Thursday, March 02, 2006

Thoughts On My Daughter

Lauren is nearly 2.25 yrs old and I thought it was time for another update. She's at a really funny age, and by funny I mean funny "ha ha" and funny "exasperating" simultaneously. At long last she's speaking words we can understand. There is still a lot of gibberish mixed in, but more actual words are emerging than ever before. She's been taking her own sweet time with this and it's been difficult not being able to understand her for so long. And more than just being able to say words, she's expressing more complex thoughts. That's the part I'm enjoying the most. She'll ask questions, express an emotion, or tell you something insightful. And it's all accompanied with dramatic body language to underscore her limited linguistic abilities. The message comes across loud and clear.

"Gle shut da door and I'm sad!" (Gle or Gleh is how Lauren says Nicholas. Strange, but it's what has emerged.)

"More bot peez Mama!" (bot is how she says milk. Another peculiar Lauren-speak idiosyncracy)

"I so sorry. I hit Gle. I ree (really) sorry" We hear this more than we'd like

"My turn! My turn, Gle. Lo turn!" Lo is how she says her own name, usually accompanied by her touching her hand to her chest.

Lauren has mastered the art of the dramatic slump or pout when she's denied something. She'll turn away from you and go into this whole thing of shrugging her shoulders with a big, deep sigh, sort of slump over and shuffle away in a very dejected manner. I flash-forward to her teenaged years whenever she does this. She's already perfecting it. And recently she's started growling - literally growling - when she's exasperated. It's hard not to laugh when she does this.

Lauren continues to have strange eating habits. She routinely cycles through periods of fasting and feasting. She'll go days of mostly only drinking milk and barely eating any food, and then suddenly start eating again for a day or two before reverting back to her fasting mode. It's impossible to tell which cycle we're on when we get up in the morning. She still won't eat any meat except chicken nuggets. She won't eat eggs anymore, either. She went from being able to eat 2 scrambled eggs for breakfast to shunning them. She doesn't like fruit right now, either, except fruit leather (the chunkier kind at Costco). She loves them. Her favorite food - the only thing I know with certainty she'll eat - is peanut butter and honey sandwiches. She even eats the crusts. We're in the process of weaning her from sippy cups to regular unlidded/unvalved cups. She's doing pretty well and knows not to leave the kitchen with a regular cup.

Lauren is in love with Blue's Clues (boo boo!) and asks to watch a BooBoo video everyday. Dora ranks right up there, too.

Lauren loves to carry around a small spiral notebook and crayon and will routinely scribble little dots/circle-like shapes on the paper. She naturally holds crayons/pencils correctly vs. in a fist.

Lauren insists on her door being shut at night. The last thing we do at bedtime is sing the "night night" ** song (or Twinkle Twinkle - her current fave), give a kiss and hug, and then she "reminds" us to "shut da door peez" as we're heading out of her room. If we don't, she gets out of bed and does it herself.

Lauren has recently started announcing when she farts. It's so pleasant. She'll let one go and then giggle and say "I tooted" like it's the funniest thing ever. It cracks both kids up everytime. Potty humor - gotta love it.

Like most 2-yr-olds, Lauren is big on repetition. She loves for me to help her put on her backpack only to have to take 3 steps away from me and take it off, check the contents, and then want me to help her put it back on. Again and again and again. It never grows old. (for her, not for me. It's old for me practically before it even begins!)

Lauren is *trying* to learn her colors, but doesn't have perfect accuracy yet. She seems to know red and blue, but struggles with other colors. If you point to something green and ask her what color it is, she might say "geen" or just as likely say "red". The same goes for counting. She'll try to count things on a page, for example, and say "one two beee!" as she's just pointed to 5 things. She knows A - B - C, but that's as far as she's gotten.

Her physical abilities are where she shines. She has excellent balance. She's mega-strong. She has a high pain tolerance and simply shakes off most "boo boo's" without even so much as a whimper. She has no fear. She loves to jump and climb. She has two speeds: fast and stop. There is no middle. She's either running or making me carry her. I think she's going to be an excellent athlete someday.

Lauren is our outdoor child. She loves to be outside. Much more so than Nicholas. We were outdoors yesterday during Nicholas's dance class and we found a ladybug. She was fascinated. She held it in her hand for a minute before it flew away. "bye bye lay-buh" "where lay-buh go??" "lay-buh, where are you?" Then she was "talking" on the pay-phone and told me was talking to the lay-buh. That conversation fell into the gibberish category, but it was cute to witness. When she couldn't find the ladybug she did the whole shrug/slump/sigh routine, mad that she couldn't see the ladybug anymore.

And lastly, Lauren is a perfect mimic of everything and anything Nicholas does. If he starts skipping, she tries to. If he squeals about something, so does she. If he takes his shoes off, she follows suit. If Nicholas is doing it, so must she. Blindly. She adores him.

** The night-night song is one I made up when Nicholas was an infant and then modified for Lauren when she came along. It's sung to the tune of "Lullabye & Good-Night"

Nighty-night, Lauren girl, it's time to lay down your curls (back when she was a baby and had a curl)
Close your eyes and sleep awhile
And wake up with a smile
Good night, little one
You will wake with the sun
But now, it's time to rest
Mama loves you the best.

I sing this to each kid as we tuck them into bed at night. They both really love it. Nicholas sings it along with me, which melts my heart and helps to evaporate a lot of frustrations that may have built up throughout the day. Only he prefers the last line to go "your family loves you the best" instead of just mama loving him the best. This was a recent modification - one I was happy to make.

Lauren challenges me everyday simply because she's two and well, two is challenging. But the little personality that is emerging is engaging, happy, feisty, independent, smart and funny. Lauren is just so likeable. She's not often moody and usually brightens any room. It's not usually hard to be with her, and I love when we can spend time together, just us girls.

I love you, Lauren!

I love baby updates!!! so fun!

Jerri Ann
Those eyes! She'll be a man-eater one day soon! She's a beaut, MP.
What a cute little chick.

Loved it!!! What a gorgeous little girl!!!


PS Our babies are TWO!!!!?!!!!!
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