Zoey: age 2

I can’t believe you’re two.

Sometimes, when you rest your head on my shoulder, as I pat your back and sing to you before putting you down in your crib, I feel you are still my “baby.” My tiny, precious “Little Bit.” At those times, it seems like scarcely a few months ago that YOU were the one with colic, the one who wanted to be held constantly, the one learning to smile and becoming interested in toys and faces. It doesn’t seem possible that you could already be 2 years old.

Then, you do something amazing. Something so advanced. You count to 14. You recite chunks of the alphabet. The other day you read your name after grandpa wrote it on the sidewalk with chalk. You READ your name! Reading! At 2! At these times, I look at you and it doesn’t seem possible that you are only 2 years old.

You are highly observant, as you always have been. You watch for the streetlights as we drive, proudly exclaiming “Zoey find the green ones!” from the backseat, and entertain yourself by announcing every time we go up or down a hill or under a “tungle” (tunnel). We find you using phrases and words we had no idea you had ever even heard. Who taught you about popcorn?! Who?

The world of make-believe and imagination is bursting open for you. You set your giant stuffed monkey and Big Bird in the chairs at your table and serve them tea. When Big Bird inevitably falls off his chair (what, exactly, are you putting in his tea??) you run to hug and kiss him and announce “Big Bird okay? Big bird okay!” as you pat him on the back. You re-enact scenes from your favorite books and Sesame Street episodes. At night when we put you down in your crib, you stay awake – sometimes for up to an hour – singing songs and reciting the names of your family (especially Baby Eleanor). Your favorite songs to sing are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and the Sesame Street theme song (“sunny day! It’s a sunny day” – that’s how you sing it).

You’ve made so much progress. At 8 months old, I was worried because you hadn’t ever laughed. Now you shriek with giggles all the time and actively try to make us laugh too. At 18 months old, I was worried because you didn’t seem to ever notice or even register that music was playing. Now you sing on your own and will sometimes even dance or clap to music we play for you and then ask for more when the song ends.

You’ve always hated being restrained: as a newborn and infant you would scream in protest if we tried to swaddle you. When we put you in the bucket car seat as a baby you would cry and scream so hard I was worried you would throw up. If we tried to hug or hold you tight to calm you when you were upset your reaction would be downright violent – the first time it happened I thought for a moment you were having a seizure. For awhile, from about 12-18 months, this reaction would happen whenever we tried to buckle you into the car seat, and you often would throw up in the car. Oh how far you have come. When we hug you just a bit too long you urgently let us know “Out please!” rather than a crying meltdown. In the car we rarely have protests and, when we do, you tell us “Stuck! Zoey stuck” and can be calmed down through talking as we explain about the need for seat belts. You love to say “buckle up for safety!” Best of all – oh, the very best – is how much you WANT to be hugged now. Ever since your little sister was born – is it jealousy motivating you? If so, let’s give you more siblings! – you suddenly ask for hugs and kisses all day long. You want to sit in my lap and snuggle as we read books. When I’m busy with your sister or my hands are full and I have to say “not right now” it is always with regret, as I never want to pass up a time when you will let me cuddle you. I know it’s only a short time before you will once again be pushing me away, this time because you are too “grown up” to snuggle with mom. I hope that day stays away as long as possible.

You are still very reserved around strangers or groups of people – even those you’ve known since you were an infant. You stand back and watch, ever the observer. If another child grabs your toy you quietly hand it over and then move on to another toy – you seem to want to avoid confrontation and conflict at all times. While you talk non-stop (NON-STOP!) at home, you are often very quiet around others, choosing to watch, analyze, memorize, categorize everything you see. Then, as soon as we’re home, you’ll start telling me all about what everyone else did and said. The extent of your memory astounds us.

You make us laugh all the time with your silly faces, voices and sayings. You constantly amaze us with what you think and say and do. I am so proud and honored to be your mom.

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