In three days my two will be TWO. It at once feels huge and also like no big deal at all. Huge because they are definitely not babies anymore. They’re walking, talking, singing, thinking, hugging, kissing little humans. And no big deal at all because I am a giant sap who Lives in the Moment and Loves Each Phase as it Comes, and frankly, they just keep getting cooler and more interesting and more themselves, and there’s no room to be all that sad about that.

The best thing about firmly arriving in toddlerhood and leaving babyhood behind is the love. I am always telling my girls, “Thanks for the love! I love the love!” This is usually after some tiny arms have been thrown about my neck and a big, wet, open-mouthed kiss planted on my lips, with possibly some snot thrown in. Or after Etta has made a bee-line for me across the room, suddenly dropping all toys and play, to climb into my lap, lay a head on my shoulder, and let out a sweet little sigh before going back to the serious business of filling a doll stroller with play food. Or after Claire, sitting in a stroller pushed by her daddy as we go on an evening stroll, reaches out her dimpled hand to hold mine and holds on tight for 20 minutes to home. They still need me fiercely, but now they are able to reciprocate my affection for them, and I just love it. I can’t get enough of it. It explodes my heart.

On top of all the love, Claire has really really taken off in the talking department. By which I mean, she is constantly talking unless she is eating, pretty much. Etta isn’t much of a talker, and to be honest, I think Claire’s incessant babble wears her out a bit. She’ll actually say to her sister, “Shhhhhhh baby.” She calls Claire “baby” and Claire calls Etta “Sissy” or sometimes “Eddie.” (Claire’s first word was Etta, you may recall.) Sometimes the talking wears me out, too, but mostly it delights me. Her tiny voice is just crazy adorable. She loves to say “puppy,” possibly because what word in all the world could be happier? Her descriptive language is just exploding and the things she comes up with are amazing to me. I came into the room where she’d been hanging out with her dad, and asked her where he was. She said, “Daddy coming. He potty.” And sure enough, he had left to go to the bathroom. She’ll bump her head and say “I bonked it.” She talks about airplanes and elephants and her snazzy new braces and how she uses a cath to go pee pee. She’ll even say “tank you” when you give her something or do something for her. As a wordy mama, it thrills me to no end to hear every little thing she has to say, and I admit I sometimes have a hard time not worrying that her sister doesn’t talk all that much. She clearly understands most of what I say, though, and follows instructions, and does say some words, and luckily I live with a pediatrician who can reassure me there is nothing to worry about and like everything, language develops at its own pace.

My two are two. They are hugging and kissing and walking and talking and getting more interesting and coming more and more into their own. What a lucky lady am I!

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