Eilis is 2 today!

I know every mom says that they can’t believe it, and I’m here to say, I can’t believe it.  I can still feel the pain of those contractions – how can two years have flown by already?

We were supposed to have her birthday party tonight, but we’ve had to postpone it until next weekend because of some big snow storm we are expecting.  We did, however, let her pick out another package of birthday plates and napkins so we can have our own celebration.  Next week, it’s the Wiggles; tonight, it’s “Nelmo” (Elmo for those of you uneducated in Eilisese).

We don’t have our two year check up until the 24th, but just my own observations:

She has developed an unbelievable vocabulary since her 18 month check up.  At that time, we were talking about the need for speech therapy or something, as she had very few words.  The doctor persuaded me to wait until she turned two, and if things didn’t seem improved, we would consider our options.  Well, now the child speaks in sentences – not always ones that come out right, but definitely sentences (like she says, “Juice give me on chair” – meaning hand me the juice when I sit in the chair).  Jim calls them Yoda sentences.  The pediatrician kept telling me that children tend to focus on one thing at a time – motor skills or verbal skills, and he could tell she was a motor skills kinda kid.

Speaking of motor skills, there is very little this child can’t do.  She undresses and semi-dresses herself.  She climbs anything that stands still long enough, and if you could see the claw marks in the legs around here, you would know that the standing still part is optional.  I do not ever see this child sit down.  Even for meals, she prefers the grazing method – we’ll leave food out for her, and she’ll nibble on it over the course of an hour or so.  It’s like she has a very important toddler agenda, none of us can understand, but it forces her to take one bite of a bagel, then walk the doll stroller through the house; then she has a bite of apple before she puts together her Wiggles puzzle; a quick piece of cheese holds her over while she puts arms where Mr. Potato Head’s eyes should go.  When she does sit down, it is on a motorized bike she got for Christmas, so even when she is sitting still, she is moving.

She has a laugh that is electric and contagious, and every room she enters is brighter and happier just because she is there.  I thought it was a phenomena that occurred just within the old walls of our home, but I have learned that it occurs when she is in other places.  The pediatrician tells me even when she is sick, it’s an absolute joy to see Eilis.  The bag boys at the supermarket all know if they don’t say goodbye the first time she says it to them, they will hear it until she is strapped into the car and driving away.  When she visits Brighid’s school, the crochety old nun who shows everyone a cold cheek smiles brightly when she sees Eilis, and often takes her by the hand to visit her office for a treat.  And grandparents – fuhgeddaboudit!   My 67 year old stone faced stepfather is on his hands and knees playing Barbie dolls or blocks within five minutes of Eilis’ arrival.  And it was Eilis who first got my mother out of bed after her colon resection this past December. 

This child is both exhausting and invigorating at the same time.  She is frying your last nerve in one second, and has you rolling with laughter the next.  Every tear she sheds cuts like a sharp knife, and every smile has the power to bring world peace.  What an amazing little package that is.

So, without a dry eye at the keyboard, I am wishing my daughter a happy second birthday.  I am so grateful that God has entrusted me with the gift that is Eilis.  I ask Him for continued guidance, and I ask you my friends to continue to share your wisdom as we raise this child. 

Happy Birthday, Eilis Mary.