As it turns out, 2-year-olds are kind of awesome. Nearly every day, at some point in the day, I think, “This is SO fun.” WAY better than the newborn phase. And even more exciting than the just-crawling and starting-to-walk and first-few-words phases.
I wish I could freeze time throughout the day to properly document every time I laugh my head off at something funny Soren does or when something happens that reminds me how crazy I am about him. I’ll log here a few notes I took right around his birthday when I realized I need to better archive this fun, fun stage.
– Soren loves holding my hand (most of the time). Sometimes in the car he’ll yell, “HAND,” and wait for me to reach my hand back. We don’t usually hold hands while we’re walking, but he knows it’s mandatory for crossing the street. If he’s ahead of me, he’ll stop when he gets to the edge of the sidewalk and wait with his hand out.
– When he was first starting to talk, he would often mumble something unintelligible (sounded like “HEH-eh”) when handing me something. As his words became a little more clear I figured out he was saying, “thank you” every time. Kind of backwards to say thank you when you’re giving and not receiving, but cute, nonetheless.
– Soren is more than obsessed with construction equipment. A few months ago we were outside and saw that a house on our street was about to be demolished. I was thrilled that we were at the right place at the right time. The excavator (or whatever) doing the work was enormous. We had a grand time watching it tear apart the house until Soren started getting really mad that there was no dump truck. All his books have taught him that the backhoe is supposed to put the rubble into a dump truck to be hauled away. He got to the point of tears that there was no dump truck. For days after, he would ask to go to the site to see if the dump truck was there.
– Soren LOVES Thursdays. His affinity for the day began when he realized the trash and recycling trucks come EVERY Thursday. It’s an extra special day on the occasions that Tim stays home until 8:30 or 9 and can take Soren out to go chase the trash truck around the neighborhood. Then Soren realized that Alyssa, his beloved friend and Early Intervention specialist, also comes every Thursday. He talks all day about “Ayissa” and wakes up from his nap thrilled to play with her. One Monday I got Soren out of his crib at nap time and he scampered off to the front room without even thinking about his usual post-nap milk session. He whimpered, “Ayissa,” and then burst into tears. He cried, while pointing at the front door, for a good five minutes. I don’t know why he thought she might come that day, but he was crushed to learn it wasn’t an Alyssa day.
– Soren seems to have a strangely great understanding of pronouns. I like to think he has impeccable grammar for a 24-month-old. I’m continually surprised at his properly formed sentences (like this morning when Tim was trying to find Soren’s clothes and Soren yelled, “AGHHHH. I HAVE NO PANTS.” But he consistently gets one phrase wrong and I hope it never changes: When he wants to be picked up he says, “hold you.” Melts my heart every time.
– Speaking of talking, Soren is a motor mouth (when we’re at home — he generally turns mute when we’re with other people). Just like he was slow to crawl and slow to walk, this kid was sloooow to talk. At 18 months his vocabulary consisted of only a couple of words. (The weekly BabyCenter emails I receive let me know that at 18 months most babies are learning 10 new words a day. Yikes.) At 20 months he could say about 10 words. And then, about a month before his birthday Soren suddenly had a vocabulary of what seemed like hundreds of words. And a few days before his birthday he launched into full-on complete sentences. At least once a day I ask him where in the world he learned this word or that word (like this morning when he said something about a “telescopic boom” and pointed to the correct picture in his book). It’s the best.
– His vocab may be excellent, but his ability to pronounce words correctly is horrendous (but cute). He doesn’t say his Rs, Fs, Ts, Ls, Ws, etc. very well and can rarely blend consonants. He still calls himself “Norin.” When counting, four is “door” and five is “dive.” Water is “yaduh.” His favorite book is known as “yode yuk” instead of Roadwork. One of his favorite machines is the dullbozer, not the bulldozer. And the best is how he says, “I wuv woo” for I love you.
– Once every few weeks I remind myself that I meant to start, around his first birthday, some sort of Soren School to work on letters, numbers, colors, etc. I pictured myself getting Pinterest crazy and working on a letter/number/color of the week to have him reading chapter books by the time he’s three. But, as it turns out, I have done absolutely nothing to further that effort. And he’s picking it all up on his own. He nailed red, orange, yellow, green, and blue before he could actually say the words (and now he’s added purple, black, and white to the list). I about fell down the stairs the other day when he counted to 11 on his own (we often count the stairs while going up and down, but I’d never heard him do it without me leading the way). And he knows about half the letters in the alphabet. The cutest is when he sees letters on a sign or on the tag on his car seat or something and thinks it spells his name — he knows to say “S-O-R-E-N.” So… good thing my minimal efforts have been sufficient.
– Soren is starting to show evidence of all the classic toddler behaviors. He HAS to get in the car by himself and climb into his seat without help. If I ever dare to pick him up and put him in the car, he quickly scrambles out to start all over. Soren loathes having his diaper changed and occasionally cries dramatically when he’s forced into it. (If only I felt like I had the energy and time to potty train him.) The other day, at a friend’s house, of course, he screamed his head off when I wouldn’t let him have a second cookie after dinner. Luckily, tantrums are few and far between at our house (it helps when you don’t have older siblings to show you the way), and most issues are resolved fairly quickly.
For Soren’s actual birthday, we followed last year’s approach and kept it simple. We did unintentionally stretch the celebration over a few days, though.