You’ve become a whole little person. Wilful, feisty, funny. You have strong opinions, and a strong will. You have shown me, this month, what trial looks like, and patience. I had an incredibly hard time, at the start of the month. I struggled to cope with what you were going through. You were aggressive, busy, noisy, and so incredibly stubborn I could bang my head against a brick wall and get more reaction.
It took me a while to figure it out: You’re the toddler. I’m battling wills with a two year old. I’m throwing tantrums because you’re not doing what I want you to do. You’re exerting your will and gaining independence of thought â€“ and that’s not something I want to stifle.Â When I realised that, and made peace with it, and became okay with it our days have changed. We have more fun. We laugh more. We fight less.
Don’t get excited â€“ it’s not smooth sailing.Â You still scream several shades of murder if I try to change your nappy, or if Daddy and I try to talk to each other. But about two weeks after coming to the conclusion that all this amazing â€œselfâ€ that is being developed in you has to come at a price.
Last week a letter arrived in the mail from our Community Health Team titled â€œExpected Range of Development for Children Aged 2 Years of Age.â€Â Here are some of the guidelines from it. Apparently my child should be able to:
- Run steadily – which you’ve been doing since just over a year
- Walk up and down stairs – you were taking the stairs one at a time from 11 months. Â You never did the two feet to a step thing. You now prefer to slide down the stairs on your belly.
- Move yourself around on a Tricycle – you had your first tricycle at 18 months and have been whizzing around the house on it since.
- Build a tower of six or seven cubes Â – erm. Do megabloks and Lego or Duplo count?
- Pick up tiny objects accurately and quickly? Again, does Lego Duplo count? You’ve been playing with them since 12 months.
- Turn pages singularly in a book – Yes. You’ve had your own books since you could sit up.
- Use about 50 words and understand more – I don’t know how many words you know, but it’s waaaaaay more than 50.
- Put two words together in a sentence – this one surprised me. You talk in full sentences and have since before 18 months.
- Repeating words or phrases heard – Yes. Since about 14 months.
- Name some body parts – Again, you’ve known most of them since before 18 months.
- Follow simple instructions – You can. When you feel like it.
- Respond to your own name – yes… and all your pet names, like Monkey, Bean, Peanut and Princess.
- You should be ‘active and interested’ – Heaven have mercy. You are a busy child. I can’t remember a time when youÂ weren’t. You were born able to hold up your own head.
- Can use a spoon – since 12 months.
- Uses a cup, spilling little – so long as you don’t kick it over, Â yes.
- Engages in imaginary play – yip. Like giving your ‘babies’ milk. Or giving Daddy and me imaginary tea over and over and over again.
- Plays alongside other children – yes. Rarely with them, although Â more now, but alongside definitely.
- May take turns – well… sharing isn’t a strong point, but we’re working on it, and it’s getting better.
- Tantrums when frustrated – we’ve never had a tantrum yet, although you hate nappy changes.
There’s so much we’ve done â€˜wrong’ I’m sure. But baby girl, we must have done a few things right too.
I love you.
You can’t imagine how proud you make me.