I was hanging up some clean clothes in my closet yesterday, and you came to join me. You had your baby doll and you were putting her in her "mammas"---which are pajamas, of course. You sat her up in her high chair (our bathroom stool) and gave her pancakes, which you called "takes." I made the mistake of asking if they were cakes, and you corrected me immediately: "Not birthday takes! TAN-takes!" Slowly the cake idea took hold, though, as so many ideas do in that little wispy head of yours, and in a few minutes they had morphed into birthday cakes. You sang, "Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, may all that you wish come true," and then you sang "Happy birthday dear Daisy" and turned to me in delight: "Baby boo tando-dout!" I'm your mother, Daisy, so I understood: "baby blew the candles out!" I love your language. It looks like baby talk when I write it, but it's more like a foreign tongue: exotic, trickling and watery, but clearly meaningful.
You're holding "Tiny Purple Car," your favoriteThe way you seize on any idea you hear, and then make it your own, is one of the things that makes you such a delightful companion. You don't talk, you converse. At the table the other day, your brothers and I were talking about the glaciers getting bigger in Antarctica. "Daisy's getting bigger TOO!" you hurried to add. You held your arms straight up above your head in case we didn't get the picture. You copy your brothers in the way they talk (your robot voice saying "does-not-compute" is one of the funniest things ever) and in the way they interact, right down to saying, "I need to go to the bathroom. Don't take my soup!" when you leave the table. (Only you pronounce soup "boop", of course.) Your daddy and I aren't sure why everyone's so all-fired worried about soup theft in this family, but if your brothers are, we can be certain you are too.
When we tell you you have to do something you don't like, you hurriedly examine the situation to see if there's a way out of it. Sometimes it works, like when we tell you you need to cheer up or else be put to bed early. "I AP-py!" you assure us, tearfully. Other times, like when you want to zip up your coat yourself (but you don't know how), we have to be firmer. "Daisy, you need to let me zip you," we say. "I doooo!" you wail, meaning you DON'T. I suppose this must have come from some long-forgotten scenario in the past: maybe we asked if you wanted more lunch and when you said you didn't and we said it was time for nap, maybe you changed your mind and said: I DO! Whatever the case, now you think it's the magic phrase to end all oppression.
"Okay Daisy, you need to get in the car now." "I doooooooo!"
"Daisy, give Malachi his birdie back." "I dooooooo!"
"Come upstairs for bed!" "No, I doooooo!"
You can't stand it that we agree with you. "That's right, you DO need to come upstairs," we say, smirking. "I doooooo!" you argue again, unsure why we're being so thick about it.
"Um, yep!" you said proudly. "Me!" When Daddy went down to check it out, he found a small path of destruction where you'd climbed up to reach. You've had quite a few of those "triumphs"---plates of cookies you've reached on the counter, pens carefully hidden away from you that you've found anyway and colored with. You're learning and doing so many new things, I can't begrudge you your sense of pride in accomplishment. I'm impressed with you myself!
You know how I can't resist a bunny, and it doesn't help when you ask if I'll snuggle you afterwards. "Nunno," you call "snuggle," which I always think at first is "tunnel," which is really what you like to do: in the mornings, you climb into our bed and tunnel in between daddy and me. Then you lie there happily, sucking your thumb and flapping the corner of your blanket back and forth against your cheek. Sometimes you hold out your thumb to see if we want a taste. (We never do.) When you're between us, we protest sometimes, and sometimes we even hold firm about it (we really do like snuggling each other best, you know, Daisy!) but often we just let you burrow in, laughing to each other over your wispy head. "Why is she so tiny? Why is she so cute?" we say to each other, knowing there's no answer. Except the one we always give, blaming each other. "YOU made her so sweet!" "YOU made her so funny!" We marvel at you every day as we "nunno" you, sweet Daisy, hardly able to believe you're ours.
We'd been deliberating for months and months about your name by then. Without knowing if you were a girl or a boy, though, we never really got serious about it. After the midwives left and we sat in bed holding you and cooing at you while the sun came up, we went through our girl list again. I had kind of thought you might be Violet, a name I love. But you kept those bright eyes fixed trustingly on our faces, and we knew you'd be Daisy, then---that brave, bright little flower. Daisies were named for the "day's eye," you know, meaning the sun, the brightest eye of all. Now that you're two, you've seen our our daisy fields a few times. They grow wild here by the lake in June, thousands of them. They're beautiful, but not just beautiful---they're so resilient, cheerful, and tenacious. Even the tiny ones turn their little faces up so bravely toward the sun. When I was pregnant with you, the boys and I would go out in the mornings and walk through those daisy fields as long as they lasted. Your brothers would run through the flowers, sometimes picking little bouquets which they would present to me proudly. We lay in the sun dreaming of who you would be.
That day you were born, we named you Aurora too; Aurora to remind us, and you, of the dawn that morning. From my bed as I held my new pink bundle, I could see the temple spire, a reminder of God's dawning light over the earth. That temple, our temple, was born that month just like you, Daisy---it was dedicated later in August. Do you know that Oquirrh means shining? And that sunrise! The pinks and oranges started out so delicate and hopeful, coming over our mountains. Then they blazed up like fire. You were like that to us, Daisy: that sudden light. That shining morning, full of promise. Every day your name gets more appropriate for you: our bright-dawning morning, our bright little flower, always turning to the light.
I love you, my Daisy girl!