They’re just about 23 months, and 2 is creeping up quick. I felt inspired to share this post tonight after coming to a realization. Somewhere in between kisses and snuggles on the couch when I got home from work and at dinner, when C screamed bloody murder because of a bib mix up and B burst into tears when his quesadilla came apart – I realized how quickly our emotions change as parents. My husband and I, on an almost daily basis, have these moments where we can’t believe these little beings are ours; reflections of us. We asked B to go call his sister for dinner. And we watched him go into the living room over to her and say, “C! Eat!” But then, so soon after those precious moments, we look at each other and wonder how quickly we can run the bath and get them to bed, because B didn’t get the towel color he wanted and I didn’t give in when C asked for a pear, and then an apple, and then a banana, and then puffs, when she didn’t want dinner.
This age is starting to get really fun. They are both on the brink of so much language, constant learning, and frequent meltdowns. We’re exhausted.
This is the scene right before bed: Everyone on the couch, even the dogs. Sometimes B is into the books, sometimes he’s not. Sometimes they want to read right along with us and know every word; sometimes they’re yapping to each other, the dogs are wrestling, the microwave is beeping, and my husband is reading me a children’s book. At least someone is listening. Sometimes we get goodnight snuggles as we carry them up the stairs – and sometimes they insist on climbing the stairs by themselves and take a half hour to do so, pausing on each step, turning around to see where the other is.
B’s skills, in the last week or so, have started to take off. And I’m not just talking about his balance and coordination, although that’s improving too.
This boy who hated being on any surface that wasn’t flat and hard, who couldn’t bend his body in any direction other than straight down, is starting to understand that it’s fun to twist and turn and swing and bounce. He never enjoyed these things previously, and now he loves the exercise ball. He and C go to a My Gym class once a week and though they are by far the least adventurous kids there, every week they do a little more and try something new. This weekend B walked across a wobbly rolled up mat.
Not only that, but his speech and communication are really coming along. I’ve found that if he identifies something by color, shape or size (which is what he has been doing all along), I repeat what he said and look at him, waiting – and he finishes his thought. His pronunciation is getting better as well and he’s added the long “I” sound. It’s just really wonderful to watch him process, learn, and get excited. It’s even better to see the tantrums decrease dramatically. Where a few months ago he couldn’t communicate effectively and was hitting and biting, now he’s all laughs and smiles.
C is also growing and changing every day. She too enjoys her My Gym class, though she hasn’t come down a slide since the first day. I find myself both in awe of her and struck by her fierce sense of independence and the growing amount of sass. Out in public she and her brother are both very shy, but at home she rules the roost right now. There’s never a time when she doesn’t know what she wants. And even with her desire to do every single thing on her own, she’s very much like myself, conscientious to a fault, always thinking about others instead of herself. This both makes me so proud and breaks my heart at the same time.
I’m SO enjoying watching her learn. She and B somehow know their letter sounds and now, just for kicks, I’m starting on some sight words. I don’t expect much to come of it, but she soaks it up. She wants to know what the words say and since she has books memorized, we can all kind of pretend she’s “reading”.
She absolutely LOVES to read. It’s her favorite thing right now, besides kittens and babies. Unlike B who always wants to help me do a task, she’s fine to be on her own, which is quite helpful. You have to steal kisses to get them, but she chooses to be tickled until she can’t breathe. Like her mother and grandmother, she’s addicted to sugar. This is why she doesn’t get much of it 🙂 She’s not deprived, though, I assure you. She eats fruit multiple times a day and eats up unsweetened applesauce and plain yogurt like it’s ice cream. She practically licked her applesauce bowl clean tonight. Once or twice a week they get a little something, and just like their parents, when offered a chip or a donut hole yesterday, B chose the chip and C the donut.
As we round the corner towards 2, my least favorite part about this current age is their desires to do (though it’s also one of their best traits!). They climb stairs at their own pace, they eat at their own pace, they want to put their own shoes on and it doesn’t matter if we’re already late to go somewhere – they want to put on their own shoes. They can’t, of course. But it’s them against us (or me, during the week in the summertime), and if I think I want to get them somewhere on time, well that’s just not happening. Sometimes it’s frustrating. Sometimes I look around at our tiny tornado of a house and our under-walked hyper dogs and I just have to take a breath and know that this IS life with toddlers, and is actually everything I always wanted!
But my favorite part about 23 months is their growing love for each other. No longer occasional playmates, they have each other’s backs at all times – constantly inquiring about the state of the other, whether one is crying, laughing, or sneezing. They ask for each other the second they wake up. They chase each other down the hall. One won’t eat until the other sits down. Even if they aren’t playing with the same toys, they choose to be in the same room. They’re always together, which seems to be what they want. In short – they’re starting to become friends. And it’s absolutely the most adorable thing ever. My favorite part, hands down.