don't grow up naughty toddler.
i'll endure another 60 years of chopstick stabs to the ear hole and a countertop covered in rotting fruit if it means i can still rock you to sleep every night.
i love you and your independence.
one day you'll be speaking in full sentences with a vocabulary as thick as your hair and i will smile and remember this current stage.
this stage where you yell "mines" and only i can translate your version of the words elephant and candy cane.
and although suffocating at times, never lose your need for me.
even if it's just a small sting in the very corner of your mind, i pray you always feel separation anxiety for me.
the one who puts away your shoes every night.
the one who lives for holding your hand on walks.
the one who buys you green snow cones at the zoo.
the one who hears your voice through the walls.
the one who loves you endlessly.
you naughty toddler.