Toddler Power


Dear BabyBird,

We’re starting to see some really strong-willed (and still mostly adorable) attitude out of you! Right on the heels of so much speech you’re now eager to tell us exactly what to do, stand your ground on things that really matter (everything?), and even make some really creative jokes.

One of the first commands we started getting is SELF. This comes out when you’re doing anything from climbing the stairs to sitting down for lunch to putting something away. If we start to help you, you’ll quickly say “Self” and if we accidentally – or intentionally – do it for you anyway, you’ll wave your arms frantically bleating “Self! Self! Self!”, go all the way back (or take the thing back) to exactly where you started, and do it all by yourself from there. But at least you’re getting tons of practice doing things all by yourself!

You’re also getting pretty determined to get up in the morning – or end your nap – whenever you see fit. You’ll stand up and yell “Mama, c’mere!” or just “ALL DONE NAPPING!”, and when we finally drag ourselves into the room follow up with “No more napping either. Downstairs.” Speaking of which, you’re entirely too obsessed with the word either. You add it on to the end of every random thing for emphasis, and it doesn’t even make any sense!


Which brings us to yet another topic: humor. When I tell you something doesn’t make any sense, you smirk and say “Two cents”. Like I really need your two cents! You also intentionally swap the wrong words into songs or sentences and will laugh uncontrollably when we do it in return. And when you’ve done something silly or outright naughty you’ll call it out with “Hee hee…”, so very aware of – and delighted by – the mischief you’re making.

The only time this gets incredibly tiring is during meals when we just can’t get you to focus and eat, but it’s usually only at home, when both of us or there, or if you’re not very hungry. For some reason when it’s just you and me you’re actually very well behaved at meals, just sitting and eating and imitating me, but the presence of two parents seems to turn it into one big circus. We’re working on that.

You’ve also started pulling off some great surprises on us. One night at dinner I said I was going to take your plate away and you babbled what sounded like “Adios!”, which made Mama do a double take and ask “What?!”. So with a grin you immediately belted out the entire Itsy Bitsy Spider in Spanish (complete with the usual hand motions), which we’ve never done with you or seen before. Apparently you did it at school and just wanted to show it off all perfect and polished. You were so proud and we mostly stared, speechless, happy and mind-blown, for a few seconds before offering a huge high-five for an awesome job!

You also figured out how to go into Contacts on an iPhone, swipe through people to find Daddy, Grandmama, or Papa, find the FaceTime button, and call them… which was hilarious when I got a call upstairs in the bathroom from you ready for me to come down for breakfast, and randomly saying hi to grandparents in the middle of the day. While we don’t spend a lot of time on electronic devices yet, you’ve still managed to picked up how they work wicked fast and love showing it off.


One other thing you’ve just started doing – which couldn’t have arrived more appropriately – is apologizing unprompted. When you hit, kick, bite, or anything else far beyond the rules we usually ask you to apologize, and the other day you did it all by yourself. You’d hit me out of frustration – not hard, but definitely not playing – and I said that really hurt and that I was sad. As I was walking away I was about to ask you to apologize and you came right up to me and said “Sorry for hitting, Dada” and offered up a hug. It’s wonderful to see you picking up on these things and being such a little gentleman!

You’ve also been great at handling other kids doing these things in public – like when someone hits or pushes on the playground – usually yelling a stern “NO HITTING!” and maybe fussing a little, but not doing it back to them! You even went so far as to give your Cuddly Bear a timeout when he did something wrong (what, I’m not sure), which was creepy but also made us glad you were handling his behavior with such patience!

Finally, you’re trying so hard to be like me it almost hurts. You love following me around, repeating anything I say, mimicking the exact same gestures I make, and walking around in my shoes – literally. You stop my heart on a daily basis with just how much you look up to and adore me at this age, and I’m trying really hard to be worthy of it. You’ve even started asking for chai to drink after we play outside or go for a run, and will happily drink one made with decaf Bhakti (super gingery strong stuff made fresh in Boulder) “just like Daddy”. I love seeing little bits of my personality keep coming out in you and I think it just about kills Mama how much we look and act alike sometimes. Don’t grow up too fast!