I think it's clear that the terrible twos have started, at least in part. Nora certainly has her trying moments these days. Luckily they are well-balanced with precious moments I want to just bottle up and store in my heart forever.
The Ugly: Nora is very attached to many different "friends" (aka toys) these days. And going anywhere requires carrying about 20 different ones in her arms, my arms, in the stroller, in the car, pretty much anywhere we go. If I happen to not-so-accidentally "forget" one of them as we're headed out, she does like a headcount a couple minutes later and if one is missing she freaks.the.eff.out (how she notices that "Gaston's horse" is missing out of the 20 things in her hands is still a mystery to me). Also, taking the toys down the stairs... oh man, taking the toys down the stairs from her room to the main floor everyday takes no less than 20 minutes, 3 tantrums, and 10 trips back up and down the stairs. Why do you ask? Because the animals/toys must go down the "slide" (the banister) and if one of them falls off (spoiler alert: they all fall off) it's like a personal affront to her sensibilities. Of course, all this fuss usually just results in me (after offering choices and then resorting to threats) carrying her down the stairs kicking and screaming (Nora's mantra these days: "MY do it. MYYYY DO IT!") and a tantrum of immense proportion when I set her down on the other side of the baby gate. So that's what I'm doing at 7am every day.
Most of the time, it might be mean but her tantrums seem so ridiculous they make me laugh. I try to see the world from her point of view and I can see how frustrated she gets sometimes. Like we went walking with her baby stroller the other day, and she packed all 20 little animals in this tiny stroller. So when she pushed the stroller over the steps... everything came crashing out. And she was SO. MAD. And then she just sat on the steps and bawled. And it made me think about how new she is to this world.... that gravity is still such a new concept to her that she hasn't learned to deal with it yet. And that makes me sympathize with her. Because gravity does kind of suck sometimes. I've just gotten used to the inevitability of gravity. And it will be kind of sad when she does, too.
Bedtime. Naptime. Anything to do with sleep these days can be pretty frustrating. Once she's actually asleep, it's fine, she stays asleep. But she has been on strike for about 2 months as far as falling asleep. We usually put her in her bed at 8pm at night- one night she stayed up just reading books and talking to herself and putting so many things in her bed that there is literally only a tiny space for her to curl into a ball- until 10pm. And you'd think she'd maybe need to sleep in after staying up late, but no. Toddlers are not like adults. They will get up at 6:30am every.single.day., no matter how little sleep they got the night before. As far as naps, there have been weeks she's just refused to nap at all. Or she'll take 1-2 hours to fall asleep, and then crash in late afternoon in the stroller or car, or one time on the floor. Some days I think it's getting a little better (the last two days she took awhile to fall asleep but then took pretty long naps), but then she'll randomly refuse to sleep another day. Of course part of the problem is the toddler bed. She'd get bored faster in the crib and fall asleep. I'm hoping some of the novelty wears off soon. In the meantime, she's learned how to do this:
She dragged the pouf over and turned the light on. After she'd been put in bed. I took the pouf out of her room, reiterated that it's nighttime and the lights have to stay off... only to see her in the video monitor, trying out all kinds of other "step stools", including her light-up turtle, a stack of books, and a pillow. Sneaky. I'm scared of the day she figures out that childproof knob thingy we have on the door.
The Good: Nora has been very into "reading" books. She loves to stack them in a
gigantic pile and then go through the whole pile, flipping the pages of
each book and saying aloud all the parts she remembers (which is an
impressive amount). She can spend a lot of time entertaining herself this way.
I think she is a very clear talker for a two year old- most people can understand what she's saying about 80% of the time. She comes up with a lot of funny stuff. Like there was a picture in her book of Ernie eating some cotton candy, and she said, "Look, Ernie's eating a cloud!" She *loves* to take care of her animal/toys/stuffed animals and tell them what to do. She showed her Baby how to carry a shopping bag: "See, baby? You put your arms through here and carry it like this!"
I always ask who or what she played with at school, and once she said, "I played with Leah's Ernie." And I told her (mostly in jest), "Leah's Ernie? Did Leah tell you it was her Ernie?" (Yes, she says). "Nora, at school, that Ernie is everybody's Ernie. Leah should share with you." The next day when I asked her what she played with, she goes, "I played with everybody's Ernie!".
Another funny conversation:
Me:"Are you all done on the potty Nora?"
Nora:"No, I still got more poops in me!"
Speaking of potty training- it's gotten much better since my last update. Actually she very rarely has been having accidents during the day. The best thing that helped was emphasizing whether her undies were dry or not, instead of whether she peed in the potty (because she had been peeing a little in her undies and then using the potty). So when we got really excited if her undies were dry, I think it helped correct that little issue. On the other hand, I don't think she is anywhere near ready to night-train. I don't know even how to start with that one (do I leave a potty in her room to use overnight or is that just asking for unspeakable horrors?) but maybe we won't deal with that until she's closer to three.
The Great: When she gets into giggling fits, it could turn your worst mood upside down. She loves music. At music class most of the other kids sit and watch, but Nora wants to do all the movements, all the dancing. She's memorized most of the songs already and sings along. She eagerly helps the teacher pick up. She loves "dance parties" and comes up with some pretty funny dancing that gets all three of us laughing before bedtime.
At her best, Nora is a true sweetheart. She loves to give hugs and she'll randomly come up to me and say "I love you, mommy" or "I want to give you a hug, mommy." Sometimes she'll come up with stuff like, "Oh, you have a beautiful necklace on!". When she wraps her little arms around me, she pats my back or rubs my arms a little. At night she asks me if I can stay by her bed for a little while. I sing her a lullaby and while I'm singing in the dark, she touches my face, my eyes, my hands, and grasps my fingers. I feel like the most cherished person in the world.
Random happenings, for posterity sake: She finally has a canine tooth breaking through. She hasn't had a new tooth since April. She also went to the dentist for the first time. She was a bit wiggly and tried to feel what the dentist was doing with her tongue a lot but overall I thought she did very well. They did tell me because her baby teeth are already so close together that we should be planning for braces- eek! Too soon, y'all.