We’ve been busy lately and I didn’t feel like I had enough time to get across just how amazing Chloe Mae is by her birthday. So this is a couple of weeks late (and her actual due date!), but she’s still amazing, so I feel like I can still share 🙂
The moment they put Chloe is my arms 744 days ago, I was amazed that this little human being had been growing and changing in my womb for 9 months. We spent our days in the hospital surviving – feeding her and ourselves, changing diapers, trying to work in a shower for me, and sharing our new baby girl with the friends and family who came to visit. The day we were going home, we were so excited and couldn’t get out of the hospital soon enough. Then we got home, looked at each other and said, “Now what?!?”
Chloe Mae has kept us on our toes pretty much every moment since then. However, I cannot imagine a better gift than the chance to watch your children grow and learn in the world. In the last 2 years (and 2 weeks!) Chloe has turned into an independent, strong-willed, cuddly, caring little girl.
Her favorite activities currently include reading books, either with someone or by herself, doing puzzles, and playing pretend – with her food and dishes, her babies or a broom and a dust-rag. As I mentioned yesterday, actually ‘cooking’ with mom and dad or cleaning with us is even better!
Although there are still squabbles over a toy now and then, and she isn’t always in the mood to share, Chloe has gotten a lot better at sharing over the last few months. She seems to understand that we have to let other people have turns, although she would usually prefer that her turn last much longer than her friend’s.
Chloe Mae also seems to have developed a sense of compassion. Ever since DaddyMort broke his finger, she routinely gives him hugs to help make it feel better. With a growing belly and increasing back pain, I haven’t been able to carry Chloe as much as she’d sometimes like. When we explain that Mommy’s back hurts, she usually responds with a concerned look on her face, saying “Mommy back hurt. Daddy up!” When she heard a baby crying at the store the other day she said, “Baby no cry. Baby happy!” Then we talked about things we could do to make the baby happy – singing songs or reading books were her favorite ideas. I’m hoping she remembers these ideas next fall 🙂
She is a very independent girl who likes to do things because she likes to, not because we suggested it. Going down the slide is super fun, and Chloe Mae might spend 20 minutes on the slide loop on a trip to the park, but if we suggest the slide the next time we’re there, she avoids it like The Plague. The salmon we had at dinner the other night was pretty good, until one of us asked her to take another bite of it, then she told us she didn’t like it. The exception to this rule involves smoothies. It doesn’t matter whose idea a smoothie is, if she hears that word she’s all over it!! She even likes smoothies made with carrot juice and spinach. We’ll be set if she’s ever on a soft foods diet!!
Chloe has her routines and likes to stick with them. When I go in to get her out of bed in the morning, she hands me her books, George and monkey, then jumps up and down in her crib while I pretend like I have everything I need. I ask if there’s anything I’m forgetting and she answers with an enthusiastic, “Chloe!” and giggles every time. Then she goes potty and we head into our room to cuddle on the bed while we read books and she eats Cheerios and drinks milk. As soon as DaddyMort is done with his shower and ready to go, she tells me that I’m “PU stinky!” and that I need to go shower. Our whole day includes little routines like this.
And in case you haven’t met him, this is George:
Chloe spends most of her days and nights with George and her mini-monkey blanket in tow. If we have to leave them at home for some reason, Chloe makes sure they’re well taken care of before we leave. They might get tucked into bed, sit on the couch with books or get set up with some paper and crayons at the table. And I’m pretty sure they get more hugs and kisses than we do.
I doubt there is a parent of a toddler who doesn’t feel overwhelmed at times. Some nights after we put Chloe Mae to bed, we just collapse on the couch and wonder how we’re going to do it again the next day. I’m sure that won’t go away by next year or by the time she’s 12 or even almost 26. But there are so many other times that I am flat out amazed by the gift that my daughter has been in our lives so far and I forget all about the exhaustion and exasperation. I know that the 2-year-old Chloe Mae we get to enjoy now is unique to any Chloe Mae she’ll become, so I can only hope to remember the amazing days that we have with her now and will have with her in the future.