Dear Sayla



You are two years and 3 months, but we’ve stopped doing the month-thing now. You’re just a two-year-old. I wouldn’t say you’re in the Terrible Twos yet. There are moments when you run from me when I want you to do something (like get in the car), and when that doesn’t work you go entirely limp and offer me no help, and you always have an emotional time leaving the Thomas’ house, but for the most part you are a pretty fun kid.

What I am most excited about these days is that you go to sleep all by yourself without us having to be in the room with you and without screaming your head off. Sometimes you even say “bye!” when we leave the room.

Your speech is coming along. You are picking up new words left and right, but you still fill in with your own language much of the time. You will babble away and interject actual words here and there. “It’s a Papa!” is one of our favorites, and “Oh, okay.”

You’re a selective eater, yet anything you find on the floor you will gladly put in your mouth. You find an old piece of crust hidden under your high chair and gobble it down (it was there because you didn’t want it). You crawled underneath the table at Starbucks the other day and tried to eat leftover pastry crumbs. Dirty, gross, stop. But, I give you a perfectly tasty (and sanitary) bite of roasted vegetables or homemade veggie burger and you treat it like the plague. I’m approaching this all wrong. Perhaps I should place bits of food in random places throughout the house for you to find and enjoy.

Speaking of putting things in your mouth, you use your mouth like another hand. You will bob your head down and take hold of all kinds of things with your teeth and offer them to me: books, toys, socks, spoons, whatever. And if you can’t get something into your mouth, you resort to licking it. Why, God, did you create babies/toddlers to primarily experience the world with their mouths? Are we missing something as adults by not doing this?

You have a huge monkey stuffed animal that you call Bunkey. Your favorite place in the house right now is our bed, cuddling/wrestling with one of us. You tug at my leg and say “come on, bebe” and lead me to the bedroom for a toddler headlock. Your yoga moves are improving: you’ve added three-legged downdog and updog to your repertoire. Anytime I do updog you see it as an invitation to climb on my back for a piggy-back ride.

My favorite moments with you are in the morning, when you’re cuddly and subdued, and we slowly wake up together with our drinks: kefir for you and hot lemon water for me. Or when you join me in the kitchen while I’m preparing food. You pull a chair up to the counter and keep me company, ask for snacks, and disassemble the contents of drawers. You love putting fruits and veggies in the juicer chute, and you do a little taste test before you drop one down. The other day you chomped down on a peice of beet, probably not what you were expecting, but you didn’t spit it out, surprisingly. And bedtime is special. Everything has slowed down and we all gather together in your room on the floor to read books, play with toys, or watch you climb all over your dad.

When I was pregnant a few months ago, I felt time beginning to slip through my hands—the time of just you and me. We have a routine, we’re figuring each other out, I finally feel like I know what I’m doing (most of the time) as a mom. I kept thinking of all the things that would change when the new baby arrived, mostly the special moments we wouldn’t get to share anymore. I’m sure a lot of moms feel this way when they add another kid to the mix, and I know that someday when we have another baby we will find new rhythms, bonds, and traditions. All of that to say, I am ever grateful for this time in my life—our lives—that we get to share as a little family of three. It is fleeting, just a fraction of life, but I’ve enjoyed it dearly.

You are loved, Sayla Joy.



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