You are emptying a bag of crackers onto the living room rug, which has just been vacuumed. When all of the crackers are on the floor and have been sufficiently spread around, I start to clean them up so we can go to the grocery store. At first, I tell you to help, but then I decide that the most I can hope for is that you will stop stepping on the crackers and mashing them into the rug even further.
After several attempts to get you to stop, I say, "Do not step on the crackers. If you step on them one more time, you're going to your room."
You smirk at me and take a giant step into the biggest pile.
"Get out," I tell you. "Go to your room. Right now."
You run off gleefully, shouting, "I'm going to have a time out!!"
Dad and I are in the process of rethinking your punishments, since time out doesn't seem to be having the desired effect. I'll let you know what we come up with.
On the plus side, you crack me up every day. Yesterday you asked a 10-year-old if she wanted to "hang out" at the aquarium. This was after introducing yourself by saying "Hey, this is Scarlett."
In tumbling class this week, when the rest of us were stretching in a circle, you got right into the center and started singing a song Nonnie taught you. "My poor hand is shaking, I cannot make it stop!" you chanted.
In swim class, you wriggle away from me as soon as you can and swim all by yourself. You can get across the pool now, coming up for air whenever you want, and often yelling something in the seconds before you go back under. "I'm having!" you yelled when we were at a pool in Palo Alto with Nonnie last weekend. And then, "Fun!" the next time you surfaced.
It pains me that I don't write you more letters, because every day there is something to record. But I am busy living life with you, rather than writing it down. I try to keep notes, and some of the things you say are so unforgettable, but I still know that I'm missing things. It's ok, I think. I want to just enjoy this time with you: the way you sometimes come up and kiss my leg in the kitchen, or lean against me and say "HUG." The way you ask me to hold your hand, which is really more of a demand, "Mommy will hold your hand," but it makes me smile. The way that you kiss Dad on both of his cheeks every morning before asking "How was your day, Daddy?"
You are a feisty, independent little girl, and unbelievably sweet. Your naughty behavior, which includes enjoying your time outs, is simply another way to mess with us, something you and probably every other toddler in the world have mastered. But I know that when you run away from me and I say "Ok, I'm leaving, see you later," you will immediately run back towards me yelling, "I want to go with you!"