Amelie is absolutely, definitely 100% a toddler now.
I enjoy this kid so incredibly much! I mean, sure, she’s totally out of control from time to time, but Amelie has also become incredibly hilarious. She has a great sense of humour and is super-cheeky; we often have to stop ourselves laughing when she’s being naughty – and that is hard. She likes to drop things on the floor then yell “oh no!” – and if we don’t respond to that she’ll shout it over and over until we do. Then she orders us to pick it up, and when we tell her that if she drops something, she has to pick it up, she looks off into the distance and says “noooooo” in this dreamy, highly casual way. No tantrums or anything, just noooooo…
The tantrums come when we do something that Amelie wanted to do (whether she’s told us or not). What does she want to do herself? Oh, just everything, all the time. We used to be able to convince her to ‘help’ us with things like getting dressed, but now she will push us away and try to get all her clothes on herself, with some interesting results. It’s really cute (and it’s also a really big time suck). Despite now living closer to her daycare, we almost always show up later in the mornings. Getting Amelie ready and out the door is no longer the work of just 30 minutes.
We do face some monster tantrums. They are definitely one of the things I find hardest about parenting at this age. Usually there is no warning – it’s just 0-100 in three seconds flat. But once it’s over, she forgives and forgets immediately. Recently I had to drive for about 20 minutes with Amelie furiously screaming in the back because she wanted to get out of the car. There was nothing I could do – it was a winding open road, we had somewhere we had to be, and nothing I said was calming her down. As soon as I stopped the car – the very second I turned off the engine – she stopped screaming, and was instant sweetness and light. It is bizarre, but also probably a good lesson for all of us about not holding grudges?!
One of my favourite things about having a two year old is the conversation. Amelie is a great conversationalist, and she’s always happy to chat – in fact, she talks constantly. She has a really amazing vocabulary and it’s so awesome to see her learning to express herself. Every morning she tells us about her dreams while we get her dressed. I’m still not sure she knows what dreams are, but at the very least she’s well and truly using her imagination – most recently she told us she dreamt that all of us, plus Cuper the cat, caught a bus to the Coromandel to go to the playground. This particular dream does contain some of her favourite things, so it could equally be wishful thinking. When do we develop a common shared understanding of what a dream is?
If we all retained the ability to grasp and remember concepts as quickly as a two year old, we’d be a world of geniuses. Amelie is currently very big on buying and paying for stuff. It leads to some hilarious results – the time she told me to pay a busker springs to mind, as does the time she was shouting ‘PAY! PAY!’ as I left a shop where I wasn’t buying anything. I had to loudly and ostentatiously explain to her that we didn’t have anything to pay for, praying that the people around me understood toddlers and knew I wasn’t shoplifting. It also leads to some slightly scary results, like the time I told her we didn’t have any of the crackers she wanted, and without missing a beat she commanded, ‘SHOP. BUY.’
Finally, it’s so interesting to see her sense of time develop. It’s no longer just about the here and now – now she remembers things that happened months ago. She also is very big on telling us to do things ‘right now’. Sometimes it’s funny, sometimes it’s a little scary, and sometimes it’s just so sweet (when she’s feeling nervous, tired, or sad, she will often ask for ‘Opie right now’. That is also always a good time to get a sweet cuddle from her).
Oh the cuddles! She’s often too busy to give us proper cuddles. She is a very busy child. But she has also become absolutely fantastic at cuddling. Head down on the shoulder, arms wrapped tightly around you, absolute 100% love and trust and safety. They are amazing. She is the sweetest. It’s well into the evening right now and she has been asleep for hours, but I’m on the verge of going and waking her up for one of those cuddles. I won’t – I never do, although Hayden and I joke about it every night – but seriously, what a kid. She’s a star. A sparky, bright, funny, opinionated star.