I’m not sure how we did this but we have made it to two. The big 0-2. It was a hard road to traverse and one that, as we continue down it, gets simultaneously easier and harder to traverse.
So what’s the biggest accomplishment/milestone we’ve reached since the previous 18-month update? Hair. We finally have hair! Not enough to warrant a haircut or anything crazy like that, but enough that she can no longer be accused of being bald.
Of course, there have been other developments as well. Sonja has built upon the already extensive vocabulary she had at 18 months. She speaks in sentences, such as, “Where’d Sid go?” “I wanna watch the panda bear!” and “Mommy hold you” (translation: “Mommy hold me.”) She has greatly improved her pronunciation of words like cookie and kitty, and can even say more multi-syllabic words like dinosaur very clearly. She has some trouble with the letters “f” and “l”. For instance, she calls butterflies butterpies and caterpillars caterpittars. Overall her communication is excellent and we rarely have to guess what she is thinking. Added to the list of exclamations we get from strangers, in addition to “she’s so cute!” and “she’s so tiny!,” is “wow, she talks really well!”
There’s not a lot I can add to her motor development that wasn’t there at 18 months. She can walk backwards now, she can tiptoe and she can run but still can’t jump. Since she never crawled, we didn’t get a lot of furniture acrobatics…until now, that is. She loves climbing on the couch and using the pulled-out cushions as “slides” and “ladders.” “Climb the ladder, make a mess?!” she’ll ask when she wants me to pull out the cushions for her. She’s also taken to using the ottoman to help her climb into the papasan chair. I’d say this isn’t the safest game, though I keep an eye on her and hold onto the chair so it doesn’t fall over. I’m less concerned about her playing on the couch, and that’s what led to her burning her hand on a light bulb last night. (She reached over the arm of the couch and put her hand on top of the lamp.)
The physical development paragraph of the well-child pamphlet they give out at the doctor’s office says that the child may begin to show a preference for using one hand over the other. I know you’re not supposed to be able to tell this early but I’m calling it here and now – she’s right-handed.
Speaking of that well-child checkup, she measured in at 33 1/4 inches today (having grown 3 inches from the 18-month appointment), just over the 25th percentile in height. She’s still well below average for her weight, but she finally surpassed 20 pounds and we saw a big uptick on the growth chart. Not enough to hit 0%, but hey, an uptick is an uptick. I asked about switching her from whole to low-fat milk now that she’s two and got the response I was expecting: “No.”
I have let her drink her milk out of a bottle for about a year longer than is recommended, because according to Sonja, “milk goes in da ba ba.” Not wanting to deprive her of the nutrition and fat calories, I didn’t insist on her making the switch because I knew she’d just forgo the milk entirely. I was reassured today that I could be confident enough to help her make the switch, even if that means losing the milk calories for a while. My motivation, according to the healthcare professionals, should be to help prevent tooth decay, but my actual motivation is not wanting to wash the damn bottles anymore.
We were also advised to work on weaning her off the binky. The motivation for this is supposed to be to not upset the placement of her teeth. Both the doctor and I had stories of people close to us that quit thumb sucking very late and had fine teeth, and others who weaned earlier and needed dental work. Though I weaned late and needed dental work, I’m not convinced there’s a definite correlation.
Among Sonja’s favorite toys and activities are the toy picnic basket she received on her first birthday and the tea set we picked up for her in Seaside. Pretending to eat is a very fun game, and I only wish she was that interested in actually eating. She also loves to dance to music, and she’s very fond of her toy laptop and new kitty keyboard. She can control which songs play at the push of a button. She has favorites, including “Bing-o”, that’s she’ll play over and over again. She pushes the button, then starts swinging her arms and running back and forth across the room. It is, to use her own words, “sooo cuuuute!”
Some miscellaneous items: She hates it when I open the car window and will repeat the word “close” until I close it. She loves the letter “W” (hey, I’ve trained her well) and will always ask me to “write a W” when she’s playing with any of her scribbling toys or coloring books. She loves the “doot-doot song” (aka You Can Call Me Al by Paul Simon) and often asks me to play it in the car. She’s also quite fond of several Caspar Babypants songs, which all started with the repeated playing of Run Baby Run at library storytimes. She loves playing in the car in the garage, pushing the buttons on the stereo and digging through the glove compartment.
Sonja is still a very active and generally very happy baby (ahem – toddler), though I can tell we’ve launched headlong into the terrible twos. Not getting her way can lead to temper tantrums and the frequency of the tantrums is increasing. I’m uncertain how to parent this, and I often feel like a monster letting my child cry because she just wants one more m&m. I feel like I am now in psychologically muddy territory, where I could read a bunch of books to tell me how to act and react to get the behavior I want out of my child. Frankly I’m too lazy for that kind of work, probably because my parents didn’t read the appropriate child psychology books. So please join in me in crossing my fingers and hoping everything works out reasonably well.