I think the most fascinating part of this stage of parenting is that it’s no longer a one-way street. Instead of a baby who depends on you for food, mobility and imaginative dictation, there’s a two-year-old who feeds herself, runs and trikes all over the place and talks and sings every moment she is awake. Gone are the days of wondering what she’s thinking – today we know, we always know – and it’s an absolute trip to hear the things that come out of your mouth on a daily basis.
We do our best to ask open-ended questions, not only to encourage lengthier conversations, but also for the sheer entertainment value. We’ve entered the stage of WHY, and I’ll be damned if I’m not completely stumped at the end of each round of questioning. I don’t know why some cars have different sounding horns or it was sunnier today than yesterday, or why my soup was spicy, but I love your endless curiosity.
You are genuinely always chipper unless you’re sick or exhausted. You are animated and imaginative, and don’t stop talking from the moment you wake up until you go to bed. You love to be silly and make us laugh, and are a careful observer in new situations. You love the simplicity of playing, and often jump into games with kids at your school without a moment’s hesitation, even when you don’t know them. You are a good listener and rule follower, scolding anyone who walks in the street instead of the sidewalk, and refusing to take food we offer you if “still chewing momma.”
Your Favorite Things: Stickers, your tricycle, talking about animals, inflatable holiday decorations, books, climbing on Daddy, watching children’s songs on Youtube and art projects. You’re fascinated by dinosaurs and pushing buttons on different things, and love FaceTime.
Lately you’re insisting that you read your books out loud to us, instead of the other way around. You bring us both pillows (stuffed animals) and won’t begin until we’re laying on our backs watching you. “I read dis book now Mommy?” You’ve memorized an impressive amount of children’s books, and when you forget the words, you make up scenarios based on illustrations.
Tucking in all your animals at bedtime is a formal routine, as is sharing breakfast with them when you wake up.
You enjoy monitoring all the neighborhood holiday decorations – when inflatables are on you shriek, “toys awake!” and when they’re deflated, “toys fall over.”
You’re constantly explaining all your actions, “I take my sweater off, Mommy, my sweater toooo hot.”
You like picking out your own clothes, weather-permitting, and laying on your back so we can trace you with chalk.
Lately you’re asking to sit at the big table to eat with Mommy and Daddy, or assign us seats at your tiny table for meals. You continue to love all food and drinks, except bell peppers and Perrier (I do not blame you).
Sometimes you’re naughty. You will color all over your face and hands with markers, or make a big mess of something and run away refusing to pick it up. Your tantrums are generally short-lived and easily diverted, but can be ferocious at times.
You sing ALL the time and it is amazing. You know the words to 20+ songs and insist on singing alone (meaning you shout at anyone who tries to join in).
As for me, I love being your mom.
I don’t care that you turned two, I still won’t flip your carseat around to face the front. I’ve spoken to specialists and done the research, and even if you have to bend your legs and my own seat is at an awkward angle, you’re so much safer this way.
I don’t encourage you to give people hugs or kisses if you’re resisiting it, even relatives. I want you to feel in control of your body and never that you have to comply with physical expectations that make you uncomfortable.
And I still check on you while you’re sleeping, every single night. (After you’ve stopped singing to yourself.)