A two-year-old. A two-year-old. I’ve been watching what was happening two years ago, on my social media feeds thanks to all the throwback features. Two years ago last week I was trying my best to walk this baby right out of me, but she stuck to her own schedule and her own way of doing things. Two years ago this week we were getting to know each other through a haze of sleeplessness and sheer love.
I can’t believe it’s been two years already — I look back at photos of those last few days of pregnancy, and the first few days of infancy, and it feels so far away that it hurts my heart, a little bit. My teeny, tiny baby is so big now, an actual little girl with a very vivid personality, the one we saw tiny glimpses of way back when. She is her own person, and the leaps and bounds she has made this year are amazing.
M likes to weigh herself on the scale that lives in our kitchen (it’s a body weight scale, not a kitchen scale). She hovers somewhere around 26 to 27 lbs., which means she has barely put on any weight in quite some time. She’s certainly eating, and growing, but she is rapidly shooting up in height, so she is long and lean, still, just like she was as a baby. I don’t know her height, because I don’t think I could get her to stand still long enough to check.
I call her Bug, sometimes. Daycare has picked up ‘Goldie’ which is probably our least favourite nickname, as parents, but we always said she would be free to go with what she wanted when she was old enough to speak for herself. We’ll see how that one plays out as she gets bigger, because I’m imagining a 13-year-old M styling herself as Goldyie or something just to drive her mother to the brink of crazy. 😉
This is all very sleep-dependent, these days. When she gets enough rest she’s perky, chipper, and full of energy. When she’s tired, she is more prone to fall into the stereotypical tantrum-y toddler behaviour. Either way, she’s determined, talkative, and very social.
She is an expert at all things that rock, bounce, and roll. Lately she’s been colouring a lot — scribbles, but she identifies the colours and tells me what it is that she’s creating. She can take off her clothes but not put them back on. She uses the potty but not enough to be considered ‘trained.’ She’s been speaking in full sentences for quite some time — her first forays into stringing words together came shortly after her first birthday, and now she’s in the “What’s that?” stage. She uses the word “I” appropriately probably 75 per cent of the time; otherwise it’s things like “Mine wants that” or “M wants yogurt.”
She counts, but it’s usually “1-2-3-4-9-11-12-13!” She runs, she jumps (fearlessly, off of things and onto things), she pushes her chairs around and uses them as step stools to get into the things she wants that have been put up high. She rocks all of her dollies and stuffed animals, puts them to sleep under their blankets, and frets about which ones are hungry. Basically, she does a bit of everything, and it’s enthralling to watch.
Daycare solved our nap issues. Before that, she was struggling — we thought she was going to become a no-nap kid way too early, but finally having the structure and routine of a daycare centre was all she needed. At home on weekends, I tell her that it’s “quiet time” and lay her down in her crib around noon, and she’ll sleep for about two hours. Night time is a bit more challenging but once she goes to sleep she usually stays asleep, to the point that I have to wake her up on daycare days in the morning. On weekends she will sleep in an extra hour or two, but still follows the same nap and bedtime schedule. It works.
She’s still in a crib but will be moving to a toddler bed when we get the back half of our house renovated. We have the furniture and everything in boxes — it just needs a place to live.
We have entered into the somewhat-picky eating stage. M loves noodles. When I ask her what she had for lunch at daycare (they provide two snacks and lunch) she either tells me “noodles” or “not noodles.” So if she could just live on pasta that would be great, but vegetables are kind of a necessity, yes? She loves hot dogs, clementines, bananas shared with Matt, strawberry yogurt, cheese, and orange juice, which she insists is apple juice. And friggin’ Halloween candy.
A few weeks ago she polished off two filets of basa, on her own, flavoured only with salt, pepper, and lemon juice. It was a miracle.
We’re in a weird place where she needs 2T pants for the length, but if she wears them, they are way too baggy in the waist unless she’s in cloth diapers (which are now only a weekend thing with the daycare switch). She’s been getting away with 2T leggings, mostly. Her 18-24 month tops are also getting a bit short, but still fit, so she’s in a combination of both sizes. She wears size 6 shoes.
Having picnics, which means putting a blanket on the floor and sitting with all of her play food and her “friends” (her dolls and stuffed animals). Going outside, particularly if it involves a snowman. Frozen, Olaf… yeah. She still loves reading, and loves colouring and playing with stickers. Play-Doh is a recent hit.
Bath time, but our bath tub has been out of commission for a good month now and she seems to be doing well with showers. We’ll see what happens when the tub is back. Having her hair brushed. Having to take off her PJs in the morning/put them on at night. Random, bizarre things, like the milk-related tantrum she had — she did NOT want to see a carton of milk on the table, even though it wasn’t for her. There are lots of sporadic, strange meltdowns, but that’s what being two is all about, I guess!
Mom & Dad:
I would say we are firmly into the swing of things as parents, but the tantrums and questioning stage are both rearing their heads so it’s still a bit flummoxing at times. I feel much more experienced than I did two years ago, though. There are new challenges, but new joys. It’s hard to remember life before M — we are both so glad that she’s a part of our family, and wouldn’t trade it for anything.
Things to Remember:
Over the last six months specifically (since my last update) the biggest new thing to remember is that M started at a new daycare setting and has really thrived. Just hearing all of the new words, seeing all of the new skills — it’s a delight. We also started a dance class which is a very casual thing but so much fun to watch. She will request a few of the songs at home and do the dances. Her second birthday, which I’ll post more about, is a really special memory already, because she had SO MUCH FUN. I think I’ll look back on the time before she turned two, and after she was 18 months old, as a time of huge discoveries and her personality really coming out and shining.
Right now as I type this I’m sitting on the couch in the living room, and you are making Play-Doh cupcakes with your daddy. When I came home from work a few minutes ago you were sitting in a crate he was building to hold firewood, and you were announcing, “I’m an elephant in here!” You helped him hammer the last few planks on, then you grabbed one of your tiny chairs, tried to steal an orange from the counter, and shoved three grown-up chairs together to make a choo choo train. You are a whirlwind. You are so much fun.
You have spent the last two days non-stop ‘cooking’ in your new play kitchen — you delighted your aunties yesterday when you pulled them over by the hand to watch you bake cupcakes and fill your kettle with imaginary water. They were so impressed that you were mimicking the noises they made — “beep beep” and “woosh” coming from your little mouth as you kept yourself busy, all on your own, using that active imagination you are so lucky to have.
Sometimes you don’t know what’s real and what isn’t — you try to shove yourself into a photo or movie by smacking your head against a screen or a page of a book. That’s how much you can dream and imagine and cultivate a world beyond what is actually here. You are so very creative and smart and funny and curious — you are determined, and opinionated, and very much your own person. I hope you don’t lose that sense of wonder, that sense of joy, that ability to dream up whatever you desire and picture it vividly like it’s right in front of you. If you keep it, it will serve you well.
You’ve showed us a bit of the magic of a two-year-old’s world, too, and for that I am grateful. Everything is a little bit more fantastic when we view it through your eyes. On the worst of days you have been a little light, a presence empathetic beyond your years, a tiny miracle showing us that good things do happen to people who are otherwise very ordinary. You are our good thing, every day.