April 7 to May 7, 2013Dear Care-Bear,
Man, almost two. Almost-two is seriously fun and seriously challenging. Almost-two is full of giggles and fits and singing and licking.
Yes, licking. YOU LICK ME. What is that?? You did it at first when you were pretending to be a dog, but now you just think my reaction is hilarious. (My reaction is the rightful, honest one: "EWWW! Gross!").
You're a spirited kid. Your highs are highs, but even your lows are pretty high. You've yet (KNOCK ON ALL THE WOOD) to have a giant, epic tantrum that couldn't be calmed or that lasted longer than a few minutes. I still take you out and about and to restaurants and stores and places where there are other people and can be fairly confident (AGAIN WITH THE WOOD KNOCKING) that you'll be good, and probably even utterly charming.
Speaking of eating out - you sit in a booster seat now. WHAT? Yes. I know. Time. Flying. Fast. You LOVE it, sitting in a 'real' chair with the grown-ups and kicking your legs over the booster. They aren't quite as stable as high chairs, so I get a bit nervous since you still have all of your acrobatic tendencies and are probably going to flip right out of the booster at some point, but it hasn't happened...yet.
Almost-two is also full of choices. "White socks or striped socks?" "Red shirt or blue shirt?" "Apple or orange?" "Milk in a sippy or a cup?" "Eat at the table or on the couch?*" "Watch Nemo or Trains*?" "Read a book or play with baby?" "Color or ride bike?" "Giraffe pajamas or frog pajamas?" "Sleep with or without bear?" Choices are how we survive, because if there are no choices, and I pick the wrong one...ALMOST-TWO IS NOT HAPPY. Almost-two will scream! Almost-two will cry! Almost-two will forget about it two minutes later, but Almost-two is tooooouchy. Choices also give me an out when no choices are possible: "Sorry, bear, you got to pick the apple, remember? Now it's mama's turn to pick broccoli! But do you want it on the green plate or blue plate?" Since Almost-two is a control freak, it works and keeps both mama and Almost-two sane.
*Yes, I'm a terrible mother setting up terrible habits. Sigh.
A few weeks ago, you came home from school and told me a story for the first time. "Cici owie. Cici owie leg. Cici sad. [while doing the sign for sad] Cici happy!!! [while doing the sign for happy]." You talked about Cici all day. You told everyone about Cici. I knew Cici was a teacher at school who had broken her leg a while ago, but wasn't sure what prompted the resurgence of interest, or what was making Cici so sad or so happy. The next week I asked what had happened, and the teacher showed me a picture they'd hung up of Cici with her cast. The children were all interested in the picture and the cast on her leg, so the teachers explained that Cici had hurt her leg and was sad because she had an owie, but now she was happy because she felt better - ah! It all made sense. You still will occasionally talk about Cici and her owie, so clearly quite an impression was made.
You sing. ALL the time. I don't usually know what you're singing, but it sounds like, "Shooba shoo, shooba shoo!" Sometimes you sing the ABCs....literally, the ABCs, because you don't go beyond C. You also sing "Go go go on adventure!" from The Cat in the Hat theme song and "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes," along with the classics of "Patty cake," "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Twinkle Twinke," etc.
Almost-two is a collector. At any given time, you'll be clinging to five different things, maybe a marker, a sippy cup, a baby doll, a book, and a piece of mail. These things are of UTTER importance to you at the time and you will throw a fit should I try to remove any of them from your grasp, but give it a day and they're all discarded in favor of new things. You also will pack things - your shoes in your dad's backpack, a spoon in my purse, band-aids in a lunch box. I love finding these surprises as I go about my day.
I'm not sure how kosher it is to admit this, but you have a favorite daycare teacher, Carissa. Karisa? Hmm. I have no idea how to spell it. You will run to her with open arms when you see her, and blow kisses and say, "Love you!" when it's time to leave. While I'm a little worried about how your transition to the next room at daycare will go when Carissa doesn't follow you, I'm so thankful that there's someone there you trust and love. And let's be honest, I think you're a favorite of hers too (possible mom blindness at work there!).
When you were still nursing each morning, you'd come into bed with us and lay for a little bit, giving me a little extra time to sleep each morning. Once we cut the morning session, we started going out to the living room and starting the day right away. However, one morning I was particularly tired, so I gave you a pouch to eat and brought you into bed and propped my phone on the pillow and let you watch Elmo while I went back to sleep. Now, every morning, you pull me into our bedroom so you can snuggle between me and dad and watch a program. I'll take the extra fifteen minutes of laying down, thankyouvermuch.
About two weeks ago, I took you to get your first haircut. Your little rat tail (my favorite little rat tail) just kept getting longer, and was starting to look just ridiculous if it curled the wrong way (or worse, wasn't curling). I wasn't sure how you'd do with someone touching and cutting your hair, but you did wonderfully. I took you to one of the kid's haircut places that have little vehicles to sit in during the cut, and play children's videos over the mirrors, AND give prizes at the end of the cut - you did NOT want to leave. I could barely drag you out! And now your little mullet is gone and it makes me sad. Sniff, sniff.
We went to two birthday parties this month, and both featured bounce houses, and damn, are you in love. You get just the biggest fit of giggles ever running around them and crashing and bouncing. One was indoors, but the outdoors one took place on a chilly day, and I could not get you back inside - no matter how cold your hands got or how frozen your nose was, you just kept bouncing. Almost-two is determined!
There's not much else to say this month. The weather has been miserable and cold, and we haven't been able to get outside, so both of us are going stir crazy being cooped up. We did hit the Children's Museum with your friends Leah and Annie, and went to the zoo with my friend and her three kids (who you thought were the best and were totally mesmerized by), and we did take advantage of one rare nice day and go on a five-mile bike ride...which, while fun, was almost a mistake, since every day since then you've asked to go on another one, and thanks to cold or rain or SNOW or all three, we haven't been able to do so. I was so proud of you, though - you kept your helmet on, wore your sunglasses, and enjoyed the ride so much! We're all looking forward to your first Taco Run. We took some sunny days and were able to color outside, and I spent one afternoon doing yard work, with you "helping." Unfortunately, your "help" ended with you falling into a rose branch I'd pruned (and repeatedly warned you away from), and now, whenever we pass the roses, you point to them and say, "Owie! Hurt!" The rare warm spring days did allow our tulips to come up, and every time we pass them you say hi to them and tell me they are pretty and give them kisses.
Carys, you're so very many things, but most of all, you're my girl, my daughter. You make me so happy. And tired. But happy! (Yawn.) Let's go take a nap together. I love you.