|Right: Hours old. Left: Almost two.|
Thursday, November 27, 2014
GV is TWO!
Well, it happened. I watched a friend’s 15 month old for a few hours one afternoon last week and in that time GV magically transformed all bibbity-bobbity-boo like from my baby into a full on little girl. Okay, clearly she didn’t change all that much in that one instant, but the contrast of my friend’s baby next to my former perception of GV as an itsy-thing put her growth in a sharp reality and abruptly ended her baby phase. Shedding all resemblance of her babyhood, I'm all of a sudden aware of these grown up things about her that I knew were there, but didn't recognize: she speaks in (very opinionated) sentences, suffers from a daily case of serious bed head, sings along with the darnedest of songs ("all about that bass, about that bass, no treble!") and – much to my inexperienced horror – seems to be entering the very real, very obnoxious phase of the terrible two.
When GW was this age, he seemingly skipped the terrible twos, consolidated his attitude and promptly presented HB and I with his new persona as a threenager upon turning three by not only saying "NO!" but with reason. GV, on the other hand, appears to have no intention of waiting for reason to challenge the world with her very deliberate use of the word "NO!" The only good thing that I can see coming from this is that her appetite for argument for the pure sake of argument is, thank goodness, entirely manipulatable at this age... for example:
"Okay, fine, you can't have lunch! No lunch for GV!"
"Okay, if you really want it..."
She and GW regularly get into in it the back seat of the car and while the decibel at which they argue is quite regularly something that mandates I intervene, their arguments are in and of themselves quite hilarious. The conversation typically start off with one or the other wanting something the other has or doing something the other doesn't like and then it quickly escalates to one shouting "NO!" and the other shouting "YES!" until one or the other either gets confused or decides to switch sides for the simple sake of switching. Eventually they both realize what happened with their argument and they fall into a fit of uncontrollable giggles... a sound I don't mind at any decibel.
Anyway, to get to the point of this blog post, GV celebrated her first Thanksgiving Day birthday this year and is now finally able to announce to the world that "I TWO!" with accuracy. For the past several months GW has been teaching her to say "one and a half" when asked the question of "how old are you?" (or "how are you?" depending on how carefully she's listening...), but the only portion she ever cared to say was "half!" Finding the confused look on people's face to this response, we began to teach her that she is "almost two" which she, of course, also shortened.
For a brand new two year old, I have to say, she is miles a head of where I expected her to be development wise. This is not to say that GW was slow by any stretch of the imagination, but with his example to follow she's picking up what he's putting down much faster than any first-child or only-child could on their own. Desperately eager to keep up with GW and be just like him, she already has a solid interest in books and letters (she can even pick out letters if you ask her to find a specific one), she is chocolate chip and smarty-pants-dance motivated to use pull-ups and the toilet (I didn't bother until GW showed interest at 3.5, she began showing interest at 18 months!), and, since she's been allowed to tag along to his lessons, she shows great interest in and potential for the piano as she wants to play notes or sing scales whenever given the possibility (whether or not GW is currently practicing seems to be irrelevant to her). It seems to bother GW upon occasion that she's always right there beside him mimicking his every move, but more often than not he's glad to have her to play with, take care of and teach. He's a pretty great big brother and with his example, I bet she'll be pretty great at being a big sister too.
One of the things that astounds me more than anything about GV is her attention to detail and attention to emotion. For example, while many children - GW included - take years to gain an interest in the celebration of mass, GV watches the people around her and knows when to fold her hands, when to sing/what to sing, how to kneel and, although occasionally disruptive, she likes to chime in her personal prayer intentions for her good friend Winnie the Pooh (particularly when HB is the lector). It's this last bit that gets me most of all about her - she just seems to have this deep sense of compassion for other people (or stuffed animals as it were) that goes beyond the typical range of emotions I've seen in other toddlers. Granted, she expresses happiness and disapproval like a typical two year old, but the way she shows concern for others feelings is something I find sweetly her own. When there are hurt feelings, she is quick to say sorry and to give a hug. When there's been an ouch she is quick to offer a kiss to make it feel better. When someone is crying, she always goes to their side asks them with big concerned eyes "you sad?" and then she lays her head against their shoulder and pats gently in a there-there kind of manner on their knee. I assume most of this is learned behavior from how we interact with each other around the house, but the degree to which she's picked it up and applied it in her own interactions is beyond me... what a nice kid.
I could keep going and going and going about these two, but this is already more parental mush than she'll be comfortable reading someday anyway so I'll leave it here. GV, you are my little dove and I am so incredibly grateful that you were born healthy and that you are thriving so beautifully in your childhood. You make a Mama proud and I love you very, very much.
Happy second birthday, sweet girl!