(This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post)

Photo Courtesy @AKeiganPhoto

Photo Courtesy @AKeiganPhoto

In two months, my Terrible Two will turn into a Threenager. I can hardly believe we’ve survived this year as it seems to be the age that gets the most press outside of 16, and 18. But we made it in one piece! As hard as it was at times, and believe me it was hard, there are definitely things I will miss about my 2 year old. I feel like I need to write them down or I’ll forget. I’ve started to get a little sentimental (don’t tell anyone!) realizing she’ll never be this age again. This tiny, and innocent little person is growing up right before my eyes. If I’m being honest, there’s been days over the past year it was so stressful I wanted to cry, and probably did. Every parent who’s been through this stage knows just how hard the emotional roller coaster can be. But there were also many wonderful things that came out of this year. So as I’m preparing to welcome my Threenager, I do hope some of my 2 year old lingers a little longer.

1. You’re so funny

I’m not sure why she does this, but about 6 months ago Channing started saying, “you’re so funny, you’re so funny, you’re so funny” over and over again as I’m walking out of the room at bedtime. I repeat it with her as I close the door and she just smiles at me. “You’re so funny, you’re so funny, you’re so funny.” It makes me laugh that she would feel the need to either hear this for herself, or know that mama needs to hear this. It’s really one of my favorite parts of the day. Not just because she’s going to sleep, but because she’s capping the day off with her funny, silly personality and reaffirming to me that yes, I am so funny.

2. She is fearless

Channing is so brave. I love that about her. Nothing bad has happened in her life (Thank God) so she doesn’t know sadness, or pain, or true heartbreak. I know I will not always be able to protect her from those things. That’s why I love watching her revel in the freedom of complete, and total safety. She’s fearless in her play. She is fearless with her words. And she is fearless in her passion. Even if it’s Minnie Mouse and Mac and Cheese. Sometimes the intensity of her passion could also go on the “Things I won’t miss about my two year old” list. But mostly I’m just so proud of the head-first way she approaches the world that I hope this part of her personality never changes. Be fearless, Bunny. Always.

3. Those stuffed animals

My daughter is an only child so her best friends and playmates have always been her stuffed animals. They star in her shows and along with mommy and daddy (and some very gracious aunts and uncles) they are the audience for her shows. They each get special alone time for walks, or car rides with Channing. She talks to them with conversations that I’m positive have a backstory and lots of drama. She loves them so fiercely at times I think she might explode. The way she grabs Nemo by the fins and squeezes, proclaiming though gritted teeth, “Neeeemmmooooo!” is downright awe inspiring. She also has a similar routine with Minnie, Mickey, Daisy, George, Sheep, and Clifford. And every single time it makes me smile because I can see how much passion she’s going to have for her friendships.

4. I want to help

At this age she’s like a little sponge. She wants to learn everything. Try everything. And be a big girl. I try to find as many suitable things as I can for her to help with because she is such a willing participant. I know the day will come when she won’t want to help mom bake cookies, or stuff the washing machine or run errands so I am cherishing every moment of my little helper while I have her. Plus as my husband says, free labor!

5. The Toddler Giggle

There is nothing better in this world than her laugh. It’s my everything. She has an infectious giggle and a belly laugh that could bring world peace if enough people heard it. Okay that might be exaggerating but you get the idea. When she’s happy, it’s like someone has taken every beautiful part of my life and wrapped it into this little person, then tickled her relentlessly until she explodes with giggle glitter. I live for her laugh and I hope no one ever steals her joy. I hope as she grows she never forgets to be silly from time to time, and she shares the the gift of laughter.

6. Mornings

I always say morning Channing is my favorite Channing. She is well-rested, and playful. Ready for the day. Cranky Channing has yet to make an appearance so it’s also the time when mom gets to get things done. Quickly. It’s the time when we see the least tantrums, and the most cooperation. I just want to nuzzle her sweet face, and most of the times I do when I’m not ambling into the kitchen for some coffee like a mom zombie. It’s also the time we get to dance in the kitchen to oldies, or Frozen. Don’t roll your eyes. We actually do this. Not everyday, but quite a bit. Yep, morning kitchen dance, coffee and non-cranky Channing. My favs.

7. Pretty in Pink

When I found out I was having a girl I was like a lot of moms out there who swear their kids will never wear pink. I even obnoxiously told my friends not to throw baby showers with pink in the color scheme. What a jerk! That lady rebellion lasted for about a hot second. And then I saw her in a pink onesies. It was like the heavens opened up and sent me a little pink bunny. Cheesy? Yes. Embrace it! She looks adorable in pink. Honestly, she can pull off any color and style at this age and it totally works. I can’t wear bright green gingham pants, a Rolling Stones shirt and teal Crocs but she can. Bonus for her, she lives in LA, one of the most fashion diverse cities in the world. I hope she continues to wear every fun, creative, stylish piece of clothing she can throughout her life. Even if it’s pink.

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8. Daddy Pig, Mummy Pig, and Channing Pig

The loving names we have been given thanks to Peppa Pig. Why is this pig so popular? Who knows. But it is really cute to hear her yelling “Oh Mummy Pig, where are you?” Not the best nickname. But at least she adds the mommy part before the pig. And I think there are probably worse nicknames we could get. Like some anime character. Ugh. Anime is the worst. And I’m quite sure as she grows into a teenager we will get called a variety of names by our quick-witted girl. So I’ll take Mummy Pig and be grateful.

9. She makes up songs

They all have the same general melody, and usually only one word. But she’s so proud of herself for creating a song. My recurring favorite is the “moon” song which has very little to do with the actual moon and everything to do with saying the word moon over and over again. It’s perfection.

10. The way she runs

One day she could be a world class athlete. But right now she runs like she’s wearing clown shoes on a zig zag course. It’s floppy and uncoordinated but has a lot of heart. She seems to really like the competitive aspect of running because she’s always trying to get me to race her. I can see her running track one day. Once we nail coordination. In the meantime, when she runs toward me or away from me with glee, it’s the funniest and most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. Never stop running!

11. The Peeka

Channing got her Peeka on her first birthday. Some of you might know the Peeka, as a blankie, or lovie. But we played Peek-A-Boo with it when she first got it so she started calling it a Peeka. It’s a very simple blanket that’s covered in sock monkeys. It’s become such a big part of her world yet she’s not dependent on it for comfort. It doesn’t go with us to the store or school. It’s like a friend she’s so excited to see and rediscover on a daily basis, or cuddle with at night. This is one of those things I know she will outgrow eventually. But when I see my two year old and her Peeka, it makes me want to slow the next few months down and hold on to what’s left of this precious time with her before eventually she no longer needs the Peeka, or mom to curl up with at night.