Now we are 2

Happy Birthday to Niamh! This was a phrase we heard and said a million times over the past week. Niamh is very into the concept of birthday because to her it is all about getting what she wants, cake, and singing. She likes the presents she got a lot but they seem secondary to the fun of opening a box. We practiced opening ‘birthday presents’ with a random box of computer speakers and she had a great time. Birthday cheer spread over two days with cake and singing at our friends house on her real birthday because that’s where Daddy had to be and cake, presents, and more singing via web cam on Thursday.

Dear Niamh,

At 2 you are a little person with personality, the ability to bargain, and the ability to figure out what is going on based on facial expressions or a gesture. If I yawn you ask if I’m tired, if I sneeze you bring me a tissue. Lars made a face like he was going to sneeze and you said ‘a-choo!’ for him. You are still very cuddly and want hugs and to cling to me if you are scared or uncomfortable or tired. You also resort to your nuk (pacifier) if anything goes wrong in your world, it is your coping mechanism at the moment. We are letting that go for a while since in the next few months you will have plenty to cope with. You are starting the classic 2 year old temper mood swings, although you have always been moody the swings are fast now. On the positive side you are pretty distractible, on the negative you will do a little ‘hit’ to whatever is closest when your will is being thwarted. We are working on no hitting and they are really not hard hits but something we would like to avoid.

Potty training is going well enough. We are months in now but our latest breakthrough was on Easter Sunday when while dawdling on the potty you pooped! Then on your birthday you declared you had to poop and sat on the potty and actually did! We have had a few all dry days, no dry nights, and depending on mood you will notice before you goes and tell us. If Dora is on or you are busy you either does not care or don’t notice. I think the next step might be just trying every hour or something. Your favorite things right now are Dora the Explorer, the Laurie Berkner band, stickers, books, and watching yourself or Jeremy in video. You can stack, sort shapes, identify colors and say basically anything now and will string together longish sentences. You are very clear when you want something and even strangers can understand 80% of what you say. You still use your signs, usually while saying the word but every so often when your mouth is full you will just sign. Recently the ‘no’ phase has turned into a ‘yes’ phase and while more positive sounding it really isn’t exactly true.

You know so much about what is going on around you and where things are that I think you are faking when you can’t find your nuk or water in the middle of the night when it is so close it could bite you. You know where things go and sometimes have very firm ideas about where we should sit or what shoes we should wear. Your dad is far more susceptible and spent the entire winter being directed by you as to what coat he should wear that day. It was a fair trade because you brought him his shoes every morning too. You tend to forget about things for a while but then remember it at an odd random time later and we have to figure out what you are talking about. You like to (insist) help us cook and I am pretty sure if you knew your numbers better you could cook your own dinner in the microwave. You can also put a dvd into the player and are working on being able to use the remote to change the source so you can watch your movie. You definitely know the remote controls the tv but you also know how to use the buttons on the side to turn it on or off. We are working on your counting, you often skip 5 for some reason but you actually do count objects now not just recite numbers in a row. You can get up to 10 most of the time. You do not seem to have a favorite color but tend to like red. You love pickles and lots of spicy things like nacho sauce, salsa, and guacamole. You take your vitamin with no problem but you don’t really like veggies other than frozen peas. You eat with a fork from a plate or bowl for as long as it suits you but will go back to your hands often, but then, you freak out when your hands are dirty so you have to have a napkin on hand at all times. You love noodles in all forms and all candy but you only like oreo cookies and not much else in the cookie family.

There is no favorite toy right now, you like lots of things but you don’t ‘have to have’ anything (other than the nuk). Coloring or painting or playdough are all favorites, you like to read books and you really like to put things in and out and in and out of boxes and that can occupy you for a very long time. We pretend play including hide and seek and you take care of your dolls like they are little people. You also still believe us when we tell you something needs to go to sleep and you will tuck it in and leave it alone. Fortunately for us you are not a ‘get into everything’ kid, maybe we don’t have interesting stuff but you don’t pull out cans or Tupperware, you stick to the drawer designated as ‘yours’ in most rooms – it is full of the most fun stuff anyway. You will help us clean for a while and basically like to do what we do, or, watch Dora.

You nap once a day from 12ish to 2ish and when you are fighting it you will declare you are ‘Happy!’ and try and give us your nuk and go play. Sometimes you are actually pitching a fit while telling the world you are ‘Happy!’ and then we know you really really need a nap. Health wise we have been lucky, other then a few knocks to the head you have been lucky with injuries. You still have really bad itchy patches on your hands that we slather with lotion but most of the rest of your skin is looking pretty good. Your hair is past your shoulders now and we still have never cut it. You look cute in pigtails and you know it. You actually really like having your picture taken and will even voluntarily take out the nuk for a picture. You are also interested in taking pictures although your aim is not very good…

Right now bedtime is at 7 and you like to read a book and then we sing ‘moon moon’ to you. We also have to ‘blow away’ any monsters in your room nightly. Sometimes you are asleep in five seconds but often you take the next 45 min playing around your room reading or singing to yourself. Recently you have started climbing the changing table. 90% of the time you sleep all night until 7am and of the 10% you don’t that is usually a brief wakeup at either 10ish or 1am where you rotate through things you want from water to nuk to potty etc.

All in all you are a good kid and while your days are numbered for being the only kid in our world I’m pretty sure you will be ok with the change. I have a feeling I’ll be the one worried more than you.

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