You haven’t noticed this, because you don’t read my blog yet, but this is the first newsletter I’m writing in three months. It’s also the last public one for a while.
You’re growing so quickly, and I want to write to you a ton. But you’re a much more autonomous person now than you were even just three months ago. I’ve already been shaping your online presence with these newsletters. Maybe it’s time to back off and let you craft your own when the time comes. Up until now, I’ve been justifying these letters to myself as being really about me and my perceptions of you. But it’s getting harder to write amusing trivialities without revealing the person you’re becoming. I want to leave that to you.
Twoddlerhood is in full swing. This appears to be the first age of deafness to my questions, but I can hardly stay grumpy at you for that: it’s mostly because of your total absorption in what you’re doing.
I’m slightly miffed to report that one of your favorite activities is rejecting people. “No Sierra!,” you shout. “No Rio! No Romy. No Mary. No Luke. No… mama. Yes mama.” Well, at least you grudgingly acknowledge the hand that feeds you most often.
You need feeding, for all of those major, major growth spurts over the last few months. Feelings are the biggest every time. You’re sucking down milk like nobody’s business, building bones I would think. You’re moody and have strong preferences. In other words, you’re two.
Some of your newest mad skills:
- You know how to pet the cats so that at least half the time they stick around for it. You also attempt to cuddle the cats and beep them on the nose. Nochka will disdainfully have none of that; Aki is theatrically tolerant.
- You’re semi pro at spoon and fork wielding for anything that’s not liquid. Super purposeful at experimenting with the “wrong” side of the spoon, which gets you more guacamole than it does soup
- You zip and unzip your coat with the best of them. Woe unto anyone who attempts to do it for you, whether intentionally or absentmindedly. (Ask me how I know.)
- Despite all the big feelings, sometimes you ride the emotional wave pretty well. For example, these days you agree to wear scarves and mittens when weather-appropriate without freaking out about it.
- Huge climbing and balancing improvements.
- You know all the letters, and all the numbers 0-10.
- Last week, you “read” (repeated after me while looking at the words, which totally counts) your first two words: FINE and MINE. As in, ooooh, snuggle puppy of mine, everything about you is especially fine.
- You remember names more or less immediately.
- You’re all language all the time. Five word sentences.
- This has now happened more than once: adventure walks where you push the stroller (or just walk) farther than reasonable to expect. I can’t wait for the forest to get warm and beautiful again.
In the “notable lack of mad skills” department: first and second person pronouns are hard to learn when there are just the two of us. Our conversations are sometimes like Who’s On First.
Your current favorites:
- Foods: flavor-wise, most of them, including spicy and minty. In practice, favorites are anything you can eat by yourself. My heartwarming little omnivore.
- Legos. Just wait till they open that Legoland right near us.
- Music: what you’ll actually request — MIKA OMG MIKA, Jack Johnson, Bob Dylan. Trucks song. Piano song. Dog song. Whoa oh oh song. Rainbow song, at bedtime. Other stuff you will happily listen to — any of Sandra Boynton’s CDs, Elizabeth Mitchell, Patty Larkin, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael Franti, Miles Davis, Jason Mraz.
- You’ve been asking to have your ears pierced. “Nico eenning. Peas.”
- Speaking of language! Akalilalo means at least a few things: radiator, avocado, alligator. You’ve accidentally figured out that “mixer say whaaaaaa” makes me laugh, and say it a lot now. You slay me with that look of intense concentration while absorbing language from lyrics. Is that why kids like listening to the same song over and over in a row?
- Words: baloom. Row bot cup (which is an actual cup, not sippy or anything, with robots on it). Row bot juice (juice when served in that cup). Ohgoosus (oh goodness). Tolly (totally). Psyche. Pinano (piano). Kidlee (kitty).
- Holy wow, are routines awesome. We have a bedtime routine, a coffee making routine (where you are the one pressing the grinder button), and a routine around getting you to do stuff. You know, the one that goes, “I’m going to count to three, and if X doesn’t happen, Y will,” and variations on it. If you don’t choose a shirt to wear, I’m going to choose one for you. If you zip up your coat, then we can go outside to the car.
- Love is all. You sign “I love you” and triumphantly declare I LOFF OO! You regularly request snuggles. There are spontaneous hugs, transcendent little moments.
The other day we held your second birthday party, themed Trucks and Fans. A smashing success. We colored and assembled “DIY” (pre-cut) pinwheels, we colored little unfinished wood cars with markers made especially for wood (who knew those existed?), we played with Legos. The house was a bustle of joy. The store-bought cake was unexpectedly delicious. Everyone had a good time, and then they were all gone, and you and I giggled our way to bedtime.
I love you so much, Nico. Happy second birthday — and many, many more.
PS pix, as usual.