Laura de Medici-Bentley: Ready for the ‘two’s’ and everything it brings
It’s hard to believe that this is my last week writing as the mother of a 1-year-old. On Thursday, Livia turns 2. I’ve gotten a few warnings about the “terrible twos,” but I think this age is anything but that. This is the age where Livia’s individuality is really showing, and I’m very excited about that.
One of the biggest changes I’ve noticed lately is her longer attention span. A few months ago, she would rummage through her play kitchen for a few minutes and then move onto a puzzle. Nowadays, she uses her kitchen to cook entire meals for me! First, she invites me to sit at her play table by saying “Sit down, Mommy!”
Sometimes she makes me pasta or a sandwich, but her favorite thing to make is cake. She stacks a few of her large blocks on a plate and puts her pretend cupcakes on top. She has a wide variety of play food, but I love that she uses her blocks as food. It really shows that her imagination is developing. It melts my heart when she warms up the “cake” in her microwave and then warns me that it’s hot.
Imaginative play is my favorite part about the toddler and preschool years. One of the children I taught insisted on wearing his Batman cape to school every day. He would always use his super powers to help his friends. Another one of my “school kids” loved to become one of his favorite Nationals baseball players. At naptime, part of our routine was that I would read him a story and say “Goodnight, Anthony Rendon!” During my pregnancy, I pictured us “going camping” in our backyard or wearing dress-up clothes to a Mother/Daughter lunch date.
Another big change I’ve noticed lately is her determination. When she’s building with her blocks, she gets very frustrated when they fall. I encourage her to keep trying, and she will attempt the same tower several more times. Before, she was indifferent if one of her towers fell. In fact, she would build a tower just so she could knock it down once. When she’s in the middle of building a really tall structure, sometimes I am tempted to “help” her when she isn’t looking to prevent it from falling. But no matter how far it’s leaning over, I don’t do it. By stepping back, she has figured out ways to make her towers sturdier.
Does she test my patience? Of course — several times a day. It’s more than just saying “no.” It happens when she’s looking me right in my eyes as I ask her not to do something, and continuing to do it anyways, all while wearing a huge smile. It happens when she dumps an entire bottle of water on my side of the bed. It happens when she takes my concealer and rubs it all over her legs — right after a bath. We already have lots of wonderful stories to tell her when she is older.
There are times that I miss her little toothless smile, and there are times that I look forward to her being a little older. I’m blessed because I have wonderful memories to look back on and future experiences to look forward to. For now, though, I’m ready to embrace the two’s and everything it brings.
Laura de Medici-Bentley, of Winchester Virginia, is a former early childhood educator who currently enjoys staying home with her [almost] 2-year-old daughter. She is an author of a personal blog, CiaoMommy.com. She can be reached at email@example.com