My Funny Valentine / by Susie Lubell

My daughter just turned two on the 15th. Yes, I went into labor on Valentine's day in 2007. No, it wasn't because of the passionate love-making. It was the prostaglandin. And she showed up the next morning. So I plan to have valentine themed parties for as long as I can stretch it out because you can't beat the 80% off all Valentine crap the day after. Plates for $.39! This excites me.

So I ran out the morning of her party and snatched up all the valentine sale items. Our friends started to arrive around 4:00 and she basically slept through the first hour of her party. Then she woke up, walked out bleary-eyed, immediately asked for a piece of pizza (by ask, I mean she pointed at the pizza and whimpered. She still doesn't talk.), sat in a big chair like a queen and ate three pieces of pizza, jumped down and did a little dance, clapped for herself, stared at her candles, at a bunch of cake, did another jig and then said goodbye to all of our guests. Even my son was on best behavior. As long as he could play with his sister's new princess make-up and hair styling set. When they weren't gobbling cake, they spent much of the party applying pretend eye shadow and doing each others' nails.

And so we enter the terrific twos. Again. My daughter has a far sunnier disposition so hopefully the next three years won't be too challenging. Though she does have an angry, sometimes violent, streak. Lately she's been putting my husband and me in time-out. She wags her finger at us and says sternly no no no no. Then she says come and leads us to her room where she wags her finger again, utters a few more no-nos and then shuts the door. I'd say she has it down. We're not supposed to laugh but it's hard. She's really funny.