I scribbled this down when my daughter turned (you guessed it) two.
Three years on, I still note down the funny things she says and does. Every year on her birthday I write her a love letter, including many of those notes in it. I talk about the past year and what she has done; how she has grown; my dreams and prayers for her. I put the letter in a leather bound journal along with beautiful cards I find along the way, quotes, scraps of paper with her handwriting, her first drawings and other bits and pieces. I plan to present it to her on her 18th birthday. I hope she will treasure it.
My daughter is two.
She pats my arm and exclaims “Mummy!” with delighted surprise, as though she has just discovered me for the first time.
She wraps her little self around my legs and says “awwwww”.
My daughter pretends to sing into the end of a wooden blind cord, rocking side to side and whispering little incomprehensible sounds. “Away, Mummy!” she says when I peek my head around the door.
She “dances” in the lounge, singing “diddly dee, diddly dee, diddly dee.” She knows this makes me laugh. The smile on her face is sunny and delighted.
My daughter sees a rainbow in the sky. She lifts her dolly up and says in a friendly, conversational voice, “Look, Big Baby, rainbow in the sky!”
She eats pasta with gusto. “I love pasta!” she says. “More?”
My daughter watches a little music show at the local shopping centre with complete and total concentration. She stands stock still right in front of the low stage, eyes fixed, mouth open. She does not sing along or dance like the other children. She drinks it in. She computes. She remembers.
She cries. Then she looks sideways in the mirror to see what she looks like when she is crying. She performs. It is a pure performance.
My daughter says “shorty-shore” instead of forty-four. She says “shayb” instead of shave and “paygoot” instead of playgroup. But she no longer says “ojah” instead of over. She is growing up.
In frustration and anger she turns to bite me. I move her away from me and tell her I don’t like it. She collapses in a storm of tears, desperate now to kiss me and make it better. She is terrified of her rage and of her power. She is – madly – in love with me.
My daughter picks up a grape and makes it “snuggle” her water bottle. To her, this is not unusual.
My daughter asks me to “turn the dark on” when I put her to bed at night.
She can count to ten.
My daughter is two.