my belle at two.

My Elle Belle turns 2 this Sunday. It's a fact I'm struggling to believe because although she is experiencing some terrible two growing pains, she is still such a baby in the way she folds her body on mine whenever I pick her up or in the way that all her conversations still sound like mush (the best kind of mush) or in the way she looks at me like she really needs me all the time. She would've been the perfect youngest child. And honestly, I think she'll struggle the moment the new baby comes, but I hope that she will love the baby just as much as she has been loved. 

At two, my Belle resembles Mya the most in body type. She is strong, nimble and quick on her feet. Just today I found her swinging from a bar at the playground without assistance, and I thought hmmm...she's going to be a gymnast too someday. At two, she talks in small sentences and phrases that make me burst out laughing. If you take away her binkie, she'll cry out, "Me back mama, me back mow" (meaning-Give it back mama. Back now). She is very assertive and doesn't let much slip past her. She's had to really pull her weight around here since her sisters are relentless with her. Sometimes we all forget she's a baby. At two, she loves books, blocks, play doh, markers (she loves cowowing...coloring....of course with markers...she doesn't have time for crayons) and anything Mickey Mouse. At two, she has complete adoration for both of her sisters and tries to copy everything they do and say. Luckily, they enjoy all the attention she gives them so they are quick to teach her "lessons" as Mya calls them, even if those lessons are not mama-approved. At two, she has a funny sense of humor. She laughs a lot. She thinks potty humor is hilarious. And if she watches the old Mickey Mouse slap-stick style shows, she giggles the entire 29 minutes. She also loves it when her daddy uses different voices for Blue or for characters in her books. At two, she refuses to sit still during dinner. She'll eat with us for about 5 minutes before climbing off her chair to run around. Once she's down, it's a game to see how many bites we can shovel into her mouth. There are days I really think she survives on chocolate milk alone. At two, she twirls her hair and cuddles her puppy for comfort. I often look in my rearview mirror and catch her humming to whatever child song is playing while twirling her hair rapidly. At two, she loves all nursery rhymes and songs. Her particular favorites are "Twinkle, twinkle," "Row, row, row your boat," "If you're happy and you know it," "Gagunk went the little green frog," and "The itsy bitsy spider." If she is ever freaking out ('s happening a lot these days), I will just start singing one of the noted songs, and she'll generally calm down and sing with me. I know it's going to be a bad tantrum if nursery rhymes don't soothe her troubled soul. At two, her favorite pastime is lying with Blue on the cool tile by the door. She does it everyday. 

And finally, at two, she is almost 100% a mama's girl. Yes, she'll go to other people without putting up too much of a fight, but I know where her heart lies. She loves me unconditionally in a way I find hard to explain. She fills a void I didn't know was wide open. She, like my other girls (and Tim...I can't forget him or he'll shake his head at me later), is a true love of my life. She is stubborn and sassy, but she is also full of curiosity. I have enjoyed my time alone with her building towers or making pies out of play doh. I don't know what I would do without her. At this point, she is the only one I can carry comfortably on my belly and whisk around the house when we have a dance party. I attempt with the other girls, but my belly is big these days, and happily they concede to twirling on the ground instead of the air. 

I love this girl. I love her crooked smile and sly blue eyes. She knows who she is, and she knows what she can do. Now it's up to me to figure it all out. Hopefully, I have awhile. 

(I kept one in color so you could see the makeup V did for me at church. She took a blue and green crayon and drew all over my face. I didn't really think it would show up, but three hours later and a few rolls around the bed prove to be no match for Crayola. The colors are faint, but they are there.)

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley