Caroline: 23 Months
This is the last month my baby will be my baby. I’ve been letting myself say she’s “one” for the past couple weeks instead of “almost 2”, even though it feels sort of ridiculous. She’s been shedding her babyhood faster than I can gather it up in my memory for more than a year now. Recently she’s moved farther away from charming, silly and good-natured and more towards willful, stubborn and independent. She’s mostly capable of doing things on her own but has very strong opinions about WHEN and WHERE she wants to do them. It’s like a tiny window into what it will be like to have a 16 year old. It doesn’t help that she’s been having physical and emotional growing pains that frustrate both of us immensely and leave me wrung out by bedtime.
And then, on Saturday night, right as I was leaving her room after an hour of stories and rocking and singing and cajoling and begging her to please, please, please just lie in your bed and sleep already she said “Rock Mommy, rock”. I held her in my lap and we rocked. I felt her go limp and still then twitchy and dreaming and tried to remember the last time we rocked to sleep. I couldn’t. I know the last time she couldn’t have asked so clearly. I know the last time her feet didn’t hang off the chair and I couldn’t rest my chin on her head. And then I lifted her full sleeping body weight to put her into bed and all of her babyness dropped away. She is long and heavy and definitely a child, even if I’m not completely ready for her to be one.
Two seems like it’s going to be a challenge. Along with learning to say adorable things like “Oh coconuts!” and “Don’t whorry, Mommy!” she loves to yell “I DO IT!” and “EAT! EAT! EAT! NOW!” and “Jammies on, NO BATH!” For every spontaneous please and thank you there’s a screaming fit over wearing shoes or pants. I keep telling myself it’s just a phase – it’s ALWAYS just a phase – but right now I’m just hoping we both survive it with no permanent damage.
It the face of her epic tantrums, it’s a good thing she’s really, really cute. She loves to narrate what we’re doing, so at Target she sounds like this: “Target! I love you Target! Cart. No that cart. Big cart! I DO IT. I push. Caroline walking. See! C’mon Mommy! Coffee, Mommy? Coffee? Icee? Hi! Hi baby! Hi! No, my cart! Buy it Mommy? I have it. HAVE IT NOW. Yahhhhh Target! Bye bye bye bye Target! Bye!” times one thousand times a day. She picks out her own clothes and if that means she wears a short summer PJ’s over footie PJ’s then that’s OK with me, although it’s cold enough now that I keep getting Looks when we go into a store and she isn’t wearing shoes. She eats more than anyone else in the house but is still a peanut. She’s really into coloring and painting now, although the mess she makes is incredible. But that’s the part she likes the best so clever toddler-friendly alternatives like Color Wonder markers don’t fool her one bit. She wants me to read to her 12 hours a day, although she also likes to “read” her own books. Yesterday she tried to play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on the piano, although I only know that’s what she was playing because she was also singing at the top of her lungs. I wish she would let me put a barrette in her hair to keep her bangs out of her eyes but there is no way I am cutting a single hair on her head.
Likes include her blankies (she calls them both “Bee”), her pillow, books, blocks, music boxes, CHRISTMAS STUFF, art, making a mess, Sesame Street, music, dancing, gymnastics, putting on clothes, taking off clothes, running, cuddles, iPads, iPhones, Daddy, the dog, the cat, singing, climbing stairs, her brother, doing things herself, bossing me around, Mickey Mouse, apples, eggs, eating and giving kisses.
Dislikes helping me run errands, being left behind, not getting her way, wearing shoes, and bedtime.
Milestones below the adorable photos, as usual.
23 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)
Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Names simple picture in a book – She can name almost anything in a book and insists on doing it every time we read anything.
Uses 50 to 70 words – More like 500 to 700 words and that is only a tiny exaggeration. She knows ALL THE WORDS.
Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Opens doors – She can, but she’s mostly too short for the ones in our house. THANK GOD.
Sings simple tunes – Yesterday she tried to play Twinkle Twinkle on the piano while singing. It was a nice effort but she is clearly not a musical prodigy.
Takes more of an interest in playing with other kids – Was she supposed to be uninterested in other kids? She’s a second child, the poor girl has no idea how to entertain herself.
Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Talks about self (likes, dislikes) – Mostly dislikes. “NO WANT IT BERRIES! WANT MOMMY’S FOOD.” “Nooooo bathtime! Nooooo NOT filthy!” but she will tell you her favorite color is green and she likes her blankie.
Asks “why?” – No, but she asks “HUH?” and taps her finger on her chin and says “Ummmmmm” while she’s thinking.