To Annie: this is how you spent the day you turned 21 months old.
You obligingly linger in bed until 7:45 while your dad and I frantically bop around, getting ourselves and Paul ready for the day. When I hear you let out a little yelp, I open your door and turn up the light. “Good morning, Annie!” I singsong. You’re happy to see me but prefer to linger in your crib for a few minutes, contemplating the day in child’s pose. Baby noises from the other room motivate you to get up. “Baby? Da? Baby! Da!” You stand up, and I lift you out of your crib.
Baby and Dad obligingly make their appearance. You less-obligingly allow me to change your diaper, huffing a bit, and I slide on your pants and shoes before you can work up a strong protest. We say bye-bye to the family and whiz out the door at 8.
We get to your daycare (“school”) pretty quickly, and you squirm to get down and then point to the door. “Bye-bye Mom,” you instruct, and seat yourself at the table for your oatmeal. Well, okay!
Because I pick you up too late to talk you your normal teachers—you move to another room and caretaker at 5—your day remains a mystery to me. I find you more or less how I left you: seated at a tiny table, eating a snack out of a styrofoam bowl. You smile up at me. “Hi Mom. Mo agua?” I take your cup and fill it from the water fountain. You have me well trained.
You finish your snack and bus the table, then, “Mom, up? Ow-shy.” I lift you up, and we go outside. You decide you’d rather walk, and scurry to the exit, scrupulously closing all the doors behind us.
We’re driving later than usual, and traffic is bad. We commiserate.
“I’ll go when it’s my turn. See how all the cars around us are stopped?”
“All done car.”
“I hear you, I am ready to be all done with the car, too!”
“I wish I could pick you up. I will pick you up as soon as we get home.”
We also have long discussions about trucks (“hi shruck!”), a blue bus (“boo bus?”), birds sitting on street signs, and how we’d really prefer to be in an airplane so we could fly home. (I may be generously interpreting some of your phrases.)
At last, we ARE all done car, and find Dad and Sous waiting for us on the front porch. You’re excited to see Dad, and I put you down once we’re inside the gate so you can scamper up the walkway, climb the stairs valiantly while Sous almost knocks you down, and give him a hug. Dinner is ready, so we sit down to eat.
After dinner we adjourn to the living room. “Mom, couch?” You retrieve your wheel of animal noises, and we spend a pleasant 15 minutes listening to them. The sheep makes you laugh, and you’re working hard on your turkey gobble. After a while, you determine that it’s Dad’s turn and head over to his lap. He does an excellent horse.
At 6:30, we hear your brother wake up, and you’re excited to go see him. We all troop upstairs to the room you now share. You’re delighted with your brother until I show signs of picking him up, at which point you stage a protest and demand that YOU be the one picked up. Fortunately, you have two parents. Dad attends to Paul while I get you undressed for your bath, and we trade the two of you back and forth until you are clean and re-diapered.
I clip your toenails and we play cards. Then Dad takes you back to your room, and you pick out a bedtime book. Tonight it’s Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. You curl up on the floor while Dad reads to you, then tell him how to get you ready for bed. “Seep sack? Banket? Dad bed.” And it’s a wrap.