Friday, January 8, 2010

Delaney at Two-and-a-Half Years

Here's our Delaney Grace, halfway between two and three, a tiny little girl even by two-year-old standards. But there's nothing tiny about her personality. Every day is full of laughter, silliness, comments, observations, and questions -- lots and lots of questions.

Driving down the road one day, Delaney asked "What's that, Mama? What house is that?" "What car is that?" Every two seconds. Every time we get in the car to go anywhere, the same thing happens. The only problem is, I don't even know what she's talking about most of the time, and I can't look when I'm driving. I remind her of this, but still she keeps asking. When you tell her what the thing is she's looking at, she tries out the word herself, and it's very cute to hear. I think she just enjoys the dialog with me more than adding to her vocabulary. Another thing she says all the time is, "Why not?" For example: "Mama, what's that?" "I don't know, Delaney, just a part of the refrigerator." "What's that, Mama?" "I don't know, sweetie." "Why not?"

Lately, we've also been hearing a lot of "I don't like ___." The list of things Delaney doesn't like is very long, and includes naptime, sitting in the cart, any limits on her freedom, and just about every kind of food except peanut butter and chocolate. To hear her say it, it sounds like, "I so like." It's strange, because I know she can pronounce "d." "I so like my bib." "I so like the straps [in the carseat]." I subject her to all of these things and more on a regular basis (I'm a big meanie), and for some strange reason, she still loves me and can't get enough of me.

It's the truth. When Tim was home with us for two weeks over the holidays, I expected she'd want to play with him more. But she was still all over me like white on rice. "Mama, come play toys with us." "Mama, look!" "Mama, watch me spin!" "Mama, what are you doin?" "Mama, I got something to show you." I don't get it. Tim is way more fun than I am. When I said this to him, he said, "I know. But you're her mama."

She got her first haircut ever on December 15. I had a hair appointment already, and Tim and I for once agreed Delaney needed one, so at the last minute, we got Delaney's appointment conveniently scheduled at the same time and place as mine. She didn't enjoy it at all, but she sat there and that's all that matters. We just wanted the ends trimmed because we both love her long tresses even if she looks disheveled more often than not. She whined a little, and cringed as the hairdresser did her thing, but she had a Dum-Dum sucker, so she tolerated it. A very nice surprise for me was the little certificate I was given in honor of "baby's first haircut", with a few locks of hair taped to it. That made a nice addition to her memory box. Can you believe I hadn't even thought of saving locks from the first haircut? Didn't even occur to me!

We reached a big milestone right after Christmas, when Delaney finally started sleeping in a big girl bed. I had planned on keeping her in a crib for several more months (I had my sights set on 3), but Tim and I realized that was not to be. First she started practicing in the hotel in Cincinnati, with a too-small pack 'n play with a bed next to it. She was emboldened when first she used the full bed to aid her climbing in and out, then climbed without it. That made her brave enough to test her skills with her crib at home. In one day of practicing, she became very good at climbing in and out of her crib, and it became a safety hazard. That very night, Tim converted it to a toddler bed, and she loves it. She's also stepped up her naptime antics. Most days when we put her in there for a nap, she barely sleeps a wink, and we dread the silence almost as much as the noise. At least she stays in the bed at night, and at any rate, she can't leave her room because of the doorknob cover. I can't keep her little forever, can I? But that doesn't stop me from trying.

From time to time Delaney exhibits the behavior that two-year-olds are infamous for. These instances usually happen in little clusters over the course of a few days. When I'm in the middle of one of those clusters, sometimes it's hard to remember what a good girl she is most of the time. Today, I left the first Mini Movers class I'd ever taken her to, after I had already put her in time-out once and warned her we'd be going home the next time she acted up. It was kind of ugly, so I'm glad none of our friends we're around to see. I won't tell the whole boring story, but it involved a lot of refusing to participate, trying to run off, and crying loudly. I felt sad seeing the tears in her big brown eyes as I led her out the door. It is very hard for me to enforce consequences when all I want her to do is have fun instead of spending all her time with her boring mom and baby sister at home. A kid needs exercise and here we are in the dead of winter, unable to go to the playground. But I bet the next time we're out, she listens to me. That's the whole idea.

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