You are a big sister now, hooray! Welcome to the Oldest Sibling Club.
A few hours after Matteo was born, you came to the hospital with your Grammie and Popa to meet him. I'll never forget how you curiously peeked around the open door of our room to see if we were there. When you saw your Mom, you lit up and ran to the bed. You kept saying "Oh wow baby!" over and over.
You were so sweet and excited to see Matteo. You looked him over for several minutes and cuddled with your Mom while he slept. After some practice at "gentle touches" with Matteo, you became distracted with your own voice and how you could make it echo with high screeches in the room. Such a toddler. That was your sign that you were done with visiting your brother, and we sent you back to the house.
Just a week into being a family of five (I have to count Greta), we're getting used to a different dynamic. Just as we're keeping an eye on Matteo, you are getting quick on your feet. It's a concerning combination that made us lose track of you yesterday. I was cleaning up the garage and your Mom was tending to Matteo. Everyone thought someone else was watching you, and in no time you had snuck out of the house, behind me in the garage and out to the front yard to find Popa. Very dangerous! Whereas a week prior we'd probably be talking to you and keeping track of your whereabouts, now we have to coordinate who's watching you. We're also installing some door latches to make it easier on your Mom when it's just you, Matteo and her when I'm at work.
Your Grammie and Popa are leaving tomorrow to drive back to Indiana. You read that right: DRIVE. West coast people like yourself like to fly places to save time. Midwest people like your Mom and grandparents like to drive, take their time and see the sights. Crazy, I know. They are heading south from here to the Oregon coast and on to the Redwoods before heading back east.
You've been a crank-pot the last couple weeks and showing signs of the "terrible twos." You have stronger opinions of what you want and don't want, whether it's a game, clothes, music, or food. I think your legs have grown a couple inches, which explains the crankiness and long naps. Growing up is hard work.
You're getting smarter with the days. You can sing your entire ABCs without error and identify most of the letters at random. You can also count to 15, though you usually skip from four to nine and then rattle off the teens. Your favorite song right now is "Wheels on the Bus," and you can sing on time and know all the steps in the song.
You're a bit of an adrenaline junkie. You love fast motions like swinging and spinning around. I've taken advantage of that and started to take you on jogs with Greta. I appreciate it because I could use the exercise. You squeal with delight when we start running because you hold the leash (attached to the stroller) and think you're getting Greta to run fast ahead.
Greta has become your buddy. You like to feed her and always look up and say "One more scoop" in between scoops of dog food. If Greta has gained some weight, it's credit to your consistent overfeeding. You like to lean over and give her hugs and have started to give her commands like "come here" and "back up." You have quite the stern tone and sound like a little general.
You are pushing your athleticism. You like climbing the rocks at the Ruston spray park and run all over the yard, falling often. Your knees have constant "boo-boos," but you're a tough kid and brush it off. You have an impressive arm throwing arm, just like your Mom, and can throw a tennis ball overhand at my chest from 6 feet away. We got you a balance bike and you're starting to get the hang of pushing and steering.
Seeing little Matteo reminds us that you are no longer a baby. We talk about how he reminds us of you and how much fun we've had with you these two years, growing from a baby into a little girl. When Matteo was born, I wondered how we've affected your life. Most people would say parenting is selfless but I'd argue it's just as selfish because you bring children into an uncertain world and, with siblings, you create new, unsolicited relationships. No one asked you if you wanted a brother! As you'll observe through life, not all siblings get along well. I hope you two will because you'll always have a common upbringing and the longest relationship in each other's lives. That's pretty special.
You're already benefitting from having a brother because it's creating more time for you and me to hang out. A couple days ago, I got to take you to the Proctor library for story time so your Mom could stay home with Matteo. I've never done that before because I'm usually working. It was fun to see you know the routine of songs and try to get me to play along. We turned the day into a date, grabbing coffee and donuts afterward.
I look forward to a lot more dates, and you can thank Matteo for that.