I remember when I was shocked that my chubby little baby was becoming a toddler, but now I’m afraid she has moved on to a real little girl and it’s both amazing and terrifying. I see it in so many ways, big and small, and thought I’d share some them with you. I think this is my favorite age so far, and I’m enjoying Harley so much right now, but it’s also just so mind-boggling what my two-year-old is getting up to.
Day-to-day life with a little girl
You know, the normal stuff you have to do every day, like eating, sleeping, pooping and whatever else. Harley is now doing so much of this on her own or with little input from me and Dean. When she eats her porridge in the morning, sometimes she’ll ask me to feed her, or to blow on the food, but she’ll often also tell me “Harley self!”
She can tell me when she needs a nappy change, and will even go to fetch the diaper herself and then lie down to be changed. We haven’t started potty training in any serious sense yet, but she often insists on watching me pee and apparently does the same at school. She doesn’t like sitting on the toilet too much, but she is increasingly curious about it, and she LOVES to flush for me.
Harley can tell me when she’s hungry, and will often demand the foods she wants, like cheese, chicken, cornbread, cashews, or cookies. She didn’t have a sweet tooth as a baby, and after a brief period where she was obsessed with chocolates and candy, she seems to have returned to preferring salty food to sweet stuff. She’s silly about it, too. I’ll ask if she wants dinner and she’ll say no, she wants lunch. Or sometimes she’ll insist that she needs a snack. But she can get her water and even tell us when we need to refill her cup.
When it comes to hygiene, Harley has suddenly decided that she isn’t a big fan of bathtime. She used to love it, and getting her out of the bath was typically a fight. Now, getting her INTO the bath is the struggle, no matter how many toys and songs and whatever else that she might like we make a part of the routine. Luckily, she’s happy to brush her teeth and wash her face, so at least that’s something.
Language and comprehension
Harley’s vocabulary has exploded. I used to look at those milestone thingies and try to count how many words she could use and see if she measured up, but now that’s next to impossible. She just talks all the time and keeps coming out with new words, phrases and full sentences. She is an absolute sponge and will come out with words and phrases we haven’t used in ages.
All these songs also seem to pour out of her, all the time. Granted, I sometimes wonder what on earth she is singing, but everything from the itsy bitsy spider to wheels on the bus to ba ba black sheep are all on constant playback in her little head. She sings when we go driving, sings when she’s playing, and even does all the hand movements or gestures to go along with them.
What I find particularly mind-boggling is her comprehension, though. She was watching Dora the Explorer, which isn’t my fav but whatever. Anyway, unlike the other kids’ shows that I like, Dora has an actual villain that isn’t just a daily struggle kids have to deal with. There’s a bad guy in Dora, Swiper the Fox, who tries to sneak up and steal things during the show. Harley is afraid of him. I don’t know why, but she finds him scary. The first time he appeared, she actually turned off the tablet so that she didn’t have to see him. But then, she remembered something from Daniel Tiger, about holding hands when you’re afraid, and now whenever she sees Swiper, or even intuits that he’ll be appearing soon, she tells me that she’s afraid of Swiper and I need to hold her hand.
… HOW?! How is this my little two-year-old? How does she already understand so much?
Her own life
Harley LOVES her school. She seems to like it more each day, and she has started to make friends. I didn’t really believe it at first, to be honest. I mean, back in SA she had kids in her class who I think she liked, and obviously, I had parents who I bonded with and enjoyed. But the other night, Harley was playing with her panda stuffed animal and told me she had to take it to school. I asked her why, and she said she had to show and share with her friend. When I asked her friend’s name, she said “Bwen”.
I asked at school if there was anyone in her class named Ben because that seems like the logical next step. Well, there is actually a little girl in her class and her name is Bryn, but she can’t say it yet so she keeps introducing herself as Bwyn. Harley and Bryn hang out a lot, along with another little girl who is also named Harley. They are friendly with a bunch of their classmates, but these girls seem to be fast friends.
And in my head, I’m kind of jumping to the past and the future at the same time. Where is my little bundle of fat rolls, that tiny dependent baby? And in the exact same moment, I can picture Harley going to a sleepover or sneaking out to hang out with Bryn and Harley. She has friends, she has a life that takes place without me. I’m so happy for her, and so impressed with how much she has grown up, but it also makes me realize just how quickly this is all going by, and she’s only TWO!