It has been quite a weekend. Cora turned two on Saturday, which alone amazes me. You mean it was really just two years ago that we met her face-to-face? Because we don't have any family close by, Cora has had an early entry into the world of birthday parties. Last year she had one at a park and we were lucky with the weather. This year, we were not so weather-lucky, and we moved the party to indoors and I had a frantic day or two of deciding what to DO with seven little girls in our little house. But, the party was a lot of fun, with Wonder Pets, coloring, cupcakes, and dancing with streamers (Chris is still wondering of "Brickhouse" was a good choice, but seriously it was Cora's first favorite song).
I'm glad the party went so well, because the morning was not promising before the party. Without fail, no matter the time of day, if you ask Cora what she wants to eat, she will respond with great enthusiasm and hope: "Pizza!" So, I made her a breakfast pizza, modeled on my memory of a delicious one we once had at a cafe. My breakfast pizza was good, but nowhere near my vision, took much longer than I thought, and Cora was not that interested in actually eating it. Sigh. In the couple hours between pizza and party, there turned out to be many things to whine and complain about, much flopping about of little bodies, and not a lot of cooperation. Going outside to wait for party guests turned out to be the best idea I had all morning, if anyone wants Cora's opinion.
After the party, it turned out that there was to be no napping. Unfortunately for the mommy and daddy who had been up way to late cleaning up. I half-jokingly said to people today that someone had clearly flipped the two-year-old switch in our girl, because she was an ornery handful almost all weekend, with the exception of her party, church this morning, and front-yard clean up time this afternoon (finally some real live springlike weather!). During some pre-dinner coloring she even, for the first time, told me she was going to do something herself: "No, Mama, do myself!" (take the cap off the markers, the beloved markers)! Chris was leaving for a recital this evening and I was dreading having to face bedtime alone.
The ritual of pajamas-teeth-upstairs once again - knock on wood - stood me in good stead. Once upstairs, she wanted to lie in our bed, with covers. So we did, and I told her a little story about how two years ago we first met her, and she interrupted me to make sure I had my head on Daddy's pillow, because she had her head on Mama's, and that's the way it should be. And she lay on her side with her thumb in her mouth, eyes a little heavy, listening to my story. And then she reached out and patted my head and said, "Mama pretty hair." We talked a little more, I carried her into her room, we read some books and sang some songs, and then I set her down in her crib. For the past few nights this has been her cue to jump up and start crying. But tonight she just watched me walk out of her room and then fell asleep. I came downstairs and finished reading a book.
What I liked about our bedtime tonight was that I didn't feel like I had to make her do what I needed her to do, and I didn't feel like I was letting her postpone bedtime indefinitely. It felt like a good mix of what she felt she needed to do - be in our bed for a while - and what I felt she needed to do - be able to fall asleep on her own, without a big exhausting cryfest first. This, I suspect, is two. As so much of the weekend showed, it doesn't always work so seamlessly. But, once in a while, it can, and that is what I want to remember from the weekend Cora turned two.