Happy Birthday Sweet

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Oh, just posting that picture right now is making me tear up.  Where oh where has the time gone?

My baby turns two tomorrow.  It’s funny because in our house we still call her “the baby” even though she is really not a baby anymore!

Emma nicknamed Morgan “Sweet” when she was around 7 months old.  One day she just looked at her and said, “Mommy, I am going to call her ‘Sweet‘ because she is just so SWEET!”

From that day on she became “Sweet.”  The whole family now collectively calls her “Sweet” and sometimes I have to catch myself when talking to other people because I will call her “Sweet” before Morgan! And people might look at me like, did you really name your child, “Sweet?!”

My gosh, what a year it has been!  Two words sum up the one to two year for me:  physical and intense!

I remember feeling completely exhausted with Emma. All the time. I didn’t know when it would start to get easier.  Or even if it ever got easier.  The endless chasing around, diverting disasters, intercepting potential hazards, saying “no” more than you want to, trying to appease when “no” is said, distracting, the stumbles, the tumbles, the intense curiosity. Bottom line, living with a one-year-old is NON-STOP!

When I was reflecting on this post, I realized how much this baby has taught me and how our lives have all been so touched by her presence.  Last year I wrote about “Lessons in Surviving the 1st Year” on her 1st birthday.  The first one was rough, not gonna lie.  This year could have been called “Lessons She Taught Me on Enjoying the 2nd.”

By far the greatest gift she gave me this year was the gift of appreciation.  And that is simply because I have been through it before and I know it does get easier.  My five-year-old is a living example.

So this year I have really taken the time to appreciate her. I treasure the bear hugs, love when she says, “Mommy, hold you!” to pick her up, crack up at her facial expressions and funny sayings, delight in the way she interacts with her sister or says, “Kiss Sissy” before she goes to bed because the last thing she wants to do before she goes to sleep is kiss her sister.  And my heart bursts every time.

I love sitting and holding her on my lap to rock her before bed. I just sit there and snuggle her and smell her head.  Why do baby and toddler heads smell SO good?  I want to bottle that smell.

I love how she gets so excited when she sees the neighbor’s cat run through our backyard. With her wide eyes she will yell “A CAT! A CAT!” it could honestly be Elmo out there given the level of excitement.

I love that she gets so excited whenever I walk in a room that she greets me like a rock star.  It’s nice to be a rock star in someone’s eyes.  I know it won’t always be like this, so I am appreciating my rock star status and want to hold on to it as long as I can.

I love that her favorite thing to do is go to the park.  Nothing makes her happier. There are no play dates to arrange and coordinate, no activities or carpools to juggle.  It’s a simple life.  And I love that.

I love when Sweet started exhibiting typical “not so sweet” two-year-old behaviors like hoarding toys and yelling “MINE!!” that I can laugh about it this time around.

At a recent park visit she yelled “MINE!” and gave the stink eye to any kid that came remotely near “her stuff” which included the universal park play equipment and a bag of cherry tomatoes (as if the kids were all pining over those tomatoes!)

With my first, with incidents like this at the park, I would get so flustered and embarrassed.  I didn’t want other moms to think I was a terrible mother and was scared I was raising an ill-behaved anti-social child.  Now I love that I can embrace the fact that she is two, continue to teach her about “sharing” {of which a two-year-old really could care less} but at the end of the day, I know this TOO will pass!

I love that now I can laugh at the park and say to the other moms, “that’s two for you!”

I love that she has taught me by virtue of these things, that I have to ease up my expectations on my firstborn. Because with kids, what I have learned is that all things truly are just stages (we hope!)

She has taught me how every child is so deliriously and beautifully unique.  I sort of thought I knew what to expect with my second girl. After all, I already had one, but I love that she came into this world completely her own person.  That has blown me away.

Most of all, I love what she she taught me about love.

Before I gave birth to her I worried I wouldn’t feel the same depth of love that I did for Emma. I didn’t know how it would be possible.  Then I held  her for the first time, and at first glance, in that moment above, the feelings were exactly the same. It happened in one instant, and will be with me for this lifetime and beyond. Just like with Emma, our souls were connected.  And always will be.

Happy 2nd birthday Sweet!

2 Comments

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  1. 1
    Candy says:

    So precious, Jennifer! Happy Birthday to “Sweet”!! I LOVE the smell of my childrens’ heads, too! Just want to hold and rock and smell forever!! XOXO

  2. 2
    Melissa says:

    I love this post….it brought tears to my eyes! My little boy just turned two on the 15th and I love being able read about your experiences too. He is my first but I hear what you are saying and am trying hard to embrace the stages too! Happy birthday to your little Sweet! I hope you had a very special day!

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