Dear Sophie Bear,
What a rock and roll ride these 2 years have been with you. Your Papa and I reflect back on these last 24 months in wonder. It's absolutely true that when you have a child, you have the longest days and the shortest years.
We are proud of the fact that you are a well mannered and gentle kid, so we can take you to lots of interesting places with us. Since coming here, we've been to so many museums and art galleries around Beijing, the aquarium, science center and even the library, where you've been quietly absorbed your surroundings like a sponge and then copied everything that people do. Case in point at the Lama temple:
Most of our child-less friends tell us that you are very pleasant to be around because you generally can be relied upon to follow instructions to amuse yourself without doing anything dangerous. Only our friends with frequent exposure to small children realize how special this behavior actually is!
Since we schedule our leisure travel (where possible) around your nap time, you are usually quite happy to travel through airports and train stations. In this photo you are waiting to board the plane to Huhhot, inner mongolia where you stopped flying for free (on account of turning 24 months). You spent your entire 1 hour plane ride chatting to your "new friends" (the young Chinese couple seated behind us).
Most Chinese people are completely impressed by your Mandarin which is in full and clear sentences. It inspires my friends who want their kids to speak Chinese ask whether I want to do a summer exchange with them! You have still not got the hang of English and French pronouns though, because you drop the articles and still refer to yourself regularly as "Sophie" e.g. "Sophie veux RAISIN - Sophie want raisin". We don't bother correcting this kind of grammar because we are too busy reminding you to "say please" and "thank you". I am sure that this will all come later, and whilst there aren't that many trilingual kids around to gauge from, I am sure that you're doing pretty well linguistically for your age. The more immediate problem is that you are absolutely addicted to organic cranberry raisins. The good news is that I can basically get you to do anything by offering little bribes!
You grow so fast, and I feel like many times I must get a camera and record the gorgeous Kodak moments before they slip away. Like when I see you laughing out loud, for absolutely no reason other than just the sheer joy of being in the summer sunshine with your parents. You are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.