Saturday, October 9, 2010

A Letter to Magnolia at 2 1/2

Oh how you've changed the last six months! I thought after you hit two years old, your rapid development would slow. If at 2 you were no longer a baby, at 2 1/2 you are a full-fledged little girl. Sometimes you tell me that you are still a baby or will be a baby again soon, but for the most part you declare yourself bigger. I agree, you are bigger and have shed your baby ways, most notably in your speech. These are some of the phrases you are trying out:

"Don't worry about it."
"Oh my gosh."
"Nothing." (You use this one when asked "What are you doing?" and you are afraid the true response will be unacceptable)
"Goomeez, dogs." You have so many fun word approximations. This one (which was your way of saying excuse me) was one of the first we noticed and still is a favorite. Though, it seems like we barely have time to capture these mispronunctions before they are gone. Already Keia has become Kaleia.

"Mama, where Aaare you?" You may look like your Papa, but you are turning into a little mini-me. You watch me closely and I am your preferred parent for most tasks. As your personality emerges, I've watched you start to struggle with things I struggled with as a child. I'm hoping that will help me anticipate your needs. You are definitely more shy lately. But sometimes you declare, "I'm not going to be shy." And you aren't. I love that.

"That's Papa's spot." You are very concerned with doing things correctly and are quick to inform people of their mistakes. This is especially true with Kaleia. Sometimes it is helpful -- like when you inform us that she getting into the dog water or making her way to the stairs when the gate was left open. Sometimes it's annoying, like when you reprimand us for giving Kaleia pain when she's crying on the change table.

"Does the big fork go here, Mama?" This need for reassurance on the correctness of your actions has been combined with your helpfulness. You are still pretty independent and want to do things on your own, but these days you give up more quickly and cry for help in order to do things right.

"Mama, you have blue eyes. Papa has green and brown eyes, called hazel." Along the same lines, you like to rehearse what you know and what is happening. It often feels like we have a play-by-play announcer in our house. You are especially obessed with eye color and whether or not people are girls and therefore have 'ginas or boys and have a penis.

"Mama, that's a red hand, not orange." Another thing you have become obsessed with is traffic lights. While walking together, I taught you about crosswalks and how we know it is safe to cross. You watch for the red hand or the white person all of the time. Papa tried to correct my misteaching by telling you that the hand was actually orange. This totally rocked your world. For days, you repeated that the hand was red. If we disagreed you grew upset, so we dropped it and let you think it was red.

"Papa, Stop! The light is red! That means stop!" Naturally, you developed an interest in traffic lights for cars too. Each time we drive through an intersection you announce your knowledge. One day, Papa turned right at a red light. You freaked out! So we had to explain free right turns. I never expected to have a backseat driver so soon!

"Different eat." In addition to your bossiness, you are pretty opinionated, especially about your clothes, but have also begun to battle over your food. When the options presented do not suit your liking, you request to have different food and, like many things in your young life, you prefer consistency. You have yogurt or a bagel almost everyday for breakfast.

"What is happening after my snooze?" You also want to know what is happening at all times. You want to know what day it is and love to cross days off on the calendar. On the positive side, routine and keeping you informed of what is happening battles your increasing "whys" and "whines."

"Have to go Paawtttty!" Our bed time routine is pretty consistent, including your calling to go to the bathroom after all other steps are complete. The annoying part is that the request is usually legitimate. Somehow the poop that wouldn't come five minutes ago, will magically come as soon as songs are sung and bedtime kisses are given. What's a parent to do? Make you sleep all night in your own feces?

"When I am 3, I can wear panties to bed." "You have to be 7 to crack eggs." You are pretty much potty-trained and could probably wear panties to bed now. But one day when you asked me when you could wear them I told you three. I've learned that I have to be careful when I tell you what the rule is, because you hang on to and enforce them.

"You are happy, Papa? Why are your eyebrows sad?" You are still very in tune with people's emotions. You've grown more affectionate. Out of the blue, you will rub my back or stroke my face and tell me that you love me. You still need and give kisses as a cure-all for pain. Mona and Baby are still very special and are well cared for. You pour out your love on them, mimicking everything you see us do, including giving them time-outs, announcing that Baby needs to calm down.

"Mona needs to go potty." Your imagination is elaborate and active! In spite of your need to have things predictable and just so, you are able to pretend just about anything. You love imagining yourself as a banana when you are wrapped in your yellow towel and demand that we eat you. In addition to raspberries (or zerberts) you request blackberries and blueberries on your tummy.

"Would you like some pancakes?" You still love to cook -- both pretend in your kitchen and for real in Mama's kitchen. You know about letting dough rest and can handle a whisk pretty well. Holding your knife in one hand and your fork in the other, you cross them back and forth, to cut our pretend food into little pieces. You "read" my recipes and count the ingredients.

"Can you read with me?" Books go with you everywhere, even to bed in the dark. You have memorized lots of lines and say them on the correct page. Sometimes you read front to back, other times back to front. You still love books where you identify things, but books with a plot line are piquing your interest. Your current favorites are The Three Little Pigs, Walter the Wolf, and Curious George.

"I need to take a bath. I'm pretty stinky." So much of what you do and say makes me laugh every day. You brighten my day and challenge me to grow. I cherish you.

Lova the moon and back.


theRachel said...

Wow, this is an amazing post. You've captured so many wonderful details about your sweet little one. The thing about the red vs orange hand had me laughing. They grow up so fast!

Anonymous said...

I love how you share your heart with your girls, Shannon. (And, that you let the rest of us experience it this way too.) Love the letter idea - what a great gift to them. :) Natalie