My baby girl will be two years old tomorrow. I can’t say that I didn’t see this coming; along with the natural progression of childhood, time has its way of speeding and slowing in unconventional intervals. This first year with a little girl has truly been magical, so we undoubtedly have no regrets thus far. We traveled through the “Two Marathon” with our son, Jrue, and got that colorful t-shirt and one of those authentic first-hill-of-a-roller-coaster pictures displaying our terrified expressions. We survived unplanned co-sleeping nights, the vomiting because of overstuffing, and the unruly exasperations of a toddler who just found out that the baby from the hospital was staying at our house permanently. My expectations from that experience remain consistent with the outcomes given, though, something tells me that I should stay on my toes as Jai crosses into the race and begins her own “Two Journey.”
Primarily, Jai is not Jrue. Far from it, in fact. She does not mind loud noises or quick motions or dirty spaces. She is content grungy and does not shy away from attention (opting, instead, to give a cold shoulder or a rude ignore). My little baby is a chef, a gymnast, and a singer. She fusses without reason; she forgives without fault. I feel like her track will be a busy one and that’s saying it nicely.
And what do “they” say regarding two-year-old girls that I should know about for our near future? One of my go-to websites, BabyCenter, claims a display of “big emotions,” which we have already noticed an uptick of in the last few months. “A child this age wears her heart on her sleeve – and in her voice, her fists, her stamping feet, and her crocodile tears. You seldom have to guess about a 2-year-old’s emotional state.” (“Your 2-year-old: Big emotions,” 2017) Jai is already particularly expressive in wrath, but it’s usually short-lived, thank goodness. The screams can break glass.
In addition, Parent’s Magazine writer Linda DiProperzio says, “‘By 24 months, your child should have a vocabulary of 50 words, such as ‘more,’ ‘juice’ and ‘Grandma.'” During the course of his second year, you should also notice him putting together two-word sentences. Don’t worry about pronunciation at this point — only about 50 percent of what he says will be completely understandable.” (DiProperzio, 2011) We can encourage Jai to utter anything by demanding, “Jai, say [insert here].” Jrue even gets in on the action and laughs uproariously when she incorrectly vocalizes lyrics of a song or lines from a movie. She recently exhibited a language surge where words that we didn’t know she could enunciate just flew out of her, specifically babbled when upset. This week alone, it was also the back end of “The ABC Song.”
There’s so much joy in her singsong drawing out of “Double U, Xssss…”
Jai’s curiosity is also starting to show as a major component to her super exploratory personality: “A 2-year-old is also learning how to sort into categories. . .Your child will also learn to identify simple pictures, such as a ball, dog, cat, etc — and he should start being able to point out family members in photos as well. He enjoys looking at books and singing, can point to eyes, ears, and nose when asked, will repeat words and say a two- to three-word sentence. . .and is interested in learning how to use common items, such as a hairbrush and even childproof scissors.” (DiProperzio, 2011)
Adding on to these skills is the fact that she does not like to be told “no” or instructed to make changes that she has not approved. For example, if she wants to scoot her Peppa Pig ride-on toy along the sidewalk when mommy looks down, and I call for her to come back away from the street, she’ll perform a mock-dramatic monologue of toddler madness and position herself so that she and Peppa Pig glides fearlessly back down the incline. With no consideration of losing control or sailing into the street or hitting our parked car or anything like that. All “weeeee” and smiles and waves, like it’s all good.
She has even gotten off of the toy in protest and pushed Peppa Pig down the driveway and into the street. Then Jai looked back at me in challenge. No. She. Didn’t. This child here…
We’re not even officially on day 1 yet.
Are we ready for this?
I don’t know if I’ve even warmed up properly.
DiProperzio, Linda. “The Year Ahead: Age 2.” Parent’s Magazine, 2011, https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/growth/developmental-milestones-age-two/. Accessed Apr. 12, 2018.
“Your 2-year-old: Big emotions.” BabyCenter, Jun. 2017, https://www.babycenter.com/6_your-2-year-old-big-emotions_5934.bc. Accessed Apr. 12, 2018.