Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Madelyn!

Some of our favorite things about our Madelyn as she turns two years old...

Her sense of humor and happiness from the time she wakes up until the time she goes to sleep: She's goofy and playful from the moment her eyes open in the morning until Daddy gives her hand one last kiss before bedtime. She knows exactly what to do to get a laugh, whether it's just for fun or to get out of a less than ideal situation. Which leads us to...

...Her understanding of her emotions (and how to manipulate them). Madelyn is a master of her emotions and knows exactly how what she does makes you feel. If she wants to color but can't because we're about to eat dinner, for example, she'll try asking first and if that doesn't work, she'll try whining and if that doesn't work she'll try crying and if that doesn't work she'll start giggling and trying to make you laugh (she WILL make you laugh), and just when you're both laughing hysterically and you think she's forgotten about her original request, she'll look at you with her big brown eyes and perfect little smile and softly coo "I want to color" and then grin even bigger. She's good. Very good.

Example: although it looks like we should maybe call an ambulance, this is Madelyn fake sleeping to get out of trouble.  I had just told her not to crush up the styrofoam you see next to her. This was not the first or last time she tried this tactic.
Her understanding of everyone else's emotions: For as independent as Madelyn is, she cares so much about everyone around her. If we offer her a snack, there's a lot of times she won't take it unless Patrick gets one too. If I ask Toby if he wants some water with dinner, before he can even answer, Madelyn has grabbed the closest glass of water and handed it to him. She hates to hear other kids cry and can't stand when her friends or brother get in trouble. And she's still one of the best snugglers around.

Bug hunting.
Her tough spirit: Nothing is going to slow her down; she's proven that over the last year. Not only during surgery but in her everyday encounters with her brother and older kids at school or on the playground. She does not hesitate in a moment of uncertainty. Fight or flight: Maddy chooses fight 10 out of 10 times.When an older child takes something from her she quickly grabs their shirt or pants and holds tight as they run or walk away. She's done this several times now and she knows that she too will eventually fall over with them. But the benefit outweighs the risk for her. If said child falls to the ground she knows she has a chance to wrestle the toy away. * Disclaimer- we do not let her do this with kids her own age or younger. We do, however, with bigger kids because it's fun for us to see who wins. We quickly place our bets and watch as it unfolds before us. We've seen her stare down and take down kids easily twice her size and four times her age. It's actually pretty impressive.

Her love and devotion to her brother: Each time Maddy sees Patrick for the first time in the morning her eyes light up and she says his name so excitedly and sweetly, like she's not seen him for weeks. "Paaaaatrick!" she calls out to him with open arms ready for an embrace. Patrick loves his little sister just as much. He's asked a few times - if he's just played at someone's house or read a story where the brother has no little sister-where the other brother's "little friends" are if they have no brothers or sisters. And he is genuinely concerned about them. "But, they have NO little friend to play with? But, why?" Even when we explain that some families have one child, some have many, and others don't have any he is baffled and saddened. We just think it's cute that he thinks of Madelyn as his little friend and not his annoying little sister (...yet. Hopefully never.)

Her metamorphoses into a social butterfly: I dont' know when it happened because I can barely remember the timid little girl she used to be. These days she walks up to everyone and anyone to give hugs and ask to be held (sorry random moms at the playground). She proudly struts down the hall at school and we've been told she is the leader  in her classroom and the teacher's helper (is that teacher speak for "she bosses all the other kids around?). Just last week the class was getting out of hand while the teacher was changing a diaper so she said "Everyone sit down! Madelyn is going to read you a story!" And they did. And Madelyn picked up her current favorite book (Nurse Nancy) and "read" it for the class, making sure everyone stayed sitting and listening.

The way she says "I love you": At the most random times she'll run over, throw her arms around my neck, look at me nose-to-nose and say, "I love you Mommy" with those big brown innocent eyes staring right though me. I love you too Maddy. So very much.

The contrast of her personality: total rough and tumble tomboy AND sweet spirited book worm. I love that she doesn't choose to be one or the other, she is both. She loves to play in the dirt with her brother and get messy in all sort of creative ways. The other afternoon we were looking  in the pond to see if there were bugs/tadpoles and within minutes Maddy had dunked both hands in the freezing muddy water and smeared it on her cheeks then smiled so proudly at me.
Why she feels the need to do this with dirt, paint, food, etc is beyond me but it's also hilarious. She'll play "dump truck and digger" in the back yard with Patrick for hours getting muddy and wet from head to toe then, the next hour be subdued and quiet, sitting in the corner of the playroom reading to her dolls, carefully tucking them in to sleep then singing them a lullaby. Sometimes she'll go up to her room on her own, climb into her big rocking chair and read books by herself. Every once in a while, I'll peek in and there she'll be, "reading" aloud to herself or her pretend classroom.

I love that there are no labels right now for her; she's everything she wants to be. I hope she never feels that she has to fit some sort of idea of what she should be, or what we want her to be, because she's perfect in every way. Madelyn's had a crazy year filled with all kinds of unexpected events (some we've posted about and some we haven't) and has gotten through every one of them with an amazing attitude. We love the sweet, happy little girl she's become. Every day is better because she's here with us. Happy 2nd birthday Madelyn Claire. We love you, sweet girl.

1 comment:

Aunt Mollie said...

I can't believe you are 2 years old Maddy1 I miss you so much1 It has been such a blessing to watch you grow up and become the beautiful girl you are. Thank you for all the; smiles, laughs, and memories! You truly are such a gift to us all. I love you very much! Happy birthday!