I'm already starting to brainstorm ideas for your 2nd birthday party. Given your obsession with everything Princess, this seems an obvious choice. But then I realized that this is probably my last chance to throw you a party not dominated by commercialism and theme characters - so maybe I should take it? But then I see the unadulterated joy that it brings you to walk by the bakery at our neighborhood grocery store where they have demo cakes shaped like Disney princesses and I question my decision to deny you this pleasure on your birthday. I'm still weighing the decision. Perhaps we'll compromise and I'll just make you a big pink cake. Anyways! You continue, per always, to be hilarious and bright this month and I will try to capture this in my letter now.
You are still speaking mostly in 3-6 word sentences, but trying out more interesting sentence structures and sometimes it's a bit like having a foreign exchange student in our house. It's obvious that you are studying us hard and trying valiantly to reproduce the English you are hearing. Earlier this week you pointed at a white spot on a big hosta leaf in our backyard and said, "That's a piece of milk." When I replied, "Actually, I think that's bird poop." you quickly wiped your finger on your shirt and said in a tone that came off almost angry, "YUCK."
You can count to 13 confidently, but then like to say that 16 comes next. You've learned quite a few of your letters this month. F and O are your strong suit at the moment, and you love playing with the alphabet magnets on the fridge. The concept of numbers versus letters is a bit confused for you and you yell at Dad all the time, "Build a number Dad!" which means you want him to spell words for you on the refrigerator with the magnets.
Your desire to do EVERYTHING "by self" has taken our house by storm this month. You try desperately to dress yourself,
Note both legs in the same leg hole of your shorts. And that you already have a skirt and diaper cover on.
zip your sweater by yourself, and put your shoes on yourself, in addition to a host of other activities that I can't (or don't want to) think of right now. As a result, the frustration level in our home has sky rocketed. You get SO mad when you can't do something right away and make this noise that sounds like a noise someone would make while straining to lift a 5234523 pound weight, only very high pitched. We've started working on taking a "Big Breath" in these moments and it's definitely working, although not every single time by a long shot. But often enough for us to feel encouraged, you actually will stop when we ask and take a big breath, and it works every time to calm you down and snap out of your frustration snit. Your big breath is really cute and funny, as you suck in a large amount of air through pursed lips and your chin sticking way out, then let it out as if blowing out a candle and dropping your shoulders in an exaggerated manner.
You are so creative at play and while you love having playmates over (evidence:
Just today while I was making dinner, I heard you in the living room saying to yourself, "Make a present." and when I came into the living room, you had found a piece of tissue paper in a shoe box by the front door (intended for the recycling bin) and were using it to wrap up one of your books like a present. I frequently hear you with your stuffed animals saying things like, "Hi Mr. Squirrel (pronounced Misser Surill)! How are you? Good! Share nut?"
Play-dohI'm never certain whether this is a parenting failure on my part because I'm not stricter about you always sitting for every bite of food you take or whether this is more attributable to your general temperament. But then I also get stuck on the idea that if I expect you to eat every single thing while sitting in your chair, then suddenly I'm not able to eat a banana while checking my email, or a cookie while I clean up the dishes and is it really worth it? I'm not sure yet whether I'm willing to walk the talk. Eventually, you will just have to get better at eating out, right? We'll find out I suppose.
Which brings me to my next big milestone this month - you have started integrating into daycare. Earlier this week you had your first drop-in day at daycare and next week you start on a regular schedule of twice a week attendance. You loved your time there this week - didn't miss me a wink and seem excited about returning next week. Jen (who runs your daycare) did mention that you weren't super into sitting for snack or circle time (gasp!), preferring to do your own thing, but otherwise the visit seemed to go really well. Hopefully the excitement of all the new toys and people will wear off and following Jen's directions will become easier in the coming weeks. Perhaps it will even rub off at home! I'm hopeful and excited for your daycare experience, you already love your pal AJ that goes there the same two days as you, and you came home chatty about the two boys there after only 2 hours with them.
You and AJ in our backyard.
We're off to Orcas this weekend for the 4th of July, your first time since talking so we're looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the place and wading in the chilly water in your Salt Water Sandals.