Dear Brooklynn, You are now 21 months old, which means just a short quarter year more until your are two. I've long heard that age referred to as the "terrible twos" and I think I'm starting to find out why. It isn't because a formerly sweet and wonderful child suddenly becomes a monster with the sole purpose of destroying any last thread of sanity her parents may be so precariously clinging to. No, it's because she's growing up and becoming independent and capable of doing everything herself. Except she's not, because, well, she's two.
And you are getting to that stage all too quickly.
We read parenting websites that talk about milestones your child should be at, and I hate to inform you that you're a little behind on speech development. But your vocabulary is increasing all the time. I was going to list all of the words that you know, and last weekend, your mom and I tried to come up with them all. We thought we had a pretty good summary, but then every five minutes or so it seemed we would think of another word that you say. And then the next morning, we remembered even more. So, you might not talk in short sentences, and you've never said your own name that we know of, but the words are there.
You are a very polite child. "Please" and "Thanks" are words we hear often around our house, although coming from you, they sound more like "Peas" and "Tanks". You picked up on please in a matter of hours when you realized it was a way for you to get what you want. I'm not sure that we have remained true to the spirit of the word, because there are times when it is used more as a demand, as in "Look, people. I am saying 'peas' already like you taught me. Politeness and etiquette at it's finest. Now, GIVE ME A SNACK!"
You know all of your major body parts and can point to them on demand. You can put on your own pants and shoes, open doors, and climb up and down off the couches. You also figured out that you can take your stool from your kitchen and use it to climb up to places you couldn't otherwise get to. Thankfully, you haven't figured out that you could go from your stool to a regular chair to reach things up on the counter top and this is a skill that we have no intention of showing you. Somethings are butter left undiscovered.
This month was Mom's spring break which meant that she was home with your for a whole nine days. One of those nights (on a weeknight no less) you even went over to your cousin Emma's house and played while Mom and Dad went to our volleyball game. When we came to get you at almost 10pm, you were still up playing. And so, for the next couple of nights, you thought that each night after your bath you should probably run around the house and play. Who needs to sit quietly, read a book, and go to bed when there is fun stuff to explore?
Actually, it turned out that you do, and when you refused to sit quietly for story time, you got dumped in your crib, crying, and we said goodnight, kissed you on the forehead, and turned out the lights. You cried so hard for about 90 seconds before you fell asleep because you were really that tired. That's called parenting and it's on our job description, so get used to it. Hopefully, everything that we do that makes you mad will be resolved in 90 seconds or less for a little while.
Spring break brought nice weather to go with it and we spend a lot of time at the park. You request walks in the stroller all the time regardless of the actual weather conditions, and if we walk by the park, you make sure that we are going to stop and play for a little while. You're much more coordinated than you were last fall. You can go down the slides all by yourself as long as someone is standing at the bottom. One morning, there was another boy a little older than you that you played with. You would run around chasing each other, and when he went down the big kid tube slide, you followed him down.
You didn't really enjoy it, and the next time he went down it, you turned around and went down the smaller slide, but by golly, you were going to do what he was doing. Because your a big kid, too! (Remember the reference to terrible twos I made earlier?) You put on your own shoes, often on the wrong feet. You buckle yourself in to your high chair and your carseat, and you always take the longest to do the buckle when we are in a hurry, but you have to do it, just because you can.
And you will attempt to imitate almost anything we do. In your quest to be a big girl, our house really is monkey see, monkey do. One weekend, we were working on perfecting our Rice Krispy Bar recipe which involved melting the mini marshmallows slowly on the stove. You like marshmallows, and so, when you requested a few, I gave them to you. And when you got out a small bowl, I figured you wanted some for a snack, so I gave you some more. It wasn't until I was done that I found you had put one of your small pots on your play kitchen stove, dumped in your collection of marshmallows, and were stirring them just like I was.
Our little helper. Thanks for keeping us on our toes.