Nana fascinates me.
I don’t know if it was because we spent the last week together, 24/7 but it seems like she has just passed a developmental threshold that changed her from a baby/toddler into a little person.
First is the potty training. We haven’t focused a lot of energy into potty training. A couple of weeks ago, we decided to remove her pull-up when she got home, but in reality, we were only able to do that for a couple of days until we left on our trip. But all of sudden, she just decided that she could hold it and was dry for the entire trip, for the most part. She now tells us when she is ready or “not yet” when she is not. When she does go to the bathroom, she comes out yelling her success and gives everyone a round of high-fives. It’s absolutely adorable and I’m so proud that she just figured this out without a lot of coercion, tricks and rewards. Now I just need to get her some panties.
Secondly, her vocabulary has just exploded in the last week. Today we she was cooking imaginary food and I asked her what does it taste like. The amount of food that she knows and can articulate by me asking, “what does this taste like?” – sammich (lol), potatoes, french fries, pizza, chicken, peanut butter, cookies, fishes (Goldfish crackers), ice cream – was amazing to me. It was the first time I had ever heard her say potatoes. And the fact that each time it was something different. She comprehends so much. When it was time for her to go to bed, she told me, “my hair mommy” because I needed to do her hair first.
She is also so polite and empathetic. She will always say bless you to anyone who sneezes and ask you if you want a tissue. She’s not really up on please unless prompted but always says thank you. If you cry, which of course I did last week, she will say, “Mommy, you ‘kay, you ‘kay? I kiss it.” and proceeds to kiss my check because apparently I’m hurt and need her to kiss my boo-boo. When I call her, she sometimes answers, “yes, Mommy.” (We are working hard on removing what? and huh? from her vocabulary and it’s working) And when she gets in trouble and I ask if she understands, she looks down and says quietly, “yes, ma’am.” It gets me every time.
She will curl up next to me and sing her songs that she learns at school. I had my mother cracking up at me and Nana singing, “I Need a Little More Jesus.” She actually can sing back and forth with me as a duet. She also imitates sounds that she hears so while not exactly on key, she can modulate her voice high or low. I love just watching her when music comes on because she gets into it, clapping and trying to sing. She even imitates me and Wood while we dance the Chicago two-step and mimics our counting, “1-2-3, 4-5-6…”
She is scared of so many things such as loud noises, animals, bugs, water in her face, and us leaving her. But what I love about her is that she will still try new experiences. She was so scared of roly polies but when she saw me hold them in my hand, she was willing to touch them. She didn’t like running in the sprinkler but was willing to put her feet in the water and then her whole body when she saw me do it. She runs away from the vacuum cleaner, but is willing to gingerly touch it while its on. I’m so proud of her for trying things even when she is fearful and for trusting me to show her that things are safe.
She is the coolest kid. She’s a normal two year old, so she has her times when she repeats things annoyingly or whines when she doesn’t get her way or doesn’t always sit still when you want her to. And she’s not necessarily advanced – she doesn’t recognize colors or numbers yet. But she is just a bundle of smiles and happiness that everyone that comes into contact sees. She eats just about everything, she goes to sleep without a lot of whining (even naps in a room full of people), and just rolls with the punches. Sometimes we just look at each other and start giggling.
As I’m writing this, I’m wondering if maybe she’s always been this way and it was me that changes. While this past week as a single parent was challenging, perhaps I was the one that crossed a threshold. She has become this special little person to me, with all her quirks, lovable personality, and wonderful disposition. I can’t imagine life without her and feel wholeheartedly that this is our child.