Monday, September 1, 2008

24 months

Happy Birthday, Delly! The fact that you are now TWO completely messes with my head. It makes sense for us to be expecting your little sister any day now, we like babies, and our first baby is all big and old now. You really are a little girl, with an amazing vocabulary, speaking full sentences, following complex directions (when you feel like it), and expressing OPINIONS. That's definitely something we're not prepared for. You want different toys in bed with you every night, you pick different toys to take with you in the car on your way to school every day, and there are some clothes that you outright refuse to wear. It's all very strange to us, and Daddy and I just look at each other like, Who IS this person???

This month you went back to your original daycare. They closed this past winter and we had to put you in a different place. Then the first one re-opened under new ownership but with the same administrator, whom we adore, and so back you went. Oh, what a blessing! Logistically it's easier for us, closer to home and convenient for both Daddy and me so either of us could easily drop off/pick up. But more than that, you are at home there and they lay down the law and teach you little humans how to behave like civilised people. Unlike that other place that let you all run around like feral beasts -- within a week or 2 of starting at that other joint, you developed the most charming habit of hitting. Like, every time you got angry, every day. There were lots of time-outs at home. The way they'd punish you at school was to put you in your high chair, a place you associate with food and comfort, and give you crayons to color with. Oh, the humanity! Now that you're back at the well-run, wonderfully strict and loving place, you have not hit at all. Daddy pointed it out last week, and when I thought about it, I was really amazed. You need structure and rules and discipline, and of course also lots of fun and games and love. And you get it all there, Thank God.

This month you started sleeping in your big-girl bed. We set it up in your room a couple of months ago, and at first you were very interested in it and wanted to play on it, but that soon dissipated and you totally ignored it. We'd mention it once in a while and hoped that you'd spontaneously insist on sleeping in it, but no. You were content with your crib, and we didn't want to force the issue. Then one night at bedtime I suggested in earnest that you sleep there to see how you'd react, and you were just like OK, and that was that. You were ready, you were cool with it, and you've been in it ever since. We wanted to make sure that your attachment to your crib is pretty well broken before the baby starts sleeping in it, and I think you will do just fine.

We did have a little set-back for a couple of weeks where you started waking up at 5, then 4:30, then 4 and then 3:30 (OMG!!!) and you were AWAKE and wanted to get UP and PLAY and WATCH TV, and we stupidly let you. I talked to your doctor about it at your 2-yr check-up, and she was all, Yeah, that's too early to get up. You need to stop that now. Which, coming from an outsider, makes perfect sense. Yet somehow that hadn't occurred to us?? And that's weird, because when it comes to the structure and the sleeping, we are quite militant. It's why you've been such a great sleeper for the majority of your life. So we did the whole Ferber thing, one Saturday morning I got up when you did, at around 3 or so, and every time you got up I just put you back in your bed no matter how much you fought it, and I did that approximately 500 times that morning until you finally wore yourself out at around 5:30 and slept for a good hour. That's pretty much all it took, and now you're mostly sleeping til 5:30 or 6 again every day, which is early but manageable.

This month is a big one. Your baby sister will be born any day now, and I can't wait to see how it all plays out, how the sister dynamics form. I'm terrified and excited. When I ask you, "Are you my baby girl or my big girl?" you say happily "Big girl!" And you are, you're my big girl and it just shatters my heart with every possible emotion. You're 2 now, and you're every bit as challenging as a 2-yr-old typically is, but you are also clearly demonstrating the fact that you're a loving, compassionate, kind, smart, and very funny person. Love you, rabbit.