In 17 short days, you will finally be two. Two! You don't even know how many that is, but you do know that two M&Ms are better than one M&M and that's all that really matters.
Let's get real for a minute, Hen. I don't know what I'm going to do with you. The teeny-tiny baby that shot out of me is now a giant stomping, roaring, screaming mess of hugs, kisses, and tears. You are positively wild. You literally make Mommy's head hurt (usually by bashing the bridge of my nose back into my brain). I have scratches all over my face from never-ending power struggles, and you can't seem to go more than 10 minutes without just walking over and slapping me.
This would be so much easier if I didn't love you, if I didn't sneak into your room late at night to gently stroke your flushed cheeks, if my heart didn't still when you lean in to give me a kiss. It's the defining struggle of motherhood, I think -- loving someone so completely while absolutely hating their guts.
I have to believe that I'm going to forget about all of this in two, five, 10 years. I will forget how you chase Gracie with your school bus, scaring her so much that she hops onto the bed and refuses to get down even when I yell. I'll forget how you thrash every time I pick you up for a diaper change. The days you refused to nap will seem like something I made up in a sleep-deprived stupor.
And when you are 32 and your toddler is driving you batshit insane and you're considering running away to live under a bridge with the other trolls (because that's what parenthood does - it makes you feel like the meanest troll in all of trolldom) and you call to ask if you were ever that bad, I'll say what my parents said to me. "Oh no, you just sat quietly and played with your toys. You were never like that." And while you fret that your child is well on his way to becoming either an international superstar or a serial killer, I'll doze in the shade and replay your perfect toddlerhood in my mind.
I love you, you crazy turkey. God help me, do I love you.