Saturday, October 08, 2005

Lady Lauren - 23 mos old today

Today Lauren is 23 months old. Just one month away from her 2nd birthday. (Giant cliche coming....): time is going so fast!! I wanted to pause for a moment and reflect upon my daughter, my mini-me, the heir to my throne. To sum up Lauren, she's complex. I guess most almost-2 year olds are. She's tough, she's sensitive, she's happy and she's a manipulative diva all at the same time. She's bright, but slow as well (I'll explain what I mean later). She's a joy and a royal pain in the ass.

She only LOOKS innocent...

Lauren, this month you've had me on my toes. You are so BUSY that it's nearly impossible to keep up with you. You like to drag stuff all over the house and do so all day long. You tend to re-deposit stuff where it doesn't belong and I only find things days later in the least likely places, all thanks to you. Your brain is always working overtime. Nicholas left some Play-Doh out? You cram a chunk of it into the doorjam and prevent the door from latching. Clever thing, you. Crayons put up out of your reach? Ha! You just take a chair and get those crayons down all by yourself, risking life, limb, or concussion to do so. You say crayons are only for coloring on paper? But Mama! There is a big wall here just begging for a little color! Coloring is big for you right now. That's one area in which you differ from your brother. You seem to love to color and will scribble, ever so carefully, just a little bit on EVERY PAGE of the coloring book as if to mark your territory like a dog. See? I colored that speck right there so this page is MINE! We are encouraged by your enthusiasm for this sort of creativity but wish you would stop trying to color walls, doors, counters or your own body. Another element of your coloring we're happy about: you seem to naturally hold crayons/pens/markers correctly vs. in a fist like your brother still wants to do. You're a natural, I say! I'm trying to stay one step ahead of you by only giving you the special markers that only work on certain paper, but you've caught on to my ploy and get really pissed when the marker doesn't seem to work on the wall and now tend to refuse those pens when I offer them to you. I have to search every room now to find my shoes, Lauren, because you like to walk around in them. You try on my shoes, walk to a different room, and then one will fall off and you just leave it there, behind the door or wherever. It's adorable to see you clomp-clomp-clomping around in my shoes, but I wish you'd either keep them together or bring them back to me so I'm not left searching for them when it's time to go. You have also recently started trying to put on and take off your own clothes. You can take off any shirt lickety-split. Taking shoes off is tricky, but you're managing to put shoes on. We busted out the rain boots last week and you fell in love with wearing them and putting them on and taking them off over and over. Your method of boot removal is to simply kick your feet back and forth until the boots fall off, but it does work eventually.

A couple of weeks ago I put you back in cloth diapers during the daytime. You hardly seemed to notice. Like your brother, you don't seem to care if you walk around in a wet diaper. Doesn't seem to phase you in the slightest. But poop is bothersome to you. You have no trouble telling me you've pooped, and you tend to do so at least twice a day.

You're very verbal, Lauren, but it's time you started speaking a language the rest of us understood. Like me, you don't shut up, but it's jibberish you speak and I'm very ready for actual words to come out of your mouth. Oh sure, you have some words, but not enough for any sort of meaningful communication. You tend to favor non-verbal ways of getting your point across. You're hungry? You simply bring me bowl after bowl after bowl until I give you something to nosh. Thirsty? You open the refrigerator and point at the milk, and then cross the kitchen and point to where we keep the sippy cups. Ok, I get it! But wouldn't it be simpler and more expeditious to say "Milk"? Let's work on that, shall we? Instead of "yes" you say "yah". You recently started calling the dog by her full name (Abby) instead of just "Ah" and you like to call her to you. You're starting to put two word combinations together, like "bye-bye Daddy" and "poo poo all gone", but that can only get you so far. When we ask a question, like "who wants to go in the hottub?" you and your brother simultaneously raise your hands and say "I do!" - it's very charming. I think your favorite word is NO - we hear that A LOT from you these days. Especially when you're being put in the naughty corner for some misdeed you've committed. NnnnnOOOOOO!!! followed shortly by "sorry". You seem to think that saying you're sorry is the magic get-out-of-jail-free card and it's just not, Lauren. You still need to sit there for the full 2 minutes. We've only recently started attempting this sort of discipline with you and it's working! You really, really don't like going to the naughty corner and the threat of it seems to get you to stop doing whatever misbehavior you're doing.

The diva-fits have started - it's all part of being two. When you're mad you tend to lay down on the floor, face down, and pout. Or you turn away from me and squat. You're very cute when you pout and it's hard not to smile when you pull this stunt. You've also started trying to push your brother around and you will mix it up with him physically. Yes, you two fight and sometimes you're the aggressor. It's not always his fault, no matter what you say. You like to push him and throw your weight around. You protest and get mad and come out swinging if he takes something away from you (which he tries to do frequently). You used to just take it and cry, but now you try to get even. You recently learned that he stops cold if you pull his hair. BUT, pulling hair gets you two minutes in the naughty corner, so be careful.

Eating has become a battle lately. This month you've preferred to drink your nutrition rather than eat it. I think your two-year molars are giving you trouble and that's why food (chewing) is bothersome. The other day you existed on exactly 4 bites of food all day. You drank a sippy of milk in the place of a regular meal. Yet you had several poopy diapers.... hmmm... your favorite foods, when you choose to eat, are pasta, rice, cheese, yogurt, crackers and popcorn. Not the most wholesome array. You simply do not eat meat, unless it's hidden in the sauce of spaghetti or something. You get your protein from dairy. But I'm not overly concerned about the days when you don't eat much because you are a solid girl of 31 pounds - you can skip a few meals just fine.

Like always, you tend to be a dare-devil. You have no fear and are physical. You climb everything! You recently mastered climbing up on the tall stools that sit at the eating bar in the kitchen. These are not the most stable of stools, yet you're able to climb them and sit proudly on them without falling. It makes my heart flutter to watch you, but you're good. You've been climbing vertical ladders and such at parks since the beginning of summer. You have excellent balance. Just last week we were at a new park that had a bunch of big rocks for kids to play on and around. Nicholas climbed up the biggest one but stayed on hands and knees at the top, but not you. You got to the top and walked around upright like it was no big deal. When you saw me next to you, you flung your body off the edge, trusting completely that I would catch you. I did, but I wasn't expecting that and nearly dropped you! You do the same sort of thing in the hottub. Going under the water doesn't seem to scare you because you trust we'll be there to pull you up. It scares the shit out of me, but you just laugh. Pretty much the only safe thing you do is to hold my hand while crossing a street. You didn't used to - you would fight me like crazy, but now YOU seek ME out, saying "hand! hand!" and demurely hold my hand as we walk across the street. Thank God for small mercies.

You seem to require less sleep than your brother and can keep your composure longer if you happen to go without a nap. It's quite common these days for you to take a shorter nap than he does, yet go to bed at the same time and wake up earlier than him. He's 4, you're not quite 2. Thankfully you're back to sleeping a solid 10 hours at night now that we've gotten you a nightlight. What a difference that made! It used to be that if you woke up at night you would cry and need me or Daddy to come re-settle you. We figured out that you got scared of the dark and of not being able to see anything. So we got you a nightlight and now you don't need us in the middle of the night anymore. When I put you to bed at night I sing you the "night night" song and you lay your head on my shoulder with your blanket for the first verse. Then you start waving your hands for a hug while I'm finishing the song. As soon as the song is over we hug, then you give me a quick kiss, then one more hug and down you go. Simple as that, and it's the sweetest thing.

Lauren, you are following in the family tradition of being one cool chick. I'm very proud of you. I love when you laugh. I love when we flirt back and forth in the car and you do that impish shoulder-shrug move of yours. That's going to drive the boys wild! I like that you've found your voice and stand up for yourself. I even like your fearlessness - you are always willing to try things and challenge yourself. You are very independent, and that's a trait I always hope you retain. I wish you didn't like watching tv or videos so much, but one thing at a time, right? Here's to you, Lauren, my little big girl!

A wine lover - like mother, like daughter Posted by Picasa

What a BEAUTY and DIVA!!! Love the pics!!!

Hey MP, what a little cutie, and a girl with good taste, I love wine too!!!!
I wish I had a dauther..( sob sob ) but am happy with my boys..
Nevertheless, it was a wonderful tribute to a 2 year old and a DIVA!!! :)
And as far as being more developed with crayons and such, what can I say, girld are a more superior
:) Christine from BorB
Ahh, if this didn't sound just like Ireland! Wow.

Loved the pictures - time is sure flying by and they are growing up fast!
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