Sunday, February 03, 2008

Dear Fern, part XXIV

Dear Fern,

Our proud 2-year old

Today you are two!

If the "terrible twos" are starting, we haven't had much sign of it yet. Sure, you're a little stubborn about sitting at the dinner table if there's something more interesting to do, but for the most part you are engaged, excited, and filled with just as much zest for life as you always have been.

We could probably write pages filled with stories about what you're "into" as you turn two, but to make things easier, we'll just jot down a list of your five favorite things in life.

Fern's Top Five Thrills At Two

  1. People. You are devoted to members of your family, even those you don't get to see very often. Some days you'll randomly pipe up with the name of a grandparent or cousin or uncle or aunt, run over to your photo album, and show us the picture of the chosen relation. You love talking to your far-off relatives on the phone (and the computer!) and you enjoy their visits even more. More and more, you seem to like to orchestrate these connections -- "you sit here," "grandma play dolls," "call uncle," that sort of thing.

    You're quite fond of your friends, too, not to mention their parents. A couple of months ago, you started requesting playdates, and now not a day goes by but that you inquire after the whereabouts of Erwan, Emmeline, Emma, or Galicia.

  2. Animals. A couple of days ago, you found two crickets under a paving stone. Crickets are hard to hold and easy to hurt, but you picked them up ever-so-gently and cupped them in your hands so you could peer at their funny "eyes" (which is what you call antennae). Then, and this makes us really proud, you put them right back where you found them -- "home," as you said. Scale is no matter to you: you gently stroke our cat Carson, but you can also push around the ornery petting zoo goats like a dyed-in-the-wool farmgirl.

  3. Pretending. Every day, you discover ways that your newfound "pretending" skill can serve you. You're an old hand at tea parties, and you still travel by the "airplane" behind the armchair. You've added to your repertoire, though: you drive, cook, eat, and dig in your pretend world. You can be a butterfly, a worm, or a lion. You've probably changed as many diapers as we have, but your diaper changes are a lot more interesting: you've swathed a duck, Elmo, and, of course, Frida Kahlo. You're especially fond of pretend presents: gift bags you fill with various toys (or imaginary treats) and then give to us, or just open yourself. You also pretend to swim in the bathtub, although you've only been in a pool once.

  4. Music. You've come to prefer songs with a "fill-in" component, something that can change each time you sing them. Just yesterday you were singing to "Mary Wore a Red Dress," but you substituted "Fern" for "Mary" and various parts of your outfit for the dress: "Fern wore new shoes!" and "Fern wore orange tights!" A couple of days ago you also sang about how "Frida wore her red dress." (You love that doll!)

    Lyrics. Rhythm. Humming. Experimenting with instruments. You love it all. Every morning when you come downstairs, or when we get into the the car, you request the kind of music you want that day. Sometimes you really want to hear your Music Together songs, or the addictive Boynton albums you got for Christmas. For that matter, you're still asking for Christmas music long after the season ended. And nothing delights you more than when you know the words to a song.

  5. Dancing and Moving. Few things make you more ecstatically enthusiastic than dancing. You've got favorite music, of course, but you don't really need any music to dance; a little clapping is plenty of impetus for you to get on your feet. You saw a Sesame Street video about ballet and now you love to twirl and tiptoe and pretend you're flying around like a butterfly. You're a wonder in your acrobatics class, swinging giddily from a trapeze and bouncing on a trampoline. And it's no secret that any adult willing to swing you around wins major points -- as long as they'll do it "again!" and "again!" and "again!", that is.

We could go on … you love to wash dishes, you love to fix things with screwdrivers and tape, you positively lust after any water voluminous enough to splash. But for now, we'll just leave it here: you are growing and learning so much every day that we'd hardly be able to write it all down.

We love you very, very much,

Mommy & Daddy

Here's this month's slideshow. If you can't see the pictures below, click this link.