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My Love Affair with 2 1/2

So many people whine about the “terrible twos” and I’ve got to wonder what’s going on at their house.  Don’t get me wrong, we’ve had the toddler version of Charlie Sheen level rampages.  Let me tell you it was tempting to hide in the bathroom like one of his paramours.  But it seems like we saw those more in the first half of the year.  The unreasonable cranky moments are interspersed amongst periods of pure awesome.

I wrote the above paragraph a few weeks ago.  Today has been one of the more challenging days. Not much sleep for any of us last night resulted in lots of meltdowns and whining today. She has hives and I’m not sure why and they make her very uncomfortable.  I needed a reminder of the wonderful things I love about this amazing creature who lives with us.  So I’ve revisited this draft to clear my palette of today’s crazy.

I’m starting to build a library of Sparkle Girl-isms:  My “thank you” is followed by “A gelkum” .  She will repeat “thank you, thank you, thank you” until she hears “your welcome”.  If she sees me resting she gets in my face and says “akup mommy”.  When she wants me to carry her she asks for a “hug”.  When asked if she’s OK she responds with “yes, yes a foin”.  She’ll ask for something and when I repeat it back to her to confirm what she wants, she’ll respond with “OK”–in a tone that indicates she thinks I just suggested the best thing ever.  If something spills or breaks “oh dear!” or “uh oh!”

She loves The Wiggles (Wiggos) and Kipper (Tipperrr).  She talks about the characters up in her crib.  “Hellllo Tigah”, “Pig and Anold”.  She sings along to the Wiggles songs and dances along with them.  But if I sing… “no mama.”

She enjoys the Richard Scarry books–poring over each page taking in all the little details.  There’s also a “Hello Kitty Across America” book that she reads in the car.  She enjoys reading coloring books but not actually coloring in them .  She loves puzzles, Little People, and coloring.  She scribbles a lot.  A month or 6 weeks ago she made a scribble, pointed to it and said “hand”.  Her first representational drawing–I’m so proud.

When we are out on a walk, she invariably picks up rocks and sticks one or more in each hand.  She will carry them home with her if we let her.  I know that there are rocks buried in the back seat of the car. The ones that make it home get put in our plants.   She likes to tuck things next to her in the car seat–including food.  She’ll pull on my pant leg and say “run!” wanting me to run with her.  She’ll say “sorry” when she bumps into something inanimate or when I bump into her.  She will proudly proclaim “I did it!”–usually when she has dumped her snack cup everywhere, but often when it is really appropriate.

The mirror is one of her favorite toys.  She will dance and play in front of the mirror.  When she’s crying she’ll go to the mirror and watch herself.  When the diaper comes off she runs to go look at her body.  Sometimes contorting her legs to check out her parts.  It’s hilarious. Boys don’t have to go to these lengths to get to know their bodies.  We’ve had a couple of incidents where we picked her up from her nap to find her completely naked–diaper thrown across the room.  Once this had disastrous consequences.

She’s starting to play more interactively with other kids–especially at our Co-Op preschool.  But she continues to be very content to go off and do her own thing.   She likes to line things up in a row.  Loves the small stuffed animals–one tucked under each arm.  At home it’s the Mousey,  Hello Kitty (plaid dress), Hello Kitty (pink fur) trio in her summer purse.

We bought a purple witch’s hat last Halloween.  I found it and put it in her dress up box the other day.  Adorable to see her putting it on and watching herself in the mirror.  She will occasionally put a giant scarf around her neck and call herself “Super Dog”.  She pretends to fly sometimes.  She likes to pretend that everything is either a phone, ice cream, cake or a cookie.  We rarely give her such treats but she is obsessed with them.

We’ve been spending a lot of time in the pool at our condo complex.  It has been so much fun to see her go from timidly standing on the stairs to jumping to me and using her hands to hold on to the edge–”walking” back and forth along the wall.  Each dip into the water finds her braver and more adventurous.  I love that she enjoys this so much since my sister and I spent so much time in the pool when we were kids.

Hide and seek is a favorite game of hers right now.  We have removed the barrier in front of the stairs so she is free to go up and down as she likes.  I’ll go up to the bathroom and find her in the closet buried in towels.  She’s giggling thinking she is fooling me.  It just melts my heart.  She also likes playing on our bed in the covers.  She’ll pretend to go to sleep making the funniest snoring noise ever.  She likes putting the blanket over our heads and whispering.  She’ll ask by saying “light, light”–I think she uses this word because she likes the way the light looks different through the blanket.

She likes to joke with me by asking for food she knows I’ll say “no” to.  For example–in the morning she’ll ask for a popsicle (really frozen Naked or Odwalla juice or yogurt mixed with fruit).  She’ll ask with a big smile and I’ll tell her no with a big smile.  She’ll keep asking and laughing the whole time and I’ll keep telling her no laughing the whole time.   Her sense of humor has traditionally run toward slapstick (laughing her butt off when another kid falls) so it’s funny to see how it is evolving.

Her smile lights up her face, eyes twinkling with a spark that ignites the spirits of all around her.   She is my heart.  I love watching her navigate her world and explore what her body can do.  She is a beautiful and amazing little creature and I’m so awestruck that I get to help her grow into a fun and intelligent child, teenager and woman.

Days like today I need to remember the wonderful things we get to experience every day.  Today is a challenge, tomorrow will be a wonder.

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