The Almost-Two-Year-Old

One day I pulled out a pair of 18-month-old sized pants, and they looked small. Later, I peeked around the fridge and saw Clara with her head tilted, one hand on a hip, and another holding a diaper, obviously inquiring as to when I would come change her “Mickey” as promised (“Mickey” is one of our many linguistic experiments—Clara hates to have her diaper changed but doesn’t mind so much if it’s a “Mickey,” which refers more directly to the best part of the diaper.) Every day we see more of her personality.

She still loves to clean. She spills things on purpose just as an excuse to grab the sponge and wipe them up. I had to pry the Dust Buster out of her hands tonight before the battery died but that was only after I moved the chairs from the table and denuded the couch of its blankets so she could dust-bust the whole house.

I like watching her make decisions. Last night at the grocery store, I held up the red and orange Jello and let her take three, four, five minutes to decide which one she wanted. The funny thing is, she’ll stare interminably at her choices and then finally make a decision with a decisive, confident nod. I love wondering what her thought process was in those five minutes. Every morning we have to hold her above the silverware drawer as she chooses which spoon she wants for breakfast.

The only two things that guarantee a tantrum are 1) if we close the refrigerator door before she’s had a chance to gather up her juice, water, and milk cups and 2) if we do something for her that she’d much rather do for herself, like give her a spoon.  She’s also been watching us closely. I have an annoying-to-Aaron, productive-for-me habit of doing five different tasks around the house once we’re about ready to walk out the door. He’s walking Clara to her car seat, and I’m filling up my water bottle, wiping the table, pulling the curtains open, stacking the dog dishes, and putting a stray toy back in the box. Now, as soon as we’re about to walk out the door, Clara throws her hands up with an “Oh!” and goes over to kiss both dogs, push her grocery cart across the room, pat the bathroom door to make sure it’s shut, put a pillow back on the couch, and move a roving shoe back to the towel where we let it dry off its snow. I couldn’t be prouder:)

She loves her toilet. She loves sitting on it and she loves wiping her tush after she’s sat on it. But she still prefers to pee on the rug. At the risk of inundating you with Too Much Information, I have to post a couple cute pictures of Clara’s new morning ritual. She likes to sit on the pot with Dad. It’s a really small cabin. The bathroom is practically the living room.  There’s just no such thing as privacy around here. She, of course, has to have her newspaper, too. And, the lollipop I bartered in exchange for her eating a whole bowl of Malt-O-Meal.

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Aaron has spent the last two weekends, and will spend the next one, playing in the pit for the town musical. I mentioned once that he has this dreamy saxophone solo as a street performer—a role they created just for him. He’s pretty famous. Just about everyone in my yoga class has asked if that’s my husband they saw in the musical last night. But, it’s every Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, so Clara and I do things like grocery shop to pass the time. We also discuss what short dates we can go on together. Aaron’s always had a fair amount of gigs wherever we’ve lived, and I used to get pretty lonely, bored with whatever book I was reading after an hour or so. It’s really nice now to have Clara to take out on the town. Tonight we got ice cream at Coldstone.

One day, I’ll get the Creamsickle, Clara, I promise.

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Time to run off some of that sugar.  She pushed her high chair all the way back to the end of the store and then came rushing back for my chair. One small note that, in my self-consciousness, I feel obliged to include—honestly, Clara doesn’t eat very much when we go out for ice cream or to the Moose. Maybe a few spoonfuls but that toddler distractibility kicks in and I sometimes have to remind her she’s holding a spoon with melting Chai-flavored ice cream in her right hand.

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After our date, we had to come back and take the requisite date picture.

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