Sage: 30 months

You’re two and a half years old.

How is that even real?

I feel like I’m repeating myself when I tell you that your vocabulary and intelligence is growing all the time. It’s amazing to see. There is still not a day that goes by that you don’t surprise me.

You’re an incredibly conscientious little girl. (And you insist that you’re a little girl. Not a baby. Not a big girl. A little girl.) When you get in trouble, you sit in “Time Out” quietly — even to the point where you said to the dog, Chelle: “No, Chewwe, I can’t pway wid you wight now. I’m in Time Out.” Sometimes, after telling me what you did that you weren’t supposed to do, you then tell me all the other things you remember you’re not supposed to do.

This past month, you had a few nightmares. You asked me if there was a scary monster downstairs. You told me you had bears climbing into your crib at night. These are slightly funny, but also very sad moments for me. I don’t want you to be scared of monsters or crib-invading bears.

Occasionally, you have pulled things out of memory after a few days. The other night I was putting you to bed and you asked for a song that I had only sung to you one other time, and that was several days earlier. By the third time I sang it, you remembered most of the words.

You love to tell us all about your day and what you’re seeing and observing. You love to make believe. You love to change words in songs to make them funnier to you. (One night, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Apple” made you just about lose your mind with laughter.)

I tried to teach you a joke recently, after you suddenly one day said, “Knock knock, who’s dayuh?” It hasn’t gone so well. You got the punchline wrong; I corrected it; and then you repeated it correctly. I tried again. You got the punchline wrong (the same way) again; I corrected it; and then you repeated it correctly again. Now, you’re convinced that it’s part of the pattern, and we sometimes have an exchange that goes like this:

“Okay, Sage, say ‘knock knock.'”
“Knock knock.”
“Who’s there?”
“Joe.”
“Joe who?”
“Mommy Joe!”
“No, it’s ‘Joe Mama.'”
“Joe Mama — I did it!”

You’re starting to learn how to manipulate people, too. Recently you spent a couple weekdays with our friend Sue and her three boys. On one of those days you said you wanted to watch cartoons, and Sue told you it wasn’t cartoon time. After pouting a little bit, you asked Sue, “Can I snugga wid you on da couch?” She picked you up and snuggled with you… and after just a few seconds, you started looking around and asked her where the remote was.

I recently went out of town for a couple days to visit about a hundred ComedySportz friends from all over the country (and the UK). So many of them told me how much they like reading the stories I post about you. You make a lot of people happy!

So because it’s a half-birthday, which has always seemed kind of important to me for some reason, I feel like the advice today is supposed to be bigger, or different, or something. I always tell you to be who you are — advice that, frankly, I’m still struggling to follow myself some of the time.

I’ve often tried to think of advice I could give you that wouldn’t feel, later in life, like I had tried to push you into anything. But there is something that I really do want to push you into. Fall in love with words. Reading. Storytelling. Writing.

You already enjoy books, but I want that to last. I want you to love books and words as much as I do. Not because it means you’re smarter than other people or anything smug like that. But because books and stories and words are all about communication — the connections between people. Words help shape your world, whether it’s other people’s words or your own. Learn about etymology and context and subtext — not because it’s crucial to know these things, but because learning them sometimes opens up new ideas that propel you to greater things.

And the words I want you to know most of all:

I love you.

Your mother and I both love you so much, Sage. You make us so happy that even on the nights you drive us absolutely bonkers, it’s better than I could have imagined.

Now that you’re halfway to five (oh Lord, help me), I bet we’ll have more nights where you’re driving us bonkers. But no matter what…

I LOVE YOU!!!

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