Emma is two years old today. I could go on and on about how fast the time has gone and how I can’t believe what a big girl she is and how it seems like just yesterday that we were bringing her home from the hospital and wondering what the heck we were going to do with her. I won’t waste your time with such silliness though, because no doubt you have your own “gosh how the time has flown” experiences so you know exactly what I mean.

So let me just move right into what Emma is up to these days. Since I haven’t written her updates for the last four months I am going to try to do a quick recap of previous months, partly for you, but mostly to help me remember these months when she is off at college and I am sitting at home sobbing into my tea over how fast my baby grew up.

20 months: July
This month was pretty low key, in preparation for the big adventure of San Francisco happening at the end of the month. She started doing this thing this month where she lowered her head and looked at her hands when someone she didn’t know looked at her or was introduced to her. If the person persisted long enough they could usually get her to smile and look up. I can’t figure out if she is actually really shy (which would not be unlike one of her parents) or if she tends more towards the dramatic (which would be just like the other parent) or maybe it is a combination of the two.

21 months: August
This month was filled with more travel – to Bethany Beach with Grammy and Grampy and then to Burlington, Vermont to visit Kate, Jack and Jim. In Bethany she helped us build a sand dolphin and rode on her first carnival rides at Funland. In Burlington she went to the Champlain Valley Fair, played with Jack in a big box of corn (think sand box, only with corn, completely ingenious really) and visited the Ben and Jerry’s factory. At the Champlain Valley Fair, we visited the petting zoo, something I thought she would love. She was, in fact, terrified, and couldn’t get out of the building fast enough. When we visited the animals outside she was fine, her terror seemed triggered only by being inside with the animals – a reaction she also had a few weeks earlier at the elephant house during a visit to the zoo. Made me wonder if she might have just a touch of claustrophobia to contend with as she gets older.

22 months: September
I remember going to the pediatrician at Emma’s 18 month check up and asking him if I should be concerned that, with the exception of a couple of words, she really wasn’t doing much talking. He told me that everything was probably fine, but that if we got to about 22 months and I still had concerns, that I should give him a call. Last month, as her language failed to appear, I started gearing myself up to call him. This month, almost overnight, and right on cue, Emma started talking. A lot. Word after word after word. She couldn’t get enough and she got almost all of her new words right on the first try.

After all the travel of the last month and a cold, she did have a little setback with her sleep this month. She cried bitterly every time we tried to leave her and in an attempt to help her re-learn how to put herself to sleep, I spent weeks staying with her until she fell asleep, then I would sneak out of the room. One night I finally came to my senses and decided that we just were going to have to let her cry for a couple of nights. We did, and she did, and three nights later she was back to falling asleep peacefully on her own.

This was also the month that Emma started sleeping in a big girl bed. We moved the bed into her room when we found out we were going to need the spare room for the baby, but didn’t know if she would be ready to move into it before the baby came. On a whim one day we asked her if she wanted to take a nap in the big girl bed and she said yes. That night we asked if she wanted to sleep in the bed or her crib and she chose the bed. She never looked back and the next weekend we took the crib down and took it out of her room. (And no, her sleep disturbances were not a result of the switch to the big-girl bed, they started weeks before she decided to sleep in it. If anything, switching to the big bed helped her settle back into a routine.)

23 months: October
This month, to our amazement, Emma’s words turned into sentences. I think the first one was “I want pancakes” around the middle of the month. She continued to sleep like a champ and if it is even possible her cute factor went up by about, oh, a ZILLION.

We made our second annual trip to Homestead Farms to pick pumpkins with Aunt Jocelyn this month and later in the month Emma got a special weekend visit from Grammy and Grampy. We were pretty low key for Halloween – no trick-or-treating really, just handing out candy at the door – although Emma spent the entire month singing “Hush Hush” and dancing around in her Horse costume.

24 months: November
The 24th month of Emma’s life will always be the one that started with the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Emma went to the polls with us on voting day and when she and I pressed the touchscreen button for Obama together, I cried. Her “I Voted!” sticker is still stuck on the wall in her room.

Words words words. She is talking so much now that it is hard to even remember a time when she wasn’t. Most of her words are pretty easy to understand, although interestingly when a word isn’t 100% clear, it is usually daddy who gets it first, not me. She narrates constantly – “Emma mommy daddy eat waffles” – and has started having conversations with her stuffed animals every morning when she wakes up. I have to tell you, listening her chatting to “fuzzy bear” first thing in the morning is a completely delightful way to wake up.

Both Mike and I were both born with ankyloglossia. While you are trying to figure out how to pronounce that, I will quickly explain that this is just a minor condition that limits the movement of the tongue. The frenulum (the little membrane that connects the tongue to the floor of the mouth) is a little too long or thick or something and it keeps the tongue from moving as effectively as it needs to for things like talking. The only treatment is to clip that pesky frenulum to give it a little more movement (although clipping it is a lot less common now than it was when I was little). My frenulum was clipped when I was about two, so I have never had an issue with it really. Mike’s frenulum was not clipped and when he was learning to talk he pronounced all of his “L’s” and “R’s” as “Y” (now the only issue he has with it is the inability to stick his tongue out at me when I piss him off).

Maybe you can tell where all this is going? Yep, Emma predictably was born with ankyloglossia just like both of her parents. She can’t stick her tongue out at us when she gets mad and she can’t pronounce “L’s” and “R’s”. Her attempts result in some of my favorite words from her – room becomes yoom, leg becomes yeg, love becomes yuv and rumpus becomes yumpus. Cutest thing evah.

Everything these days is “SELF!” (as in “I will do it MYSELF mother. HANDS OFF.”) and she has discovered the joy of playing with baby dolls. She wraps up her stuffed animals in kitchen towels and lays them very gently in a box she has found somewhere and then she runs to get her blankie from her bedroom so she can tuck them in. I am pretty sure the baby doll obsession sprang from watching other little girls do it at day care and not from the impending birth of her baby brother, something she still hasn’t really seemed to be able to wrap her head around. Of course, I haven’t really wrapped my head around it either, come to think of it.

There is so much more to share, but it would be nice for you to be finished reading this post before Emma turns three, so I will try my best to end here. Suffice to say we are delighted daily at our little girl – I don’t think either one of us thought we would so thoroughly enjoy her toddlerhood. She is the light of our life and makes us smile constantly.

Happy Birthday sweetheart.