Two and a half is cracker crumbs and puzzle pieces and crayon wrappers strewn around the playroom floor. Two and a half is singing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" loudly from the car seat. It's cut-up grapes and whole apples and Minnie Mouse songs at any opportunity.
Two and a half is - day after day - negotiation of which shirt to wear and which shoes to put on. It's blanket forts and telling elaborate stories about the hungry monster who accidentally ate your boot or how you lost a tooth at ballet class. Two and a half is a parade around the living room ribbon streamers in one hand, a baby doll in the other. It's potty training and sleep regression and bubble baths. It's early mornings, before dawn has broken, whispering in my ear, "snuggles, peas, Momma, peas."
Two and a half is a dinner-time prayer, chubby toddler hands clasped, eyes tight shut "Thank you God for Daddy, and Momma's milk and Madeline and Reagan and Casey, my blue balloon and oh! my sisters." Two and a half is balls and playgrounds and finger puppets and books. It's Biscuit and Ollie and Peter Pan. It's scooter rides and chalk drawings. It's helping to mix the pancakes for breakfast and hot cocoa dates. Two and a half is exhausting and endearing. A bridge between a baby and a big girl.
It's another pan dirtied by home-made play-doh and another masterpiece to hang on the wall, another pair of mismatched socks in the laundry. Two and half is collecting every rock and stick and leaf along the half mile walk to pick sister up from school. It's nap-time snuggles and and kisses sprinkled throughout the day.
It's a hidden confidence. An unspoken independence. A holy ordinary. Two and a half is my heart melting with every post-slide giggle.
My dearest Violet, I love you more than all the waters in the oceans and all the stars in the sky.