Friday, November 21, 2014

Two Years Old: My Name is Baffrin!


You are two years old, my little love.  I often wonder how it's possible that time seems to have passed so quickly when I can also barely remember not having you in our lives.  You weigh 27 pounds and stand right about 30 inches tall.  I have to guesstimate that height because it's not like you ever stand still long enough for me to measure properly.

Your sport adorable curls that resist all attempts to tame them, and it gives you an air of permanent bedhead.  You love your "bunkie" - any one of a number of muslin cloths that function as a cuddle blanket - along with your Bear and Hare and Tigger (who you only recently stopped calling by an "ooh-ohh-ah-ah" sound because you think he looks like a monkey) and Pooh.  You like to throw your bunkie over Mummy or Daddy to make us "go to sleep" and then proudly announce that "Mummy/Daddy is peeping" before yanking the bunkie away to wake us up and then laugh and laugh.

It's been ages since I've written your last letter at 18 months, and the biggest development is that you are now properly talking.  I wish that I had documented the progression in real time, but this summary will have to do.

By around 19-20 months, you had developed a litany of animal sounds, along with a short list of words that included: Mama, Daddy, night-night (used for bye-bye), up, flower, bubble, whisper, shhh, row-row (a request for row-row-row your boat), and most impressively at the time, glitter and triangle.  Your range of vocabulary comprehension was wide, as it was clear that you understood the names of parts of your body, foods, animals and words from songs, but you weren't really one for copying what we said, so it was always a delightful surprise when you came out with a new word.  You remained at this stage of verbal development for quite a while, adding a few words here and there like milk, juice, cheese, shoes, Bear, Hare, balloon... you know, the important ones.

You absolutely love counting, bringing Daddy or me books or counting toys and listening raptly while we counted out loud for you.  For a long while you would "count" by saying "three-two-three-two" while you ticked items off, and soon you developed your own sequence that went, "two-three-four-five-eight-BALL!" and you were so proud of yourself.  Then one night when you didn't want to sleep, you sat up and counted out from one to ten perfectly, and there you are.  We could hardly believe it.

Something happened around 22-23 months, all of a sudden you were talking up a storm, and there's no stopping you now.  You started copying all the words we say, speaking in sentences, using please, thank you and your welcome (coo-celcomb!), naming shapes, colours, days of the week, foods, places.  You've even become quite conversational, once saying "I am a cat.  Meow!"  When I responded, "Are you being a cat?" you patiently said, "Yes, Mummy, I'm a cat."  It charmed me completely that you weren't just using words for critical communication, but adding the social niceties too.  "Oh, dear," you say when something seems amiss... and much to my shame, the occasional "dammit" has slipped out as well. 

I'm very pleased that you finally say your own name, too, because for a long time you were chatting away about all the other children and teachers at nursery, but hadn't attempted your own name - preferring the more proper use of the pronoun "I" to the odd construct of referring to yourself in the third person.  Then one day I coaxed you to say "my name is Katherine," and you finally claimed it as your own...  with an adorable version that sounds something like "Baffrin."

I have nursery to thank for a lot of your progress.  The other day, you pooped on the potty there, when I had no idea you might be gearing up for potty training.  They say it takes a village to raise a child, but I don't have a village here, so although I pay dearly for your care, nursery is my village and I feel very, very lucky that you are so content there.

You've learned so much at nursery...this morning we were playing with your Winnie-the-Pooh number puzzles and you showed me that you can identify the numbers 3, 4 and 6.  When you did that with my phone the other day,  I thought it might be a coincidence, but to my surprise you actually know this stuff!  You also know the letters Z, K, and H.  With your love of music, you really enjoy song time at nursery, learning your own versions of "twinkle-twinkle," "happy birthday," "itsty-bitsy spider," "baa-baa black sheep," and with the coming of Christmas, "little donkey" all of which you sing to me in the car on the way home. 

You've got a mind like a steel trap and I'm often surprised at the things you remember and repeat back to me out of the blue.  Listening to you "read" all the crucial points of "Are You My Mother?" based on the countless times you've heard it from us is truly one of the most heart-warming moments of my parenthood journey so far, along with the time you threw your bunkie over both of our heads and planted a kiss on my nose, and the time you hid in a play tent and then called out in your sweet little voice "Mummy.... I miiiissss youuuuuu."

While it's been two or ten or twenty steps forward with your language, it's also been a few steps back in the parenting journey because about a month ago, your nighttime sleep patterns fell apart completely.  Although you still sleep through 40-50% of the nights, when you do wake up, it's no longer a simple matter of five minutes or so to get you back to sleep.  No, it can be an hour or two, and on a particularly horrible night last week it was 3.5 hours before you slept again.  Since you've always been a fairly good sleeper, this is totally new to me (well, since your newborn days) and I'm not going to lie - it has been terribly difficult.  They don't use sleep deprivation as a torture technique for no reason.  I can't figure out the pattern leading to the good nights and the bad nights, but I'm hoping desperately that this phase, too, shall pass... and soon.  When you are awake you like it best if I curl up around you and you can shove your feet in the crease between my thighs... and if you can't get your feet comfy that way you get quite cross, my adorable little weirdo.

You are fiercely determined and independent and sometimes this is frustrating for both of us, as you try unsuccessfully to dress yourself, while I try to negotiate giving you some help so that we can get underway within a reasonable time frame in the mornings.  You refuse to be transported in the pram, preferring to walk yourself and last week you walked nearly a mile and a half when we were on a "Christmas Tree Adventure" to view the lights at Windsor Castle. 

You know your own mind, and are surprisingly adamant about certain things - approaching them in your own time, like refusing to wear your wellies (rain boots) despite frequently trying to get them on yourself.  You just don't like the way they feel.  But then one day at nursery, while all the other children were putting on their boots, you put yours on and went outside to play like it was no big deal.  Or when you received a birthday present all wrapped up and couldn't believe my audacity at trying to show you how to unwrap it.  You were so distraught at my wanton destruction of your pretty package that I had to tape the torn corner back up again.  Then two days later you just decided it was time to open it and did so like you'd been opening presents all your life.

On the other hand, on most issues you are reasonable when reasoned with, provided I am patient and give you long enough to either decide that your desires converge with mine or process the fact that it is inevitable I will get my way, because after all, I'm the mum.

Huh, that still surprises me now and then... I'm a mum!  But I am so very, very lucky that I get to be mum to you.

I love you with all my heart.