Two, I love you.

I know age two is hard. I've heard it a thousand times over; and it's been ingrained into my system that two is just a precursor to three, which is, in its own right, a fresh hell demanding to be conquered when all systems scream no.

And I know we're only six days into it, but oh... I need to hop softly onto this fragile limb and report how insanely and unbelievably delightful two has been so far. Two, yes, and all the days leading up to it.

I'm not saying I'm any stranger to tantrums, misbehavior, sneaky secrets, or fierce, unwarranted independence - I am not, I assure you - but Margot, in her purest form, is just one of the sweetest human beings I've ever had the pleasure of meeting.

She has no qualms about barreling through a crowded room with a small footstool or doll stroller, bumping into grownup shins or rolling over grownup toes. She always smells faintly of peanuts even though she carries her distinctly perfect she-smell. She still sucks her thumb to garner peace amidst chaos, and still vocalizes the questions she wants to be asked, then responds to your offer as though it was your idea all along:

"Are you hungry, mama?"

"Margot, are you hungry?"

"Okay."

__

"Hold you, mama?"

"Want me to hold you, babe?"

"Okay."

__

She routinely removes her socks & boots when we're driving anywhere, in spite of our current mantra being PLEASE LEAVE YOUR SOCKS AND BOOTS ON WHILE WE'RE DRIVING; and then goes, "UUGHGGHHHH!" as soon as I open her car door and see what she's done - thereby so considerately saving me from having to do it. (Thanks, girl, but I still so need to UUGHGHGHHH when these sub-zero temperatures are freezing my fingers as I claw around the backseat for strewn footwear, then re-attach them to ten tiny little toes on two sweet feet.)

If I decline any request of hers, she says, "Okay, mama; maybe later."

I believe there exists a delicate balance of time together and time apart in order to make any relationship good and well and ultimately lasting; and while I undoubtedly go through pangs of missing her while I'm at work (always), and equally so, bouts of needing to fly off into the sunset when we're home together, I'm so grateful for this rhythm we're in. We're making it work, and I feel so blessed to call this girl my own.

This babe of mine, nary a babe at all anymore, is aging rapidly yet steadily and I'm still trying to figure out how I ever cared to do life before she existed.