Susannah, at 23 months old, has hit a huge developmental explosion.
First, she is getting taller and thinner. Gone are the days this summer when I would marvel at the size of her backside and how cute cellulite is on babies, but so off-putting on adults. We have long complimented her on her girth. "Little Fatty", "Who's the biggest chunk of change? Who?", "Did you get chubbier overnight? Did you?" and so forth. Swimming this summer, my friend Carley shivered and I sarcastically told her to get a little more body fat, which caused Susannah to pat her belly with a shout of delight and yell "BODY FAT! FAT!" and look around very proudly. Even on the first day of BSF, one of the children's leaders took one look at her and said "Whoa, she isn't built like your other two was. This girl got a shape!." That's what I tell myself when I look in the mirror now. That's not an extra fifteen pounds, DEAN, THIS GIRL GOT SHAPE!
Second, she is getting more physically adept. By this I mean she is now able to scribble with a permanent Sharpie over more surfaces of her body in a shorter amount of time and climb more easily onto the counter to try to open up the jar of gummy vitamins. She has black dots marching up her left arm like a tribal warrior's tattoo that have faded to a dull gray after several days scrubbing. And she also regularly hairsprays the crap out of the plastic hair on the creepy Barbie princess vanity that Dean found by the side of the road.
Third, the girl can suddenly TALK. Non-stop chatting, in fact, as I learned on a solo outing with her in Target. "Mama, dese nice shoes! I one, Mama. My name is 'Zannah. I have dis [neon yellow sports bra]? Oh, bra not for babies. Bra Mommies. NO, Mama, dis Zannah's bra [furious running clutching aforementioned bra]. OH, dammit! Dammit! Dammit, Mama! [I'm sorry, what's that? Oh, pajamas! Say PUH-PUH-jamas. Please, please, please say PUH-jamas].
Or yesterday, on the phone with Daddy:
Susannah: Hi, Daddy! I at Mama's house [I love how important I must be in her psyche to be the sole owner in favor of the sole breadwinner].
Dad: What are you having to eat?
Susannah: Oatmeal and taco [chocolate] milk.
Dad: Is Frankie there?
Susannah: Yeah, Hankie at home. Molly at home, too.
Dad: Did you go with mom to get her?
Susannah: Uh-huh. Hankie at 'chool this morning.
Fourth, she is exhibiting some mastery over her bodily functions. She can be pretty good about peeing on the potty. But when I say mastery, I must confess that I mean she has pooped on the potty twice. On several other occasions, during what we would ironically call "dry runs," she has pooped in the bathtub, down the right leg of her pants, and on Frankie's bedroom carpet. But that's a family secret because Frankie would have a nervous breakdown. Molly would wipe it away with a spare sheet of notebook paper and then ask me to serve her some apple slices on the spot, but Frankie would never set foot in her room again.
So, Zannah Zero (the way she pronounces her first and last name), since you can count to twenty and sing your ABCs, I guess it's time to turn two.