Elizabeth turned two last Sunday. Brandon spent all Sunday observing the Uzbek presidential election in Bukhara, so we didn't celebrate on Sunday, but instead on Monday. One of the advantages of being two years old is that you're not quite clear on what exactly birthdays are and when they're supposed to be celebrated.
Sophia has been teaching Elizabeth the happy birthday song, so she was delighted when we lit the two candles on her cake and all sang to her. She was even more delighted when she received a bag of candy that her siblings has bought for her and a book that her grandmother had sent. When the evening ended with a piece of cake, her birthday bliss was complete.
Elizabeth is a very typical two year-old, busily getting into all the trouble she can find. After Elizabeth repeatedly ransacked Kathleen and Sophia's room while they were doing their schoolwork, the girls have started locking their door whenever they leave their room as Elizabeth can now open doors by herself.
One morning this week, Edwin found Elizabeth in the kitchen. She had pulled a chair over to the counter, climbed up the chair, and then found a bin full of chocolate chips. Knowing that someone would find her eventually, she busily stuffed as many chocolate chips into her mouth as quickly as she could. When she was discovered, her face was smeared with chocolate and Elizabeth looked very pleased with her ability to find tasty treats entirely on her own.
Kathleen and Sophia begged me to buy a bike trailer so that they could take Elizabeth on their afternoon bike rides, and I finally gave in a month ago. Now one of Elizabeth's happiest things is being tucked into the seat of the trailer, cuddled up with her blanket watching the streets of our neighborhood whizz by as her sisters pull in her style. Whenever she wakes up from her afternoon nap, she immediately starts demanding, "Bike trailer! Bike trailer!! BIKE TRAILER!!!"
I've always enjoyed two year olds, and Elizabeth is no exception to that. She definitely has her moments when she's loudly demanding something that she can't have, or desperately wants a thing that I don't understand, or hops on and off and on and off my lap constantly while I'm trying to teach school lessons. But she is usually adorable cute, cheerfully happy, and oh so sweet to cuddle in my lap.
I'll freely admit that part of my enjoyment in her is because she's the last one. Whenever I have to clean up another mess she's made, I know that those messes won't last that much longer. Her irritating screams and cries aren't that bad because they won't be followed by someone else doing that. And every new milestone she reaches is the last time I get to watch one of my own children reach do that new thing. I now understand why the babies in families get special treatment from everyone.
We are all happy to have Elizabeth in our family. Happy Birthday, Elizabeth!