You have decided that you are a picky eater, something I anticipated, and that your poor father did not. Overnight, you went from eagerly eating onions and peppers and pickles, to turning your nose up at chicken nuggets, and squeezing huge crocodile tears out every time we suggest you eat food you don't want (which is everything). You don't throw food very often, but you do like to dump milk and cereal onto your tray. And then splash in the mess. This sort of behavior is odd, considering that falling down and getting dirt on your hands is a household crisis. But this is you learning to exercise control, and by all means, I want you to grow up to be a strong, independent woman. So you go right along with your food refusal. Just know I'm also a strong, independent woman, so I'm not going to make you something special to eat (but your dad probably will).
You decided that you were going to be two, as in "terrible," several months ago. You try your darndest to tell us exactly what you want, and even when we do understand, sometimes you can't have your way. It's so hard (and, I will admit, sometimes hilarious) to watch you be frustrated and furious as you learn to communicate with us. It would probably help if you didn't speak your own very precise, very extensive language. You like to make long-winded speeches in this untranslatable tongue, speeches that are complete with gestures, and you even laugh at your own jokes. I suspect you get that propensity for verbosity directly through the maternal bloodline. I also get the feeling that if we could only understand you, you'd tell us such wonderful things.
I don't make you wear as many dresses as you used to, but that's because you're so active that a dress sometimes slows you down (I know, who knew??). You can roughhouse with the best of them, you see. You still point out the "pretty" things you like in stores, which your daddy just loooooves (sarcasm). You love to have your hair done, and you like clomping around in my high heels. One time, you took a proxy brush out of a bag of dental supplies, and used it like a mascara wand. On a less girly note, however, you have recently become obsessed with a certain Thomas THE Tank Engine (your brother's extensive Thomas book collection may have had something to do with that). This has sparked a fierce debate in our home as to whether Thomas says "peep peep" or "toot toot." The jury is still out.
Your baby book collection is ridiculous. You have more board books than any toddler could possibly need. In the course of an hour, you make your dad read the same one over and over again, so why would you even need more than one? And yet, every time you see a new book, you greet it with adoration and excitement. Your parents are bibliophiles themselves, so I guess that's why they keep buying more books. They did name you after a character in a fantasy novel, after all. You like to sit in your book box and read stories to yourself. I just know someday soon you'll be reading under the covers with a flashlight, as girls like Anne Shirley, Laura Ingalls, and Jo March come alive for you. I can't wait for you to meet them.
You continue to be enthralled by music in all forms. You nod your head and dance when your father plays his heavy metal in the car. You were the first one on the dance floor at my cousin's wedding this year. You've learned that both Daddy and E wear excellent platforms for you to stand on while they dance with you. You've gotten your father to dance with you more times in your short 2 years of life than I have in all my years of knowing him. Sometimes, a man just has to concede that his daughter needs to dance. Tonight, while your brother practiced the piano, you insisted on sitting on my lap next to him, and "practiced" your toy piano. You were then upset when you had to go to bed and he got to keep practicing. You have startled yourself awake while singing your favorite lullaby in your sleep. Your brother and I once sang the ABC song in two-part harmony for 30 minutes at your request. Every night, you fall asleep to an instrumental lullaby CD, and if it isn't cued up when you're ready to get in bed, things get ugly.
Before you lie down at night, you sometimes ask me to sing. And my heart aches with the sweetness and the joy and the sheer delight of loving you, temper tantrums or no.