Archive for the 'Milestones' Category

Two

Dear Baby Eirinn,

You are two.  My God, you’re two.  Two years ago today, I gave birth to you with Daddy by my side, all your grandparents in the waiting room, and Ellen DeGeneres on the tv.  Not that I was watching, the choice of programming was all your father and the doctor’s idea.  I was too busy, you know, doing the required birthing activities.  Two years may sound like a long time, but I can still smell the hospital smell, hear the hospital sounds, and envision the hospital room perfectly.  Especially the fold out instrument of torture chair your Daddy had to sleep in while I laboured away all night.  Kind of a fair trade, if you ask me.

One was an unbelievable year for you.  When I think of all you have learned and how much you’ve grown and who you now are, I can barely recognize that One and Two are the same Eirinn.  One year old you still toddled cautiously, spoke only a few English words but babbled on in bab-ese, and was as bald as a jaybird (nearly).  Two year old you runs as much as humanly possible, is fluent in English (there are just some words you haven’t tried yet) but with a strong toddler accent (which sounds like a mix of Irish and Brooklyn), and you are currently working on a full head of hair (“working on” being the operative phrase).  You know the alphabet (the song, not the letters), can count from 1 to 16 (with the exception of 13, 14, and 15, which are all 14 to you), can dress yourself in your outerwear, and can throw a temper tantrum like nobody’s business.

Leading up to two, you mastered sentences and are now telling us stories and relaying them in paragraph form.  You are learning about cause and effect, action and consequence, crime and punishment.  You are learning about these things but you have yet to allow such concepts to stick.

Skills we are working on, in a very non-boot camp type way:

  • Colours.  Some days you know them, some days you don’t.  I think you know them perfectly and are just messing with Mommy and Daddy.  Maintain control by allowing the adults to believe they are still smarter than the kid.  Smart.  I like it.
  • Potty training.  We’re still hoping against hope that you’ll show some sort of interest in the going diaper-free soon.  You’ll sit on the potty just long enough to warm your bum then it’s off to see how much toilet paper you can fire off the roll onto the floor before Mommy loses her cool.

And that’s about it.  I have taken a new laid back approach to my parenting philosophy (not that I’m laid back, I can throw my own temper tantrums too you know, but my philosophy is laid back).  We’re not pushing much onto you right now.  You are ahead of the pack developmentally and you are still above average physically, so we’re not worried about how you learn and how much you are willing to learn.  We also know that when you are ready to move forward with certain skills (*cough* peeing and pooping the proper receptacle *cough*), you’ll let us know.  We just hope you’re ready before June when the number of daily dirty diapers will increase exponentially.  We’re just saying, if you’re looking for the perfect Mother’s Day present, that would be it.

Two has a ‘tude.  Because you know everything, of course.  You know everything and you should be able to do everything and who are we to try to tell you otherwise.  This is mostly frustrating, but occasionally amusing.  Especially when you try to assert yourself but mispronounce just enough of the words to sound adorable instead of mean.  For example.  One of your most frequently used phrases is ‘I don’t like it anymore’ except you pronounce it ‘My don’t yike it neny-MORE.’  I’m sorry for laughing.  I know you were trying to be authoritative.

You don’t like it anymore because you don’t like anything anymore.  Well, anything that involves consuming any sort of mineral or nutrient.  Food can be rather offensive to you.  Unless it can be tagged “snack.”  Then it’s cool.  But if it’s only label is “meal”, then it’s a non-starter.  Even if you were perfectly content eating it, say, a week ago.  Or even ten minutes ago.  If it’s offered to you under the guise of “meal” then “my don’t yike it neny-MORE.”  Except for breakfast.  Like me, you eat 90% of your daily recommended caloric intake before noon. 

Two is also unbearably sweet.  Cavity-causing.  You often tell us you love us (‘My lawb Daddy!’) without prompting.  And your hugs have improved tremendously.  They used to be a simple lean in with your head and the accompanying ‘aw’.  Now they are a simple lean in with your head and the accompanying ‘aw’, but they last much longer.  You greet us enthusiastically, with hugs and kisses and lawb, making us feel like we’ve done something right in this parenting biz and also letting us forget the aforementioned ‘tude.

I’ll miss One.  You were still a baby for One.  But Two will be fun (please God, let Two be fun) with your better grasp on language and proper behaviour (better, not perfect).  Because now you are officially a Big Girl, growing and learning everyday.  We’re about to get your Big Girl Room ready with a Big Girl Bed and your own mirror and everything. 

But when we sneak into your nursery at night, to make sure you’re all tucked in safe and snug in your crib with your soother where it belongs and your two ah-lankies by your side, you’re still our little baby.  Our Pumpkin.  And that, that won’t change no matter how Big a Girl you are.

Love Mommy and Daddy

ps — Sorry about the length.  I know Two instantly transforms your attention span to that of a gnat.  If I lost you somewhere around Ellen DeGeneres, skip down to the ‘Love Mommy and Daddy’ part.  It’s the only part that matters anyway.

Birthday Party #1

Eirinn and Lucy had their joint birthday party yesterday.  This was Day 1 of Eirinn Is Two celebrations.  I think it was Day Seventy Hundred for Lucy.  She’s an old veteran at the “this party is all about me (me, me, me) so just get your grubby hands off that cupcake already because I’m the birthday week month girl and I GO FIRST” deal.  Eirinn was the rookie, but she soon caught on.  Anything that involves a) cupcakes, and b) being selfish, sounds like an ok gig to her.

They went to a local indoor baby playground (totally awesome, by the way, and I would totally recommend moving near one as your sole reason to relocate) and invited a handful of their mommies’ own closest friends.  Pay no attention to Eirinn in the corner eyeballing me because, besides Lucy, she had never met any of these kids.  They were her closest friends, I swear.

The first half was spent with Eirinn being, by far, the craziest ADHD lunatic in the joint – running at full-tilt, yelling, jumping on anything that would allow her to bounce and anything that didn’t because JUMPING IS AWESOME, stealing Pooh Bear balls from unsuspecting younger boys, yelling, hanging with the older crowd, making a pact with one new friend to break at least one limb each, JUMPING, yelling, and making friends with everyone because she didn’t know the kids invited to the party anyway.  Needless to say, she had fun. 

The second half was in the separate room where Lucy’s mom Carly and I brought lunch and cupcakes to rudely interrupt the crazy feed the party-goers.  We stuffed their faces with sandwiches and fruit and veggies and sugar, spanked them all soundly and sent them to bed.  But not until the three two-year old girls engaged in a 1-2-3-GO! race to burn off the calories.  This ended in a massive head wound bumped head and one upset little Lucy.

Eirinn was a perfectly charming little angel, laughing and talking up a storm and being her usual social butterfly.  She only threw one teensy minor tantrum when it was time to go home.  In her defense, throwing tantrums when it’s time to leave is totally the cool thing to do.  Everyone was doing it. 

Now, enjoy the slideshow:

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Yes, this blur of a flying little person is Eirinn.  This is what she looked like most of the morning.  And this was before the sugar.

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This velcro wall was fun.  It was almost like a puzzle, only not so bossy.

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There was a whole collection of vehicles the tots could cruise the room in.

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More craziness.  Trust me, this is just about as good as the camera could get.  You should have seen Anonymous Husband and I frantically trying to figure out how the camera could capture even faster motion.  She was certainly testing the limits of technology.

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Synchronized candle-extinguishing.

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“What just one cotton-picking minute.  Hers has way more icing than mine.”

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And the day ended as it began.  With running and crazy and yelling.  So.  Much.  Fun.

Two major developments

Eirinn went pee pee in her potty today!  For the first time!  On purpose!  AWESOME!

We’re still not potty training her, but first thing this morning she asked to use the potty.  I was all “hubba-wha?”, but I snapped out of it and obliged.  There was no action, but that’s ok.  The desire to use the potty is a good first step.  At least she doesn’t hate the thing.

I’ve learned that most mornings she releases the floodgates fills her diaper to capacity pees at approximately somewhere between 10 and 11.  How specific, you say?  Well, anyone who has run errands and packed exactly 3 diapers, only to be off by one tragic diaper, knows that the timing of the bodily functions in babies and toddlers is not an exact science. 

Anyway, so at about 10, I asked her if she wanted to use the potty again, and I got a resounding YEAH!  We read two potty books while she was perched on her throne.  And what did we receive as reward for our efforts?  A PIDDLE!  If measured, it would have probably been an eighth of a teaspoon, but so what?  We Had Action!

We clapped, we cheered, we hugged, we partay-ed.  Then we parlayed directly into a full blown temper tantrum because I wanted her to *gasp* get dressed for the day.  Could I be any meaner a mom?

***

She has also nearly weaned herself off of the bottle.  She was only getting one before nap and one before bed but as of last week, she has decided that bottles are, and I quote, “Bleck.”

Great!  Except she won’t drink milk from a cup.  Un-great.  I’ll have to either improve my power of coercion or come up with more creative ways to get enough calcium into her.  Luckily, yogurt, shredded cheese, and steamed broccoli aren’t “Bleck.”

At this rate she’ll be married at 12

Eirinn hit her terrible twos at about 15 months.  At that point she was moody and emotional and demanding and all together hard to deal with 75% of the time.  The other 25% of the time she was sweet and charming and cute; just enough so we didn’t sell her. 

This continued at a regular pace until a week or two ago.  Then, as normal toddler progression would have it, she jumped head first into that wonderfully un-terrible-twos stage known as the Three Year Old Questions and…More Questions Period.  Everything that comes out of her mouth is a question, but she hasn’t learned (or she chooses to forgo this half of the process) the ‘listening to the answer’ portion.  Instead she just asks either the same question again, or throws you for a loop and asks a completely unrelated question.

It goes something like this:

“Mommy, what doin’?”

“I’m ma…”

“What doin’?”

“Ma…”

“What doin’?”

I’M MAKING YOU A…

“Where Bossy?”

This is the part where my eyes roll back into their sockets, my brain begins a slow-leak out of my ears, and I collapse into a pile of rotting (and very confused) goo on the floor.  I mean, I would totally take a twenty minute long question and answer  question period over a twenty minute long temper tantrum (which has happened before) any day.  Hands down.  HOWEVER, they didn’t teach how to deal with this in Toddler Prep 101 and I have never really been known for my patience.  I’m not too bad, but when trying to field 15 questions in 15 seconds, I think anyone would explode just a teensy, tiny bit.

Smarter than your average bear

Now she’s getting into paragraphs:

“Lookit, Bugba.  It’s a picture of Baby Eirinn and a pony.”

I would be a whole lot more proud of her if she didn’t wake up at 2 am for a two hour long “Mama!  Daddy!” session for no apparent reason.  But even so, this little 20 month old amazes me more and more every day with what I didn’t even know she has been learning.  When does she pick this stuff up?  I always thought she was too busy running laps around the dining room table.

20 Month Birthday

Favourite Food:  Finally can-cakes have been dethroned!  They still hold #2 on the top 3 list, but I do believe that Goldfish Crackers have now surpassed them.  Oh, and pizza would probably be #3.  Pizza is her standard answer to “What would you like for dinner?”, even if she had it for lunch.  “Pitha” will do for every meal.

Favourite Toys:  Colouring is her passion in life.  And she’s very, very good about only colouring on the page.  But just in case, we use washable crayons and Colour Wonder markers.  She’s also very into puzzles.  Loves them.  Oh, and purses, or as she calls them, Mommy’s Pack Pack.  Mommy’s Pack Pack usually contains two pairs of sunglasses, a marker, and as many Little People as will fit.

New Words:  Like I said last time, she can say them all.  There are just some that she hasn’t tried yet.  She did say the longest sentence I’ve heard her say this month.  “Oh, dear, glasses too big”, even though they were too small.  Still, pretty good.

What Makes Her Laugh:  Yelling.  Apparently the look of pain in people’s eyes as their eardrums burst is hilarious.  And jumping on our bed.  I guess just being bad makes her laugh.  But it makes us laugh, too.

New Skills:  Doing puzzles is a new skill that is absolutely amazing to us.  She is so good at them.  She’s doing puzzles labelled for 5 year olds.  And well!  She’s even making puzzles out of other things.  Like she’ll take stickers off of their sheet and put them back into their correct spaces.  And she likes to match objects, like a princess magnet with a princess in a book.  She’s smart and I’m impressed.

Bedtime: Still 7:30pm

Times Awake:  Usually once, but sometimes she’ll be nice and not wake up.  But that’s rare.

Naps:  Same as before.  One for between 2 and 3 1/2 hours.  Sweeeet.

*** 

Nevermind the exhaustion, the stress, the mayhem, raising a toddler is actually more fun than I could have ever imagined.  She’s funny in so many ways, on purpose or not, and makes me laugh at times when I really shouldn’t.  This is such a good thing.  So good for the soul. 

She breathes life into the most lifeless of situations.  Without trying, she reminds us how to have fun; reminds us it’s not all death and taxes.  And for that, I’m grateful.

19 Month Birthday

Favourite Foods: Still cancakes, french toast, waffles…pretty much anything you put maple syrup on.

Favourite Toys: Anything you can colour with; blocks.

New Words: She knows so many words, it’s hard to pick out which ones are new and which ones she’s just improved her pronunciation of.  She’s picked up some longer words like ‘crocodile’ and ‘thunder’.

What Makes You Laugh: Loud, strange noises like “Blah!”; doot-doot’s (a version of tickling that is basically just poking her in the chest).

New Skills: A skill she’s been working on this month is threading words together to make sentences.  Our favourite is “Here I come!” because that usually means we’re going to get some kind of hug and/or kiss.

Bedtime: Still holding at 7:30pm.

Times Awake: When she’s not teething, none.  But if her mouth is bugging her, it can be up at 4 or 5 times.  Ick.  Stupid yet-to-be-born, nerve-piercing, pointy teeth.

Naps: One at around 1pm for around 2 to 3 hours.  She used to be the 20 Minute Nap Queen, so this length has been a huge relief.

Eirinn has become increasingly independent this month.  She does everything herself, practically, and loathes help.  Her language skills have improved immensely, with the beginnings of sentences and phrases popping up here and there.  She knows many, many songs now, both their lyrics and the tune and it’s the cutest thing to hear her perform them along with the actions or some made up dance to go with it.

With this independence comes a great deal of exhaustion.  Mine, of course.  It’s a constant sprint, chasing after her, saving her from dangers.  She wants to be doing everything RIGHT NOW, and that means I have to be doing everything right now.  In a span of five minutes, she’ll go from colouring to climbing the stairs (no hands, one step per foot at a time) to riding in her push car to running through the halls to sitting nicely reading a book to running laps around the table to poking the dog.  And I’ll be right there with her colouring, climbing stairs, strapping her into the car (and immediately unstrapping), running through the halls, sitting her on my lap to read, running laps with her (as per her insistence), and blocking Bosco’s nostrils from probing toddler fingers.

But I find the energy somewhere.  You have to.  With parenthood, being too tired is not an option.  This means I often sleep through my favourite shows at night, but that’s ok.  That’s what God created the PVR for. 

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