Every day I’m somewhat amazed at how much Jemma is growing up. Far from my baby, so much of a little girl. And yet, so much of her still yearns to be close, to be held, to be deeply connected to me.
Often, she asks me to put Max down so she can snuggle into my arms. She doesn’t say it quite like that, she says, “Max, roll”, because whenever he is down, he’s rollin’ all around :) Or sometimes, she’ll point to Max’s chair and tell me to put him there. She’ll find him a toy in hopes that he’ll stay calm enough for us to get through a story just us. It hurts my heart to see her grasping for me. I try so hard to share my time between them, but in the spirit of less tears, Max usually comes out ahead in mama time. I always thought baby number two would be more relaxed, more independent, but not Max. He rarely naps alone, right now, he’d rather forgo a nap than be by himself. He constantly needs interaction and don’t you even think about trying to entertain him with a sea of toys. It’s you he wants. Well, me, I guess :)
Jemma has been a real trooper in sharing her mama. She has never shown aggression towards Max and has become his greatest ally. When he sneezes she exclaims, “Oh no! Mama! Max’s nose!” and runs to get a tissue. If he drops a toy she’s the one hopping up to get it, “It’s Max’s toy. Fall. Here go, Max!” They smile and giggle at each other often and when in their car seats they hold hands. Yes. Be still my heart. Jemma will even tell me, “Mama … Max’s hand. Hold.” Always with a smile like she knows she is rock star sister.
The point of me sitting down to journal though, was to document a few of the special things about Jemma that I don’t want to forget. Things like …
- How she calls zebras, “zebbies” and always identifies a mama zebbie versus a baby zebbie.
- Her utter hate of having her ears cleaned and hair pulled back, which is so funny because she enjoys getting her nails trimmed and I would think that should all be the opposite.
- Her penchant for letters. She loves them and has learned so many. We’ll be walking in the store and she’ll start chanting letters from a sign. Costco is one of her favorite places because of all the big bold words. She “spelled” OPTOMETRIST the other day. Yay, people look at us weird when they hear her. She does it while we’re driving too. Yesterday it was MOTEL and CHEVRON.
- How she dances. She still dances with her eyes closed and does some awfully funny disco type moves as she twirls.
- Her diaper obssession. While she was sick we had to collect a urine sample. Cue dramatic music. It took three hours of coaxing and a lot of help from Aunt Kiki. We’re pretty sure that episode set us back with potty learning. Jemma HATES the potty and cries until she gets a diaper back on. I’m really hoping it all magically clicks one of these days. Preferably before Fall so she can go to preschool like we’re planning.
- Her growing independence with clothes. She wants to pick them out all. by. herself. And she gets specific things stuck in her mind. Like these ratty old bear pajamas. The only way I can get her to move on to something else is to tell her that they are dirty. Then she’ll pick something else but tell me all day long how her bear pajamas are dirty. She also prefers purple and pink over any other color and I have much better chances of her wearing something if it has a cute animal on it.
- Her sweet little laugh. It comes out at the funniest times now. She has never been a laughing girl, as a baby we had to work really hard to get a chuckle from her. Now, she’ll full on giggle when she thinks something is funny. Just today, while watching Sesame Street she burst out giggling and said, “Oh, Zoe!”
Two years old has stretched me in so many ways. I can literally see her learning and processing and growing every day. I see her emotions build and crash. I see her heart swell and grow. My Jemma is a firecracker; a storm of beauty and adventure. I am so blessed to be her mama and at the end of the day I just want to keep on living with her.
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