It was a long time ago that I used to do monthly updates on Avery’s development. The last general Avery update post I did was 6 months ago. She’s two years old today, and I can honestly say I’ve loved her a little bit more every day of her two years on this planet. She has developed into an intimidatingly intelligent individual. She is the kindest person I’ve ever come across. She oozes love for her family, her pets, and even herself (she gives herself hugs and she kisses her own ouchies). She’s still cautious, which brings me relief, and she observes all situations before entering them as an active participant. She sees beauty and awe in things like picking wildflowers and tasting fresh raspberries from the garden. I hope to always remember the sound of her voice and the look in her eye when she sees a new berry to pick and exclaims, “woooow!”
She feels deeply (which all 2 year olds do), but instead of always pushing back at us with a “no!” or a tantrum when she doesn’t want to do something we tell her to do, she often looks down, ignores us, thinks about the order she’s faced with, and will more often than not comply. This is consistent with the parenting tidbit I read in Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue, that toddlers take 30 seconds to process what you’ve asked of them. By not rushing that process, she more often than not complies. She’s a GOOD kid. That said, she also knows how to throw a wild tantrum complete with flailing around on the floor like a fish out of water and a demon voice straight out of The Exorcist. But we’re proud of her passion, too.
Time for some mom-boasting:
She can count to 20, and can identify the numbers up to 20 even when they’re out of order.
She knows the whole alphabet, upper and lower case, and spells everything in her sight from street signs to brand logos on clothing. She has been able to spell her own name for months now, and is trying mightily to use crayons to write letters, beyond just spelling verbally.
She sees colour in everything, and identifies even more obscure colours like aqua, silver, and peach. One of her common random quotes – when she’s just talking to herself – is “see rainbow colours everywhere!” It’s from a book, but it’s such a cool thought for her to be having.
She loves puzzles. She takes apart and puts together at least 5 puzzles a day, every day. Some days she does over a dozen puzzles. I think I have purchased every used puzzle that has been listed on Kijiji within a reasonable driving distance. Seriously – we have a friend in town who was complaining recently that every time she tries to buy a used wooden puzzle on kijiji, it’s snapped up before she can contact the seller. That’s my fault, sorry.
She sings all kinds of songs, and we can understand not only the melody, but the lyrics. Her favourites right now are twinkle twinkle little star, itsy bitsy spider, and old MacDonald.
She recalls things from her morning at daycare and tells me about them on the drive home. She tells me what she and her friend ate, and if they played with toys, went to the water (splash pad), or went on swings and slides. The other day she launched into this detailed story about how the water table was dirty and full of brown leaves, and her daycare provider had to clean it out. I LOVE how much detail she can communicate to us now.
She’s got a great arm, and loves throwing a ball back and forth, or throwing the cat’s toy ball for him. She’ll throw in a perfectly straight line all the way across the house. She also has a lot of fun kicking a soccer ball, and amazes us by kicking the ball around the yard at a full-on run, in her bare feet (it’s an actual soccer ball). She was (adorably) clumsy for many months after learning to walk, but now she’s pretty fast on her toes.
She seems to love practice. Whether it’s reciting her letters and numbers, doing the same puzzles over and over again, or making music on one of her kid-sized instruments, she has patience and determination that I definitely lack. She seems so engaged in learning new things right now, and so willing to keep practicing until she feels confident in what she’s learning. This age is really exciting as a parent because she’s so hungry for knowledge and understanding, and I love helping her figure things out and providing opportunities to learn new things.
The picky eater stage is fading, finally, but it might just be because the veggies we eat are garden-fresh. the only veggie she still won’t touch is tomatoes. She wants to keep trying them and picks cherry tomatoes off the plant thinking she’ll like it this time, but she legitimately does not like the taste.
This is a big “Avery do!” age. She wants to do everything herself from getting dressed to buckling her car seat. We let her (but we tighten the carseat straps for her!). She usually needs some help getting her shirts over her head, too – she has a pretty big head…
And finally, from a baby who WOULD NOT SLEEP without considerable drama and frequent wake-ups and high-needs for rocking and nursing and co-sleeping, she now sleeps in her own bed all night with only one wake-up some nights. She wakes for the day at 5am, but she usually just paddles over to our bed and climbs in for a lay-in until 6:30. It’s a dream come true. We didn’t use any formal sleep-training on her, but we did guide her with a lot of gentle practice to get her sleeping in her own room in her own bed. Sleeping longer stretches without wake-ups was purely developmental for her – it happened when it happened. Night-weaning may have played a part in the longer sleep stretches, though.
Ahhh, weaning. I always thought I’d be breastfeeding her until she was at least 2, but we weaned just 2 months shy of that milestone. She definitely still wants to nurse, and so do I. She still gets a lot of comfort from physical-touch and closeness and will come to us in the middle of play for comforting cuddles a dozen times a day. You will NEVER hear me complain about that. Once she gets her fill, she’s off on the next adventure.
For posterity, she’s 36″ tall, and still 30lb (hasn’t gained weight since her 18 month doctor visit – just stretched out). Now here are some pictures of my favourite two-year old in the whole entire universe.