[photos for the last 6 months are 95% ready]
Until recently, our focus on watching your development has been to a large extent on seeing how your speech was coming along. Now, though, you have a large vocabulary, you’re attempting to use the past tense (you said you “finded” something a few weeks ago, which I thought was impressive), and you understand and act on anything we say.
For example, about two weeks ago you found Baby Fox in your toybox in the living room and asked me where Mommy Fox was. I said, “I don’t know–maybe Mommy Fox is in your tent in your bedroom. Do you want to go look for her?” You said yes and trotted upstairs, then reappeared shortly thereafter with Mommy Fox in tow. I realized about 10 minutes later that upstairs was nearly pitch black and you happily did all of that on your own anyway. Similarly, I asked you at bathtime to take your dirty clothes upstairs and put them in your laundry basket, which you happily did.
So I think your verbal abilities are well and truly established. Now your development is more sophisticated: so, for example, speaking of Mommy and Baby Fox, sometimes you pretend that one or the other of them is crying for some reason, maybe because of a banged head, and so you fix it by making sure the crying party gets kisses. You can sing your favorite songs pretty much in tune (these are Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle, Wind The Bobbin Up, and Baa Baa Black Sheep off the top of my head.) And you have learned to tell knock-knock jokes–well, almost. You have one knock-knock joke and it goes like this:
(A tiger who?)
For tiger you occasionally substitute polar bear. I believe you have also branched out into snake once or twice, and ticklemonster on occasion.
You’ve also got particularly good at memorizing books. If I stop at any point in one of your favorites, you can almost always finish the line. You can recite Aliens Love Underpants and Each Peach Pear Plum from beginning to end with very little prompting, if any.
AND . . . AND . . . you know the letter O! Your drawing easel has a magnetic board on one side, and I have got you a load of magnetic letters. You keep bringing them to me saying “what’s THIS? what’s THIS?”–and then out of nowhere you came up to me and said “Mommy, I got Os.” I looked, and sure enough you had three Os in your hand. 25 to go.
I measured you on your 2nd birthday to predict your height. On your birthday itself you appeared to measure 34 inches tall, which apparently means you will be 5’8″. If this is the case you will dwarf me. However, I also measured you on the 2nd anniversary of your due date, and then you were 33 inches tall (predicting 5’6″). I have to say that the latter seems more likely, but then again you have a possibility of inheriting height from Daddy’s side. I hope you do–the world is made for tall people.
For your 2nd birthday your major presents were a shiny red Radio Flyer tricycle (you haven’t quite got the hang of pedalling yet) and a toy kitchen. I also took you to the bike shop to let you pick out your own helmet. Helpfully, you picked out a shiny red helmet–technically a boy’s helmet apparently, but I can’t blame you since the “girl” options were incredibly boring in comparison. Yours is vaguely in the shape of a fireman’s hat and has a fireman badge on it, and you love it. I haven’t told you that you must wear a helmet to ride your scooter, but you insist on it. In fact, when a nice man passing you on the pavement asked if he could ride your scooter, you asked him “Where is your helmet?” They must have taught you this at nursery!
Speaking of your scooter, you are more than happy to go on long scoots and walks these days, without getting toooo tired, unless the walk involves an uphill slope. Now that you have the taller scooter handlebars, though, pulling you along is a lot easier, and I think the scooter will be a good option for transportation when the new baby comes, if we are going out at a time when you won’t need to nap. You are excellent on your scooter; you always stop when I tell you to, and you are careful of pedestrians and of places where we need to cross the road. I am proud of your scooting.
In general you are a careful and caring little girl, in fact. If I get up with bleary eyes in the morning and have a little yawn that makes my eyes water, you will study my face and assert that I am crying. If I say that I am not crying, you say “Mommy is better.” You ask “Is Mommy ok? Is Daddy ok? Is Daisy ok?”–and on Daisy, you are now entirely gentle with her, without having to be reminded. At nursery they say that you are very good with the younger children who have just joined (at around a year old) and that you are friendly with older children who are new and haven’t yet made friends. Indeed, when we take you in and pick you up, you are usually surrounded by a gaggle of children who apparently love spending time with you.
So you are good with younger children, but you really love spending time with older children. At Christmas you had the most fantastic time with your cousin Francesca, who is nearly 4. The two of you ran around with very little supervision needed; Francesca is a very sweet girl who likes looking after you, and you clearly admire her a great deal.
However, Francesca accidentally sparked a sort of mania in you–for ballet. Since Christmas, you haven’t stopped doing ballet. You dance on your tiptoes, put your hands over your head and turn around in circles, and lean forward and lift up one leg. Also, you prefer to pick your own clothes now, and they have to be “ballet” clothes. So you have ballet dresses and ballet tights, but you also have ballet jumpers and ballet trousers. I have not yet been able to determine the precise quality of a given article of clothing that elevates it to “ballet” status, but you have some method, and you are quite clear about what does and what does not pass muster on the ballet front.
On the back of this, I have been looking for ballet classes for you to join, but in our area they don’t seem to start for little girls until age 3, nor do gymnastics classes. Never fear, though–what you ARE going to start in April is football classes with Daddy. You love football, and your balance and core muscles are really very good now, so we have signed you up with Kiddikicks. I am hoping with all my might that there will be other little girls there, or that you will love it enough that even if it is all boys, that won’t put you off it. You’re young enough now that you probably won’t notice, but I know that all changes very soon.
I’m coming to the end of my list of things I wanted to write regarding the past 3 months, and there are a few miscellaneous items left, as follows: You now give proper kisses, with little pursed lips and a *smack* sound. You enjoy sitting on your potty, but with very little actual result (we have seen success on each front once). You now enjoy bathtime–even asking for baths–and I seem to have cracked whatever issue it was where you wouldn’t let me wash your hair for fear of water in your face, I guess through sheer persistence. I wouldn’t say that tantrums don’t exist for you now, but really-truly tantrumy tantrums are pretty rare. You do generally get in an almighty grump once or twice a day, especially after waking up, but that’s fair enough, really–and it doesn’t take much to get you back on track. And Daddy and I have gone on a little holiday before the baby comes, while you stayed with Grandma and Grandpa. You had the best time with them, visiting animal parks and soft play and having long walks with Grandpa and Nelson and Uncle John, and you told Grandma that you were on holiday too.
Finally, you are about to experience a lot of change over the next few months. Your key worker at nursery, the lovely, vibrant, friendly, loving Ruby, has left to start a new job, which is great for her but sad for us. You are moving down from 4 days at nursery to 2, now that I am on maternity leave, and your little brother is going to join us on 22 April. And Daddy’s colleague and our friend James (who you call Uncle James!), who has been staying with us, is about to move out so that I can get the spare room ready as the baby’s nursery. So there is a lot for you to adjust to, but I think you will be a little star about everything. I personally am looking forward to the next two months where you and I get to spend a lot of time together. I think we will have a lot of fun!
I love you,