Thursday, May 31, 2007

Two Years Old

My creation


And just like that, my little baby is two years old.

It doesn't seem possible, thinking back on the tiny, soft little creature of rosy skin and dark silky hair and otherworldly eyes, that Pearl and that newborn could be the same person. She has grown and changed so much in the span of two too-short years.

I've been thinking a lot lately of all that she has learned just since her last birthday. All the words that have made the journey from ear to mind to lips, the sentences she has learned to construct, the connections she has made. Letters and phonics and numbers and shapes. Singing, and altering lyrics expressively. Using a spoon. Putting on her shoes. Discovering the delight that is chocolate, and the scent of roses. A smile now full of teeth, and hair that hangs past her shoulders, curling at the ends. Walking well, then climbing and running and somersaults, and all the funny little walks she has done along the way - sideways, backwards on her heels, her tiptoes, bowlegged, a monster walk... Learning to tell daffodil from daisy and dandelion. Coming to love all those grandparents and aunts and uncles.

Innumerable instances of change. Endless evidence of growth. A thousand memories precious like jewels. I wish they would stay as bright and clear forever as they are now - already, too much of her babyhood seems so far away.

Delight


However, some parts of babyhood are still very present in this twenty-fourth month. She still nurses a lot, day and night. Despite a recent long run of success with using the potty, and the purchasing of underwear (which, I must note, she got irritated at me about when she very first wore them because I chose to put the flower pair on her rather than the ones with the heart on them) we've taken a few step backwards and she's still in diapers... when she's not in underwear or just plain naked. That's how it goes, I guess.

Pearl got her own bed for the first time since the last time she slept in the seldom-used mini cosleeper this month, a little twin sized platform bed placed between the wall and our bed. My birthday was the day it arrived and Pearl was quite excited about her own bed! We set it up that day and that was the first night she slept in it, and she seemed oh so far away from me. Some nights she's done fine sleeping over there, but some nights not. With all the different variables that can effect her behavior both asleep and awake, it's really hard to tell how big an impact sleeping more than six inches away from me is having on her. I've pulled her into our bed when she wakes sometimes, and I've tried sleeping with her in her bed too. The sleeping arrangement varies a lot and I'm not sure anyone's quality of rest has improved but the extra room is certainly nice.

Napping has been a trial this month. She stopped falling asleep easily by laying down in bed to nurse a few months ago, and resisted rocking and singing as well. Pearl very much still needs a nap during the day, otherwise she will fall asleep at dinnertime, and I definitely need her to take a nap! So I resorted to driving her around, which isn't something I want to do with gas at $3.25 a gallon or higher, but it works like a charm. A fifteen minute round trips makes her conk right out and she rarely stirs while being transferred from car seat to bed. I've got a few perfect routes picked out. Now that I am getting her to nap this way, though, I'm worried she's utterly dependent on it and I'll be driving her around until she stops napping someday...



Another new thing this month: Pearl has become what I call a screecher creature, meaning that whenever she is tired or angry or frustrated or bored she tends to shriek like a banshee, sometimes just yelling but sometimes with tears as well. It's pretty hard on the ears.

She says lots of cute things all the time and I wish I could recall more of them. A few I have jotted down to remember are how she pronounces bicycle - "cybikle" and how one day when she had the hiccups, after each one she would say, "I find the hiccups!" That was too cute. She also tends to use the things we say to and ask her to express herself - "Are you okay?" she says when she falls down, and "What's buggin' you?" when she's uncomfortable or annoyed. "What's the matter?" when she's crying, et cetera.

She had a lot of fun at the birthday party we held here for her and her same-aged cousin. I was kind of volunteered to play hostess this year, which was okay with me but still not what I would have preferred. It was a huge amount of stress and I'm still recovering from it. But Pearl enjoyed herself immensely, playing with the other tots and spending the evening with so many people who love her. She liked opening the presents and she got some good ones, and she liked us singing the birthday song and doing the cupcakes-and-candles thing.

On her birthday itself we kept it pretty quiet - went to the park and played, gave her the big present we got her (an adjustable easel), and had one of her favorite suppers (breakfast for dinner - she loves grits). And then we did cupcakes and candles and singing happy birthday again, and she had (somewhat unwillingly, I might add) her first taste of ice cream. I found some goat's milk ice cream* at my local natural foods store and thought it would be nice to splurge on it for my dairy-sensitive sweetie pie's birthday. Once I got it in her mouth, she enjoyed it a lot.



And so, Pearl is now two years old!


*For those who are curious, it did possess the creaminess that soy and rice ice creams lack, but it also had that goat flavor - tasted like sweet, chocolately goat cheese. Not entirely unpleasant, but a bit disconcerting.

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3 Comments:

Anonymous gearhead mama said...

Oh, Happy Birthday Pearl! It's so hard to believe she's two already, and M is hot on her heels. I never, EVER dreamed sleep would still be so hard at this age, but I guess that's life, eh? I keep telling myself it will get better, but then I remind myself there will always be new hurdles to overcome. I'm amazed you can transfer her from the car, though. We have never had success with that, even when M was a teeny baby.

"I find the hiccups." Too cute. Give that girl a hug for me!

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Leigh said...

Oh, your girls sounds so sweet. And I just love your photos. I am a Show-Me, grew up in a small town in MO. We used to vacation in the Ozarks every summer and still the green and trees call to me. I miss it living here in the desert!
My girl will be two next month and I can barely stand the thought. Yes, where did their babyness go? It's as if it slipped away in the night and suddenly they are little girls. (Sigh).
Happy BIRTHday, Pearl!
XOXO

10:30 AM  
Blogger Kerri said...

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8:31 AM  

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