you are a dancer, a twirler, and the bounciest child we've ever seen. If you're going somewhere, you're either dancing, skipping, bouncing, or jumping to get there.
You've started directing our conversations. Ever since you learned to talk, you've dominated dinnertime and other times where normally the rest of us would talk too.
Dinner is a running commentary from you that goes something like this:
"Mine cup is pink! Pink's mine favorite color!! Mommy's plate is blue, and Nickus's plate is blue--they match! Daddy and Nickus are boys. Everyone is a boy! Except Mommy. And Ellie. We're girls. I can roll my tongue. So can Mommy, Nickus, Sarah, Grandma, Grandpa, Jonah, and Nathan, and Josh! But not Daddy. Look at mine cute baby lion!" (as you hold up your hands to show us your imaginary pet) "He's so cute and so little! Mine baby lion needs to eat his dinner."
The rest of us would simply eat in silence while you talk.
But now, now you want us to speak up in return,
and we have to say what you want us to say.
"Mommy, say 'Oh Ellie, that is a beautiful dress.'" "Mommy, say 'Come here little puppy!'" "Mommy, say 'Thank you, Ellie, for eating your lunch.'" "Mommy, say 'Ellie, don't color on the walls!'"
Yep, you've even started dictating how I should stop you from doing something you know is wrong.
And you toss your head from side to side while you talk, curls bouncing, in the sweetest little girly way.
You love to read. You practically force us to read to you, bringing a book and never relenting until we've agreed to read, even after we've already read seven or eight books.
I hope you always love to read. I try my best to always read you the books you bring me.
You try so very hard to be brave. When you're feeling shy or unsure, in a big group of people, or when we're with our neighbors and their big puppy, you press your soft little body against mine and say, as a sort of self-pep talk, "Me brave. Me brave to pet that doggy, Mommy. Me brave."
Ellie, my girl, always be brave.
Ellie, I adore listening to you play. In the car, at home with your toys, anywhere you are and no matter what it is you're using, you start dialogue between two characters of your imagination. They go to the store, they take a bath, they eat their dinner, they pick flowers...
I love to listen when you think I'm not paying attention; I love to glimpse into your beautiful world.
You often hand me something (like a toy zebra) and say, "Okay Mommy, you be this guy. I'll be this one. Let's play!"
I hope I say yes often enough.
If you trip or fall down you jump up and ask us "You like mine trick?"
Your favorite joke is "How about Ricky Island?" You say this randomly, and you and Nicholas laugh wildly. The funniest part is that neither one of you will tell me why this is so funny.
You refer to everything, whether it was not even 2 seconds ago or last summer as "a week ago." "Mommy, um so, a week ago...." and then you tell me a story.
You are incredibly affectionate--always giving us hugs and kisses, with the sweetest adoring smile on your face. You, like your brother, love to snuggle with me. I haven't figured out how to get you two to share my lap, and snuggling usually ends with fighting. Which leads to tears, which leads to more snuggling.
When you're sad (usually when you're hungry) you follow me around (usually in the kitchen where I'm trying to make your food) and say "Um, so, pick me up, Mommy!"
Anything we give you is suddenly your favorite color. "This pencil is blue?? That's mine favorite color!!"
You are creative. And determined. You'll do anything to get where you want to be. As hard as it is right now, when that means climbing up into the fridge, going outside whenever you please, screeching during Church, and coloring on the grout on the dining room floor,
I hope you always know what you want and do everything you can to get it.
You live outside. Always asking to play outside, always heading out to play in the sandbox or ride your bike. And while you're out there, you take off your shoes and have me put them back on for you several times over.
Ellie, not only do you love to dance, but you also like to ask me to dance for you while you sing in the toy microphone, and you love to pull things over (boxes, toy totes, stools, pillows) for you to stand on while you sing for us.
Your songs vary from combinations of Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam, As I Have Loved You, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Let it Go, and always include the line "People were sleeping..." which is from your favorite bedtime song, Gethsemane Song.
"Love one another, like a diamond in the sky, cold doesn't bother me anyway, people were sleeping!" is a typical Ellie-song.
When we put you to bed, after lots of hugs and kisses, songs, and requests/demands that we read you more books, when we finally say goodnight you always ask us "Stay by mine door?" and me and daddy sit out in the hallway and whisper to each other until you've fallen asleep.
Always just outside your door,