Terrible twos? I don’t believe in them. Every child is teachable. Lauralie is already opinionated, independent and loves to be in control. She’s also the best movie narrator I’ve ever met.
We start our mornings with her telling me to wake up and literally opening my eyes. She tells me she’s “going potty” and that she’ll be back. I help her wipe and wash her hands. We return to my bed or hers and discuss our plans for the day. Her favorite suggestions are going to the playground, going to Disney or going to the store (which really means the mall’s play area). We brush our teeth and start our day.
She will either eat pancakes or waffles with fruit for breakfast. We turn on toddler songs and have dance parties, unless she decides she’d like to watch a movie instead. Everything we do, I discuss with her. I believe this is what has contributed to her speaking so well. I’ve never been fond of “baby talk”. I’m proud when she says “please” and “thank you” without me asking. Hearing her say she’s “so happy” and that she loves me “so much” makes my heart smile.
She loves to paint her nails and mine. She enjoys books and playing her drums. Playing catch is a new hobby for her. Lauralie knows what she wants and doesn’t want. She has no problem making it clear. I didn’t like the idea of my child saying “no” constantly, so I taught her to say “no thank you” instead. If I tell her no, I explain why. I think doing that will help her understand concepts and cause and effect as she grows up.
For example, I ask her if she needs to use the bathroom and she’ll either respond with “yes” or “no thank you, no pee in pull up”. If I’m telling her to listen to me and she doesn’t, then after a while I’ll tell her she has to go in time out. She’ll respond by saying “OK, I’ll go sit on mommy’s floor” or “Lauralie’s not being nice…sorry.” It amazes me every time. But it shows she understands what’s going on. I do my best to remain consistent. If there is new behavior, then her father and I discuss it.
This afternoon, she started saying “gimme”. I’m not sure where she learned the word but it doesn’t matter. I told her to replace that word with “can I have it please”. She’s done well so far this evening. And of course I discussed it with her father for consistency.
Lauralie likes to know what’s going on around her at all times. She’ll ask where we are if it’s unfamiliar. She’ll ask “what happened” on TV if she doesn’t understand. She wants to know “why is the baby crying” when she sees that happen in public. Her curiosity is beautiful and keeps me on my toes.
If she notices my hands are cold, she’ll offer me a blanket and socks. When I say I have to go to work, she insists on getting my work shirt and helping me put on my work sneakers. When we go to dinner, she always pulls out my chair and tells me to sit down. I always accept her help and thank her.
We do everything together. She’s well behaved although she neglects naps. Lauralie is self sufficient and enjoys her independence. If there’s a button to push, a door to close, a mess to clean up or a movie to turn on she will do it on her own. If she needs help, she will specifically ask for it or show me what the problem is, if she’s unable to express it. Seeing her succeed in her actions are rewarding for her father and I. It reminds us that we are teaching her well.
When it comes to bed time, she likes to sleep in her Minnie Mouse bed. She asks me to “put fire on the candle” and turn the lights off. Lauralie has me hold her hand while she’s in her bed until she falls asleep. Those are the moments when I reflect on being a mother and being grateful for her. When it came to her sleeping in her room at her father’s house, I would visit her around bedtime. I would help her relax and get ready for bed. I’d lay with her until she fell asleep. It took a few weeks for her to do it in her own, but she finally got the hang of it.
During my pregnancy, I told myself that I needed to improve so I can be a great mother to her. I think my actions through now, because I know I’m setting an example for her. She already has my sass and determination. She has her father’s charm and big heart. Watching Lauralie grow up is simply beautiful. I enjoy every moment with her and I’m beyond blessed to be her mother.