You are two! It’s funny, because for months we’ve been saying “She sure acts like a 2 year old. I can’t believe she’s only one still.” I guess your age has caught up with you now. They say that a baby changes more in their first year of life than any other. I disagree. “They” haven’t met you. Your second year rocked. You went from a baby to a crazy, wild, loving, funny, crazy toddler. (Yes, the two crazies were intentional.) You learned to talk, to run, to play, sing, dance, jump, tumble, use a big girl cup, test your limits, do puzzles, make friends, and say “I want more Curious George, Mommy. Please?” You have found your place in our family, a place no one occupied before, and a place that truly completes us as ‘The Knott Family’.
We often put so much focus on your endless energy and outrageous gymnastic moves, but you love so strongly and so intensely. Hands down, you are the best cuddler I have ever had the opportunity to cuddle. You showed us for a good 4 months straight that at 3:00 in the morning there is nothing you’d rather do than cuddle in bed between mom and dad. Just for fun. For cuddles. For memories. And each night I’d remember that these days don’t last forever and if your kiddo just wants a cuddle how do you say no? All I can say about that is we all get a good night sleep now. And we have the memories. (With the exception of Monday night, you screaming “Mommy! Cuddle! Now!!!” worked. But tonight…you’re sleeping all the way through.)
You also love so strongly. Zoe is your best friend and throughout the last year she cracked open your imagination and now you are right with her through games of school, mommy, doctor, airplane, etc. You fill those roles so easily and the two of you fill hours. You also teach her a ton. You’ve taught her that mom and dad weren’t really serious when we said you guys could break your head open if you jump off the couch, or the bed, or the table, or down the flight of stairs. Thanks for that one kiddo. Also, your love for daddy and me is unbelievable. You run and jump into daddy’s arms when he walks in the door after work. And the two of us have “I love you this much!!!” contests that go on and on until our arms can’t stretch any more.
We think you’re smart. I know all parents think their kids are smart and we’re no different. You get things, you have learned to manipulate (in a positive and sometimes not so positive way…it’ll get you far in life, no worries!), you negotiate. It’s hard to explain and sounds kind of like bragging, but if you ever look at this in the future, I want you to know that I know you have it and get it. You are a smart cookie. The kind of smart that will bring you onto great things.
I know I’ve mentioned it throughout this letter, but I really need to tell you how crazy you are. There is NOTHING you won’t try. And if you like it, you’ll do it again and again and again. I can no longer count the number of times you’ve fallen down the full flight of stairs, sat up, and said “Whee!!” Or the number of walls you’ve run into because the dizziness sensation is your favorite rush. We’ve been to the ER this year with a cracked bloody head of yours, and it didn’t faze you. You are happiest moving. Preferably, quickly. And in danger’s way. You have a leash. I used to judge parents that needed a leash for their toddler. No longer. I am the one being judged. But you are safe, so I don’t care. (Here’s a good story that we’ll be telling at graduations and such: A few weeks ago you were having a horrible, terrible, tear-inducing (both you and me) temper tantrum at bed time. After a long evening, you finally fell asleep on your bedroom floor, because you easily flipped out of your crib countless times. Daddy was so worried you’d wake up in the middle of the night as angry with us as when you finally closed your eyes. We actually wedged a chair into the front door so you couldn’t wake up, go down the stairs, unlock the deadbolt (a skill you’ve mastered), and walk down the block for a beer at Brixie’s. See we go to extreme measures to keep you safe.)
And in spite of all the fun you’ve provided for us, you certainly have had your share of medical issues: two ER trips this year, ear tubes, overcoming a long 9 month battle with anemia, eye concerns, and the typical kid colds. All this has never halted your happiness or joy. You just go with the flow and don’t get worked up over the little things…like ear surgery.
Oh, Ellie. You are truly a light. You have given me such a beautiful gift. You’ve shown me this parenting thing is COMPLETELY different than I ever could have imagined. You are nothing short of the most amazing joy. And you make me laugh. What a star you are, Miss Ellie. I love you.