The Love & Joy of Raising Our Toddler Daughter

As I shared in “Loving Life with a Toddler: The Things I Most Appreciate Today” I was extremely surprised by how deeply I loved being the mom of a toddler. I must say that I have a completely different relationship with our little girl, Baby B, than with our little boy, Kiddo A, but I’m just as fond of her toddler stage. She regularly leaves me missing the two-year-old version of the boy who made me a mom and I delight in watching her explore, develop, and acquire knowledge.

Baby B is quick to smile and just as quick to furrow her brow. Her facial expressions are over the top and I never have to wonder what emotion she may be experiencing. I suspect this will be a strength and a challenge as she grows older.

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She recently discovered her big eyes and the power of speaking with them. She will open them wide, tilt her head down, and curve her eyebrows inward. I can see an eerie reflection of myself as she does this and I’m reminded of how clearly raw emotion can be expressed with the windows to the soul.

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Baby B now has a head full of curly blond hair and I love putting it up in a tiny pony tail. Her big eyes never really landed on turning brown from a dark green so they are in a hazel limbo. Her silky skin is creamy in color and she is shedding her chubby baby rolls. She reminds me of her big brother not by appearance or temperament but expression. Baby B and Kiddo A have created a special sibling bond and they share moments which melt my heart and make me believe she has completed our family.

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I am consistently surprised by the things she knows which are mostly displayed by her extensive vocabulary. She is a mini parrot and will repeat what she hears and then turn around and use those words in context. If someone makes a silly face, she blurts out, “you funny!” and when she doesn’t approve of what she is smelling she clearly states, “ewe! stinky!” She talks endlessly about the “bunny ribbit comin'” and “it nowin'” because Easter coupled with snow is a fact of life in Wyoming. Just this morning she came into the room and seriously announced, “hep, peese. eat nose.” to which we quickly realized meant that boogers were running in her mouth. (Yes, I gagged!) She is so proud of her ability to run and she will take off squealing her own name and shouting “runnin’!” She will also “weeeed” any book she can get her hands on or eat anything that is “yummm yummmy!”

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Our little girl engages fully in her tumbling class and she deeply loves singing songs and dancing. Her favorite tunes include “Rain, rain, go away!” and “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.” My heart leaps with every opportunity to listen to her latest rendition or to watch her move her body to the rhythm which overtakes it.

Above all, our daughter loves babies or “bAYbeeeees” as she calls them. I find this to be incredibly ironic given my adoration for newborns. She is such a little mother and she prefers dolls with dark colored skin tones. She has scolded our friends for picking up their human babies which she believes to be hers and after time with any infant, she repeats their name endlessly for days.

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Our daughter is certainly a mama’s girl and she will snuggle and connect with me for hours which is something I wish would never end. I am abundantly grateful for the memories I get to make with her and I grasp tightly as moments slip away all too quickly.

I’ve already started to daydream about her first formal dance, college graduation, and the possibility of watching her become a mom. I fully recognize that she may not choose these things or navigate her life the way I decided to, but I cannot help myself imagining the amazing woman I trust she will become. With this daydreaming comes a heavy sadness, as well. Although I’ve become slightly better at letting go and accepting change, my heart still mourns the baby she will never again be and this time which will only be documented by written sentiments and pictures. I cherish these memories, grateful at the opportunity to make them, and I’ll always feel deeply blessed by my God for sending her to me.

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*All professional images by BOKA.

If you like this JBJ post, check out these too!

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Traveling with a Toddler: The Difference a Year Makes

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Traveling with a Toddler: The Difference a Year Makes

The Great Toddler Swap

Watch Me Grow: Month by Month Baby Picture Idea

It’s A Girl! Welcome Baby B!

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