I was chatting with another mother at Tory's gymnastics class the other day and we were comparing the physical and emotional developments of our children, as you do. In defense of Tory's uncoordinated ways (ha, poor kid), I was telling the mother Tory is "freshly two" in comparison to other kids in the class who are almost three and four years old (and thus, quicker to catch onto instruction).
Later, I was thinking about it and realized my Tory Bean will be 2 1/2 years old at the end of February. She's half-way to Three and this floored me. Really, I couldn't let myself believe it until I took a moment to count her age in months again. I know winter is moving slow as molasses for every single person in the country. But since Aden was born, my life has flown by in the blink of an eye and along with it, a good chunk of my little girl's second year.
Tory is a delight to be around. I mean, don't get me wrong, she is a strong-willed, independent, tantrum-throwing little devil sometimes. There are also plenty moments I could squeeze her for being so adorable, for saying the cutest thing, for showing her smarts and showering us with displays of affection.
Like the way she snuggled into my bed this morning at 5:00am. I try not to talk to her much in the early morning hours if I want any chance of her falling back asleep to say, 6:30am. Tory wiggled her body next to mine and said, "Snuggle me, Mama" so I wrapped my arm around her little belly. A few minutes passed and then she said, "Wuv you, Mama." My heart melted. It still brings tears to my eyes as I think about it again. It's so weird because Tory tells Andi she loves him all the time, but she will never say it to me. It's the first time I've ever heard her tell me those words and it was seriously a highlight of my parenting career. Love that girl.
Other things that just kill me lately are the way Tory tip-toes when she's trying to be quiet. Some days she purposely screeches when Aden's around but other (more considerate) times, she tells me to tip-toe as to not disturb her brother. Tory's tip-toe isn't just about walking softly; she hunches her entire body over in a slump with her head hanging low between her shoulders. She raises her knees in big up-and-down motions and toddler-whispers, "Shhh! Tip-toe, tip-toe, tip-toe" all along the way.
Lately she's all about keeping busy and every morning she asks, "Where we going, Mom?" when I'm getting her dressed for the day. Sometimes, the answer is nowhere and other days we discuss music class or gymnastics and who of her friends will be there. Last Friday, we weren't but 15 minutes into our drive to the cabin when Tory asked from the backseat, "Are we there yet?" Andi and I chuckled to ourselves from the as-seen-in-the-movies cliche of her question. Tory obviously didn't know why it was funny, but picked up on Andi and I's humor in it. Then, Tory proceeded to ask "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" over and over again for the next 20 minutes. She didn't know why it was funny; just that it was and she was going to milk it for all it was worth.
I'm sure she learned this one from me, but the response to anything Tory doesn't want to do is "I busy now." No matter the task - picking up her toys or a request to grab me a burp cloth - "I busy now!"
She calls all meals "breakfast" no matter the food or time of day. "I all done with my breakfast!" (I feel the need to add exclamation points at the end of her statements because every phrase is said with such enthusiasm.)
Music class on Fridays is held in an empty basement room of a local church. There's about 10 kids in the class and they're almost always running around chasing one another, or hiding in a corner of the room during class. Some kids are shy and stay close to their moms, but Tory is always one of the kids running around like mad. Last week at class, one mother told me afterwards that Tory had asked her two-year-old daughter to go hide in the corner with her. The little girl said she didn't want to and Tory nudged on, "Come on, let's go hide. It'll be fun." I seriously laughed out loud when the mother recapped the story to me. Oh Tory Bean, you're going to keep us on our toes, aren't you? I see this story being retold to me years down the road, only then involving boys and beer.
It's amazing how much Tory's imagination has developed in the span of a few months. She loves playing doctor ("I have a diagnosis!"), dress-up, dollhouse, grocery store and magician ("Ladies and gentleman!"). I seriously don't know where she comes up with some of this stuff. She keeps me smiling all day long.