Today you are twenty-seven months old, or two-and-a-quarter. It seems that now you have reached the milestone of being “two”, as far as friendly strangers are concerned we don’t break your age down in months anymore – we say you’ve “just turned two”. I guess sometime this fall we’ll say, “She’s about two-and-a-half,” and then come January we’ll change to, “She’ll be three this spring.” But for the moment? You’re two. And this is exciting, as you can actually hold up two fingers to indicate your age, AND YOU LOVE THAT. You seem to be better at doing it with your left hand than your right, which has caused your dad to wonder if you might be a lefty. Time will tell: according to the Internets, there’s no reason to declare a particular preference until you enter kindergarten and start to learn to write.
You are a crazy, hilarious, and maddening child. Your curiosity is all-encompassing and although you haven’t reached the “why?” stage yet, you still pelt us with questions CONSTANTLY. For example, the pre-bedtime reading usually involves a running commentary (questiontary?) of, "What's that, Mama? What's he doing? What is that? What's that, Mama? What's he doing, Mama?" (etc.) This constant banter leaves very little opportunity for me to read the actual story, which is ironic because if I could get a word in? WE MIGHT FIND OUT WHO THAT IS AND WHAT HE'S DOING. As a result, the second character in the classic “Green Eggs and Ham” now has a name: Bob. It was easier to name him than to explain anew, with every single page turn, that this character did not have a name.
I often have the opportunity to reflect on the fears I had when you were a little younger that you would never be an affectionate child. You are now VERY affectionate and love to give (or demand) hugs and kisses. Most amusing is when you get an owie, because a generic kiss and hug of your whole person is not adequate; you insist that the victim appendage (foot, hand, elbow, head, etc.) receive both a kiss and a hug. It’s pretty funny to hug a foot.
You are learning so much right now and it’s such a treat to watch. We talk a lot about emotions and facial expressions, especially with illustrations in your books, asking you if a character looks happy or sad. The other day, we made faces in the mirror: monster faces (very handy for brushing your teeth), happy faces, sad faces. Then I thought I’d throw something new in there, and made an angry face. “This is my angry face, Gwen!” I told you (angrily, of course). You burst out laughing. “That’s funny, Mama!” The fact that you think my angry face is hilarious does not bode well for me, I’m afraid. But you probably think that’s pretty funny, too.
You love to sing these days, and are very good at requesting songs by name. Of course, sometimes you are NOT good at requesting songs by name. When I tuck you into bed at night, you often request "One more song, Mama." I am happy to comply, but there's a problem. Whatever song I start to sing, you say, "No, don't want that song!" Then when I ask you to tell me what song you want, suddenly the beautifully quiet Inside Voice that we try desperately to encourage during such things as church services and library visits comes into play, and you whisper in the tiniest voice possible something that probably doesn't even make sense anyway, such as "rainbow bucket song" or “baba cherries”. Or you just stay quiet, waiting until I guess some other song so you can cruelly reject that one too. Nearly every night, I am bent over your bed in the dark, urging you to JUST TELL ME what damn song you want me to sing, so I can sing it and then kiss you goodnight. It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize this was a stalling tactic. Well played, Miss Gwen. Well played.
Speaking of singing, we recently started saying grace before dinner time, and it took you only a few days to start chanting the words along with me. Here is the grace we say:
I am thankful every day
For times when I can laugh and play
Delicious food I love to eat
My warm bed where I fall asleep
Tall trees and blue skies above
And all the people that I love.
You earnestly close your eyes and waggle your head around while saying (most of) the words in your charming voice. It’s pretty much adorable. Then when we finish, you tell us in a very serious voice that we are “good gracers” and “good holders” (I think that means we are good at holding hands).
We are taking the first tentative steps toward potty-training, although no one seems to be entirely gung-ho about it at the moment. (My excuse is that you spend the majority of your time away from me, so it’s really not up to me to initiate the process.) You are definitely aware of what’s going on in your diaper area, and I will often ask you, “Gwen, do we need to change your bum?” Although you used to answer this with pretty good honesty/accuracy, these days I think you are too involved in your play and don’t want to be interrupted, so you reply, “No, Mama. I’m just right.”