up in a wrestling match on your bedroom floor, me amazed by your strength and determination to stay bare-legged, you pissed that I would even attempt to clothe you. For the record, I have only resorted to taking you to daycare in your pajamas once.

You challenge me in ways I never could have anticipated, and somehow, I love you more every single day--in large part because you force me to build forts out of couch cushions and stay in my pajamas until the middle of the afternoon, which turns out to be exactly what I needed so many times over this past year. I'm certain I couldn't have gotten this healthy this quickly without you. And I can't wait to see what the next year (and so many more after that) have in store.

Happy SECOND birthday, Bug. Your Mama loves you.