Thursday, October 1, 2015

Ode to Bailey on turning two

The first thing you notice about Bailey is her hair. It soars about her head, a mass of curls that seem to defy the natural laws of physics.

At first glance, as she walks my way in childish glee, her helmet of curls and toddler's gait announce to the world the sweet and innocent nature of her being. She, like most youngsters her age, is a bundle of energy and spirit.

Bailey at 2, too cool for words
After all, Bailey Boo is turning two.
Yes, it's true, she'll soon be two.
Blink, and the days will rumble by,
and then, oh gee, she'll be turning three;
then another blink and time will soar,
and Baily will be turning four.

Okay, that rhymes, but I digress.
So shake it off and fix this mess.
Another rhyme, so stop it now,
and don't get smart or have a cow.
Okay, that makes no sense at all,
except when Bailey "moos" then falls atop her dolls;
and laughs and screams for more ice creams!

Ice creams, really? Enough; I say enough!

Let's focus on today, the here and now when life for Bailey remains a hidden mystery to be explored; and explore she does! There are no drawers she doesn't open, no buttons or switches she doesn't push,  no tchotchke she doesn't examine or box she doesn't kick. All this play is really work, the stuff of life and the business of living when you're still in diapers.

It's also what defines the "terrible twos", that exhausting, fussy period when a baby becomes a toddler and when "want" becomes part of their vocabulary. There was a time, not long ago in Bailey's short life, when there were only "needs". Keep her fed and watered, rested and clean and all was good with her and the world.

Now, there is no toy, book, doll or game she doesn't want. At the market she wants a cookie, at a department store she wants -- in fact, has to have -- whatever she spots; and don't even think about taking her into a shoe store!

Here's the good news. Wanting is part of life; it's the creative force that drives the cognitive, emotional and social development of a child. It's what gets us humans from here to there and it's what drives parents and others to drink!

It's certainly what had Bailey digging deeply into a planter in our kitchen this week, wanting to understand what all that dirt would look like spread across the floor.

And yet all is forgiven, even forgotten, when she bursts into our home most days, shouting for Bubbe and looking for Pops; when she rests her head on my shoulder and wraps her arms around my neck; when she blows a kiss and waves goodbye.

Two years ago when Bailey was born, I wrote that her birth ushered in a season of joy. I'm happy to report that the joy remains and the adventure continues.

So happy birthday, Bailey Boo,
and never forget that we love you!

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