Next month, you'll be turning two, but I'm engaging in some really thorough denial at the moment, so let's just focus on the fact that you're twenty-three months.
You're doing things that other parents smile and say, "Oh, that's great; I remember when my kid did that," and I want to grab their hand and say, "Yeah, but was it this AMAZING?!" I'm in that kind of smitten phase with you, where you pour out a bowl of oatmeal on your highchair tray table and the mess is incredible but instead of wanting to launch you to the moon, I'm all, "Awwww." I know this response of mine will pass, so I'm embracing it for now.
It seems like you're giving some thought to your future. You have a high interest in all things musical, from pulling the pots and pans out of the cupboard and "Mama, drums?" for twenty minutes at a time to dancing spontaneously in any setting (store, restaurant, bathroom, carseat, crib). And your musical preferences range from knowing all the "words" to Grouplove's Colours (which you call "the man, man" song) to the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Maps (where you blurt out all the "WAIT!"s). Anything by the Beastie Boys and Jay-Z still makes you boogie, but you're expanding to Leonard Cohen and Gomez, which makes your mama so, so happy.
If music doesn't end up being your thing, there's a screamingly analytical portion of your little self that continues to impress me. You arrange puzzle pieces by color, and you like to group crayons into groups by hue. LEGOs are stacked with precision, and when you play with blocks, you can build towers that are seven or eight blocks high with a steady hand. (Kid, that impresses me because I can't put eyeliner on without going rogue; well done!!) You like numbers a lot (how?) and you can count to twenty with a few small journeys (where "five" is often replaced by "couch" and "thirteen" sounds exactly like "Christina").
Or maybe you'll be an artist. You love to color. And paint. And cover ever surface of our home with stickers. (You even covered your dad, almost head-to-toe, with smiley face stickers. He looked like a Monet.) The outfits you construct for yourself amaze me with their varying patterns and insane color schemes. When you're outside, you arrange sticks and leaves into little patterns and then you grab my hand to pull me closer to "Show my Mama!" You love to get your hands dirty and play hard, messily, and then strategically come in for a hug when I'm wearing a white shirt. ;)
Next month, you'll turn two, and I'll be encouraged to stop counting your age in months. You are getting so big and so smart and so ... so like a "real kid" instead of "my little baby." I love who you are becoming, and how fast you're growing. You are my whole world.
Secretly, in my head, I'll keep that monthly tally. It doesn't matter if you're 23 months or 230 months; you'll always be my little girl.