Every day Harlow does something hilarious and I think, “Oh, you have to remember that!” I keep a running list in my head and hope to god I remember everything when it comes time to write them all down.
Well, now it’s time. I forgot at least half, but I’ll do my best.
Harlow is two years and four months. She is the funniest kid I have ever encountered. I say that with a pretty hilarious five-year-old in my home, who by the way, will also say her baby sister is the funniest person she knows.
Here are ten things I want to remember when I look back at this time in Harlow’s life, and things I want future Harlow to know about herself one day too.
1) Harlow likes to make up her own verses to “Wheels on the Bus” that are even better than the originals.
I have always sung a song to Harlow before bed. Since I put Harlow and Mazzy to bed at the same time, the song involves her big sister too. For awhile, I sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” until both girls knew the words by heart and we’d all sing together, which are some of my most joyous moments as a parent. Then Harlow began requesting “Row Your Boat” except she likes the version with the crocodile.
Row row row your boat
Gently down the stream
If you see a crocodile
Don’t forget to scream
Harlow’s favorite thing is to scream at the end, right as I lay her down in her crib. So relaxing!
More recently, Harlow has started requesting an old favorite— “Wheels on the Bus”. For a few weeks, we went through all the verses— the wheels (“round and round”), the driver (“move on back”), the wipers (“swish swish swish”), the babies (“wah wah wah”), etc. Then, one night, when we got to the end of the song, Harlow decided more verses were in order.
“The Harlows on the bus say…” she started singing and trailed off.
“What do the Harlows on the bus say?” I asked.
She thought for a moment. Then her eyes lit up.
“The Harlows on the bus say… I want syrup! I want syrup! I want syrup!”
I couldn’t believe it. Not only was her answer spot-on (reflecting her well-known love of waffles), it also had the exact amount of syllables to make it work in the song!
When we were done with the Harlow verse, Mazzy did not want to be left out. “What do the Mazzies on the bus say?” her big sister asked.
Harlow considered this and I wondered if she would strike gold twice.
“The Mazzies on the bus say… Where’s my Boo? Where’s my Boo? Where’s my Boo?”
Holy crap! My baby is a lyrical genius!
Mazzy, however, did not like her verse. “Something else!” she shouted.
“Do you have something else?” I asked Harlow.
Harlow thought some more.
“The Mazzies on the bus say… I like pink! I like pink! I like pink!”
Mazzy was satisfied and I was totally floored. We’ve been singing those extra verses every night since.
2. Harlow runs a $2 Dollar Store.
If you ask Harlow anything that requires a number as an answer, whether it be about money, time, age, etc. it will always be— $2 dollars, 2 years-old, 2 o’clock, 2 fingers, etc. I’d say she uses this answer because she’s two-years-old, but the truth is, it started way before she turned two, when she took over the “store” (aka the book shelf behind our couch) from Mazzy. Everything from a shell to a book to her own nose costs $2. If you shopped there, you’d know.
3. Harlow can tell a classic Debbie Downer story.
After I read the girls a story every night before bed, Mazzy started this thing where I have to ask them one question (about anything I want) and then she asks me one question of her choosing too. We started this new ritual on the night of Mazzy’s 5th birthday party. When I asked Mazzy what her favorite thing was that happened that day, she answered, “My birthday party.” Obvious enough. I asked Harlow the same question. “Mazzy’s birthday, ” she responded. Which also made sense.
But from that night on, no matter what the question was, Mazzy would come up with a different answer, while Harlow would always use the same answer— “Mazzy’s birthday.”
“What did you have for lunch today?”
“What do you want to do tomorrow?”
“What’s your favorite animal?”
Then, one night, just when Mazzy and I thought we had Harlow’s answers all figured out, she surprised us.
“What happened at school today?”
Harlow looked at me with the saddest eyes I have ever seen and spoke in short succinct sentences with perfect diction, a big pout and stomps for emphasis.
“Cooper’s birthday. We had cupcakes. Mine fell. ON THE FLOOR. Dirty. No more cupcakes. IT WAS DONE!”
Harlow had told her first full story and it was a total downer! The last time I laughed that hard at such sadness was when Debbie Downer went to Disneyland.
4. Harlow plays a pretty decent harmonica.
I tried to embed the video, but it didn’t work, so you’ll have to watch it here.
5. Harlow has discovered she can use me, her Dad, her Grammy and our nanny against each other.
If Harlow ever doesn’t like something I say, like, “No more television” or “You can’t have juice with lunch”, she will say, “Ruth told me!” or “Daddy told me!” or “Grammy told me!” like they gave her the go-ahead when I absolutely know they did not. I’ve heard from them that she does the same thing with me.
6. Harlow likes to call us all by our first names.
There is nothing more fascinating to Harlow than the fact that my name is Ilana and her dad’s name is Mike. She’ll walk up to us randomly and say, “You Lana?” I’ll say yes and she’ll turn to her father, “You Mike?” He’ll say yes and then Harlow, satisfied, will walk away. Or sometimes I’ll ask her to do something and she’ll flat out say, “Okay, Lana.” She says “Lana” with this extra emphasis, which makes me think there’s hidden sarcasm involved. But my favorite exchange thus far was this…
HARLOW: You Lana, Mom?
HARLOW: Daddy is Mike?
HARLOW: My sister is Mazzy?
HARLOW: My nanny is Ruth?
HARLOW: WHAT IS HARLOW????
7. Harlow has never met a hat, A Pair of Shoes or A Pair of sunglasses she didn’t like.
8. Harlow makes up names for her favorite foods.
I know I’ve mentioned Harlow’s love of “yogurt and yogurt” which is a yogurt smoothie paired with a side of regular yogurt that she likes to be served at once. Another favorite food is something called “Uppy Cereal”. What is “Uppy Cereal”? It’s cereal that she can pick out after I carry her to kitchen, hold her up to the cabinet and let her select the box herself.
9. Harlow has a funny interpretation of Scotland.
Our cousin Reyna went away to college in Scotland this year. Mazzy and Harlow skyped with her for the first time the other night. This was our conversation…
ME: Say hi to Reyna, guys! She’s calling from college in Scotland!
MAZZY: What’s in Scotland?
REYNA: There are castles here, Mazzy. You would like it.
MAZZY: With princesses and princes?
REYNA: Sure, with princesses and princes.
HARLOW: And superheroes?
REYNA: Yeah, I think there are some superheroes too.
HARLOW: So it’s like Super Why?
If you’ve ever watched Super Why, you know that makes perfect sense.
10. Harlow has her own catchphrase.
One day, Harlow bumped her head on the couch. It wasn’t hard and she said, “Ow, I bumped my head” before she started laughing. It was kind of like when you trip on the street and laugh at your own stupidity to save face. I laughed too which caused Harlow to do it again intentionally.
Bump. “Ow, I bumped my head.” Laughter.
And then again.
Bump. “Ow, I bumped my head.” Laughter.
She did this again and again and again, until we were both completely hysterical, like it was one of those jokes that goes on too long in Family Guy until it becomes funny all over again.
Now, whenever she does something funny and gets a laugh, she follows it up by looking at me and saying, “Ow, I bumped my head.” As if we share in our own private joke, that she, a two-year-old, is making us all laugh with full intention.
We are not laughing at Harlow, she is trying to tell me. We are laughing with her.
In fact, it’s entirely possible, that SHE is laughing AT US.