Yesterday you turned twenty-seven months old. It’s funny because sometimes you do things and I have such a hard time believing that you are only two. You seem so mature, well-behaved, and peaceful. For example, yesterday at Stroller Strides all the kiddos were circled up and the majority of the kids (who were actually awake) were either whining, begging for something, or screaming and throwing a fit. I looked over to see you sitting calmly in your stroller, munching on your snacks, and just watching all the chaos unfold around you. I wanted to scoop you up right then and there and tell you how simply amazing you were, but I’m smart and I know not to mess with a good thing. So I just beamed with private pride and continued with my workout, motivated by your awesomeness.
But then you go ahead and do something that is very two. Very terrible twos. Temper tantrums of such monumental proportions that all I can do is simply step back… breathe… and get my camera to take pictures of you laying prostrate across the floor because I wouldn’t let you climb onto the counter to get your own snack out of the cupboard.
You are one stubborn and determined child. You don’t let much get in your way and that is obvious. I see so much of myself in you and even though at times I get so frustrated with your fight for independence I have to admit that I am secretly very proud of you. It may kill me to have to wait idly by while you climb slowly up the stairs to get your blanket (“I get it MYSELF!”) when I was already standing beside the very blanket you wanted. But I respect it because I probably would have done the exact same thing.
But it’s not all battles of will or declarations of independence. I love watching you discover and relish the simple things in life. A couple weeks ago you discovered that your jeggings had real pockets and you could put both of your hands in those tiny little pockets. You just walked around with your hands glued to your butt, shouting, “Pockets!” while I hovered close by and prayed you didn’t trip and fall (because we all know you have had more than your fair share of emergency room visits in your short existence). I just love watching you get excited about all the little things we adults take for granted. Like pockets. It just doesn’t get much better than pockets.
It’s been a slow process, but you are starting to show more of an interest in potty training. You are getting better at telling me when you want to go to the bathroom and I think a lot of that has to do with rewards. We have a jar of M&Ms that are strictly for potty rewards. You get one for trying, two for peeing, and three for pooping. It works when you want it to work. But there are still times when you go into the bathroom, hide behind the door, and fill your diaper. Like I said before, stubborn.
But the interest is there. In fact the other day in the car I heard you talking to Minnie Mouse encouraging her to use the potty. I looked back to see that you had opened up your Minnie Mouse flip phone and was letting her use it as a toilet. Clever, my dear. A little gross, but still clever. (I also like that you lifted up Minnie’s dress for her to sit on the potty. I’m just going to pretend that wasn’t an accident.)
I’ve also learned not to be truly surprised by anything you do. As you become more capable of rearranging furniture, placing toys in specific places, or setting up elaborate games that no one will understand but you. Like this. I came into the living room to find you had spread out a blanket on the couch, placed an empty diaper box on the blanket, and climbed inside of it. Why? We will never know. But you wanted it to be that way and so it was.
Over the last month you have started taking a ballet class at the Cedar Hills Rec Center. It’s different from the class you were taking before because this teacher prefers NOT to have parent participation. She likes to slowly wean the children from their mothers (or for some, I think it’s the other way around). She lets the parents participate in the first class, then sit off to the side in the second class, and by the third or fourth class the parents are sitting out in the hallway and come back in only when class is over. This has been quite a source of stress for you. Often times we will be driving in the car and out of nowhere you will say, “You no go outside.” to which I respond something like, “No, it’s cold and rainy today. I think we will stay inside.” Then you clarify, frustrated at my inability to instantly know what you are talking about, “At ballet class. You no go outside.” And then I get to explain that the class is for YOU, not for mamas. The mamas get to sit out in the hallway and wait for the girls to finish their class. I was a little shocked that this was bothering you so much. You are normally so independent, refusing even the littlest bit of help, but you really did not want me to go. I was torn between being frustrated (See all the other girls are having fun without their moms being there!) and flattered (You DO still need me!). You would do ok for the majority of the class, but about two thirds of the way through you would get upset and I would have to come back in and sit on the mats in the back of the studio. But this week you finally did it. You had fun through the entire class and I never had to even step back into the room until it was time to sign you out.
Your performing isn’t limited just to dance class. You also really like to sing but since you are still learning all the lyrics, you generally just pick one line from the song and sing it over and over. Like in Will.i.am and Britney Spears’ “Scream and Shout” you just repeat “oh wee oh wee oh!” Or Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Getting Back Together” you chant “never, ever ever, never!”
You are quite the silly little monkey. I never know what is going to come out of your mouth. Anytime I give you grapes I hear you saying “eat like apple” over and over. Then I see you taking little nibbles around the tiny grape and looking thoroughly pleased with yourself.
Hadley, you are such a wonderful little girl. I am so proud of all the things you are now able to do. While I love that you are growing up and able to do more things, I also have to make sure I don’t forget to let you be little. I treasure every time you climb up onto my lap to snuggle or read a book. I love the feel of your tiny hand in mine as we walk across the street together. I enjoy kissing your owies and making you feel better. These are just a few of the things that I only get to do for a short time, so I am going to enjoy every one I can get.
All my love,