I looked at Caroline’s socks this morning and they say “6-12 months” on the bottom. (If having a tiny child is good for one thing it’s getting your money’s worth out of clothes.) Those little purple socks have been through a lot of milestones, but when I think about 6-12 month old Caroline I can barely remember her. My Now-Caroline, the one who demanded sprinkles on her birthday doughnut and a kitty shirt to go with her kitty pants and is right now sleeping with her head in my lap, makes my heart so full I don’t even think longingly of the baby-days. There’s hardly time for missing things between her demands anyway.
We had to adjust our bedtime routine a few weeks ago and now I get to sit on her bed and watch her fall asleep each night. I love that she needs me for something besides a cheese-and-grape dispenser and I treasure the moment she drifts off and her arms relax. That’s when she’s still my baby. She even let’s me brush her ridiculous hair out of her eyes so I can actually see her face (tips on getting her to wear a barrette would be useful).
Caroline is still taking gymnastics once a week and her favorite part is hanging from things. She can hold onto the high bar for an incredibly long time and loves to swing on the rings like a monkey, complete with monkey sounds. She can do a somersault on her own finally and at the end of class she requests that I throw her – THROW, with lots of hang time – into the foam pit. In the past she hasn’t always wanted anyone but mommy to help her in class but she’s warmed up to the coaches and it’s making everyone’s life much easier.
She refused to tell me or Santa what she wants for Christmas so we are both being forced to guess. Considering she just got pretty much every fairy toy and book in existence at her birthday party she needs more toys like I need another Pinterest board, but I won’t let her December birthday mean she gets combined gifts. At least not until she asks for stuff like a flying scooter or a hair-dresser robot.
Caroline is so smart. She is beautiful. She is kind. She is an excellent sharer. She is hilarious. She is an incredible hugger. She might be a championship eater when she grows up. She is precious in every way. And even when she’s driving me totally bonkers I love her to pieces.
Likes include: Minnie Mouse, ducks, running, climbing, dogs, Santa from a distance, the rocket ship ride on thing at the mall, coins (“monies”), my wallet, counting, play-doh, cutting things, undecorating the Christmas tree, birthday parties, books, Tinker Bell, bath time, her blankies, dolls, stuffed animals, cuddles, Daddy, Mommy, music, Octonauts, cats, stickers and food.
Dislikes include: Santa up close, being tired, getting dressed and being told what to do (apparently she’s 15).
If having kids, especially Caroline, has taught me anything it’s that life isn’t always picture-perfect. We didn’t do anything photo worthy today, no special photo shoots in the woods, not even a stop in the grocery store for a birthday balloon like I had planned. I tried to take her to Build-a-Bear yesterday to pick out a special new toy but I was too busy convincing her the deflated empty bears hadn’t been skinned for their pelts by stuffed animal poachers to remember to take photos. (Luckily Evan did the building for her, so now she has a lovely stuffed dog named Franz.) That was the last “fun” thing we’re even attempted – she’s been grumpy and feverish so today we’re celebrating quietly at home with our doughnuts, Play-doh and waaaaaay too many hours of Disney Jr. Even without two dozen staged photos to remember it by, I think turning 2 is a pretty special day.
24 Month Milestones (from BabyCenter, as usual)
Mastered Skills (most kids can do)
Names at least six body parts – She’s especially fond of “chin” and “collar bone” so she can show off her scars.
Half of speech is understandable – I can understand 95% of her speach, other people can probably understand about 75%. She doesn’t babble, she just speaks with a toddler accent.
Makes two- to three-word sentences – Yes
Emerging Skills (half of kids can do)
Talks about self – Me, mine, my, and Car-line are some of her favorite words. She also says “favorite” a lot.
Arranges things in categories –
Can walk down stairs – Yes, although she’s still awfully short.
Advanced Skills (a few kids can do)
Begins to understand abstract concepts (e.g., sooner and later) – I would say yes she UNDERSTANDS the concept of “later” but she prefers “NOW MOMMY NOW.”
Becomes attuned to gender differences – Er, well, having a brother means she understands at least ONE gender difference. And she can point out other people’s mommies and daddies. But besides that Caroline is equally willing to play the princess, the dragon or the knight.
Learns to jump – Tiny jumps, although she can fling herself off a trampoline like a pro.