I want a pancake in my hand.

Ivy. She’s almost three now. She’s amazing. And ridiculous. Hilarious, and smart. Super mean, and super sweet. We’re all in love with her.

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Although there was a brief blip last spring where I was sure she was going to quit, she still naps every day, usually for at least a couple hours. I often wake her up from her nap so that she’ll still go to sleep ok at night. Most days she asks to go for her nap as soon as she’s done lunch, and sometimes she puts herself for her nap without any suggestion from me. Sometimes this is because she’s tired, and sometimes this is because she’s dramatic. Last week I told her we were going to make pancakes for lunch. She immediately said to me “I want a pancake in my hand!” and held her little hand out to me, palm up, so sweetly. When I explained I didn’t have any pancakes, that I still needed to make them, and THEN she could have a pancake in her hand (why did she want a pancake in her hand anyway?? I have no idea), she freaked out at me. Full blown temper tantrum, wailing and yelling. She ran to her bedroom and threw herself dramatically on her bed (I’m not kidding. She’s two, but she can do things with flair if she wants). Then she fell asleep. It was 10:40. She slept for over two hours. That kind of thing happens semi-regularly around here.

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She steals, too. Lately she discovered the stash of coins for the boys’ allowance in our junk drawer. I keep finding her reaching in there and grabbing coins then running to her room, after which I hear the clink of coins hitting the bottom of her piggy bank. She will flat out deny that she did this too. This morning she stole four quarters off of Neil’s bedside table, then she came creeping (I literally mean creeping, walking slowly on her tiptoes) out of our bedroom, WITH HER EYES CLOSED (because then I can’t see her?), until she was close to her bedroom door, where she promptly made a run for it.

Besides the tantrums and thieving, she’s really so darn sweet. If she’s sitting beside someone on the couch, she’ll often reach up and put her arm around their neck. If she’s sitting between two people, she has her arms around both of them.

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She tells me she loves me often. She never says “I love you.” Always, “I love you too.” Even if she’s the first to say it. And then she says to me, “that makes you happy when I say that Mom!” and she’s right, of course. Sometimes she comes up to me and puts her arms around me and says “You’re a good mom, Mom. I love you too.” She usually says that when I feel the worst about my mothering skills, and she says it in that pure genuine way of a toddler, and she makes me believe it. I’m so thankful for her encouraging words; I’m sure she has no idea how much they mean to me.

She’s funny too. She loves using references to time. But she’s a toddler, of course, so her references are always totally wrong. “‘Member when we had pancakes last year?” “Member, member when you mean to me on Tuesday?” “Member, member we went Mexico last week?” It cracks us up every time.

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She’s literally had a cold since September, and so she’s had a very raw nose off and on, and particularly the area under her nose. One day she was crying to me, “my elbow hurts! Mom! It hurts bay bay bad!” (Bay is how she says “very”.) Then she pointed to the red area right under her nose. She’s been calling that spot her elbow for a month or two now and I don’t really want to correct her.

She has three imaginary friends, Max, Pokemon, and Dad.

She’s fast. I came downstairs yesterday to find her coloring on our iPod speakers. As soon as she saw me, she threw that crayon so fast and so far. No evidence that way. The other day she was clearly chewing on something. I asked her what she was eating. She looked at me, slowly swallowed, then said, “Nothing.” She had raided my purse for gum. Oh that girl loves gum.

It’s so different, having a daughter. I feel like every day I’m just still getting to know her. Everything is so new, whereas if she was a boy, even though they’re all different, they’re all so similar, and I kind of know what to expect. Ivy surprises me almost every day. Like when I was getting ready for a Christmas party, and was wearing a pretty dress with sequins on it, and she looked at me, so in love with that dress, and told me “You look so so booful Mom.” And then half a beat later, “I have that dress when I’m bigger?”

She makes me smile every day, my Ivy.

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