Two–New York, NY


I always pen a letter to my daughters on their birthday, and though a few (ok, six) weeks late, here’s the latest.

Happy Second Birthday. It’s been a wild two years–emphasis on the wild. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since you were nameless in the hospital. If we thought you were a hurricane at age 1, you progressed into a full tsunami over the last year. You are daring, fearless, funny, determined, independent, athletic, and tall. You are a challenge in a way that your sister never was. You are a whirlwind of exploration and curiosity, which typically results in daring dangerous feats, like standing in the windowsill and counting down 3 (fee)-2-1 as you leap off to hopefully land on the couch, or running as fast as you can toward moving traffic when not locked down in your stroller. We can’t believe–knock on wood–that you haven’t broken a bone yet and have had only one visit to a plastic surgeon. Every time I enter a room with you, I do a quick scan of what you can get into, and usually determine that we can’t stay there for very long. Even at your two-year checkup, you managed to unplug all of the computers in the exam room and climb onto the windowsill and jump off.

You get into everything–favorite pastimes include: emptying the refrigerator, eating icy Eggos from the freezer (then leaving the freezer open and melting the contents), clearing all objects off of the coffee table in one sweep, getting water all over the bathroom, emptying file cabinets, grabbing the sharpest knife in the dishwasher and running away with it, dumping out bottles of lotion and soap, or spraying an entire room with baking soda or baby powder. You are fast–if I turn my back for one second, you are gone, which is terrifying. When I lost you at the beach club this summer, I could usually find you splashing your hands in the men’s bathroom toilets, going down the stairs to the parking lot, or knocking over all of the cups at the self-serve lemonade station. You can open things with your teeth–soda bottles to dump all over, toothpaste to suck down…the possibilities of this skill are endless. This summer, I had poison control on speed dial as a result of your constant curiosity. Incident 1? Trying to drink lamp oil. Incident 2? Eating dog thyroid medication from your grandparents’ pantry. “Child-proofed” and “Farrell-proofed” are two completely different things. The second week in our new apartment, you plugged up our bathroom sink and left the water running, then nonchalantly came back to play in the living room. Thus, our first real introduction to our new super and neighbors was by causing a leak downstairs.

And then there is your climbing. Windowsills, dining tables, countertops, pantries, forbidden staircases, beach chairs, ladders, scaffolding, and playground equipment, there is nothing that you don’t want to climb. I’ve stopped panicking when you do this, because a) it’s going to happen anyway, and b) you’re actually very agile with incredible balance. You’ve been climbing out of your crib since 16 months old. You wander the house in the middle of the night, eating things out of the freezer and creepily appearing in doorways to say hi. You can run around in the dark and climb over gates wearing your sleep sack. It’s just who you are.

You love your sister, i-yeeee, and you especially love breaking into her room, throwing all of her bedding onto the floor, and playing with/destroying her intricate magnatile creations. You are going through a very big Mom phase, which results in a lot of crying, clinging, and an intense hatred of school drop off. Though you’re getting better, you’ve never been a snuggler. Usually your attempts to show love result in pain, as you are all elbows and head butts, though we appreciate your efforts.

Despite all of these personality “enhancements” that make you impossible to watch, at the end of the day (when you’re in bed), we adore you. We love your blue sparkly eyes and white blonde curls. We love watching you ham it up–you love to put on sunglasses, roll your eyes and make funny faces to get people to laugh. You are friendly–you say hi to everyone and wave incessantly from your stroller. You love to dance, paint, and draw. You are obsessed with dogs. You are a fabulous eater and have to drink “bubble wa-wa”. You love eating BOOBY (Pirate’s Booty that is, which can be awkward when you shout BOOBY out of the stroller and on airplanes). You call every meal of the day “dinner”. Your language explosion in recent months has been a joy to witness and you have so many great phrases such as “OHH! YEAH!! GO TO STORE BUY MORE!” and many others.

Cheers to making it to your second birthday without any severe injuries and here’s to another year of fun, exploration, and growth. Maybe you can let up on us a little bit this year, just a little?