Baby Checkers is now TWENTY months old and we are closely approaching the Terrific Twos (which I hear are lackluster compared to the Thrilling Threes Mrs. Cowboy just recently mentioned in her last post). Some days I feel like she is a one-and-a-half year-old going on thirteen, and I know I will just eat my words once she enters her teenage years. What do parents of teens call those, I wonder?
These days, Baby Checkers loves being outside (the upside of warm California winters) so I try to take her out as much as I can on the weekends when I get to spend the most time with her. February was a month of holidays (the upside of working for the government), so we were able to have a few more outings than usual.
One of the local parks nearby houses a small zoo with owls, bears, mountain lions, and a petting zoo; the best part is it is only two dollars for admission!
We also took her to the beach for the first time. We live only fifteen minutes away, but we do not take advantage of this enough. We were hoping for an impromptu picnic lunch on the beach, but the sand and water were too tempting for Baby Checkers and our food too tempting for the psychotic seagulls, so we just let her frolic around instead.
On most weekends, we frequent the park since so we have so many close by (we have three in walking distance, one around the corner from our house) and she loves it. She can go down the slide all by herself now, and she beams with pride every time.
And if you give her an open field, she is just as content:
When we are not out and about, running around and burning off as much energy as possible, we spend time trying to teach her letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. She now knows her letters (although U and V can be confusing), some numbers, shapes are hit or miss, and I am not sure she understands the concept of colors just yet.
I love Eric Carle and when I saw these ABC flash cards on sale I had to get them for Baby Checkers! They are printed on a thick sturdy board, which makes them difficult for a young toddler to destroy.
Development: She has been picking up words and phrases at a rapid pace, and can now string a couple words together at a time (ex: sit down, water all done, oh no, Mommy bye bye, Aliya sleep, Aliya play, etc.). She continues to mimic us and her daily activities in her play, and so we watch her put her dolls in her stroller, pretend to eat, pretend to sleep, change her dolls’ diapers, and pray with them.
Temperament/Personality: I could not have asked for a happier child. She smiles often and loves people, especially the little ones her size. The older she gets the more spirited she becomes. She is both sweet and sassy, sugar and fire. Fortunately, for now, her fiery moments are short-lived and are usually linked to being hungry, bored, or tired; as long as we can curb those three things, she is generally in good spirits.
I thought the first year whizzed by, but it seems the second year is going by even faster. My heart both aches and swells every time I look at my daughter’s face. I suppose this is the space we live in as mothers – the tension between holding on and letting go.