Two year olds are fascinating. One minute they can be frustrating you and the next minute they are making you laugh.
The things I love about 2:
The whole-hearted wonder, excitement, sorrow or frustration that comes with almost any thing they do. LiLi has a fabulous expression of wonder in which she makes her mouth into an O and her eyes widen to about twice their normal size. It cannot help but make you laugh. Then when you ask her a question with an unknown answer she puts her hands up and shrugs and looks at you quizzically.
The daily aquirement of new language skills. It is so wonderful to watch how she is learning to express herself and trying to learn new words and expressions and she seems to learn everything so quickly now. Although, I cannot always understand what she says, she now has the ability to try and make me understand whether it is by pointing or going leading me to something versus just repeating the word I cannot understand over and over again. And although I still do not understand everything she is trying to say(and am not sure how much is in Chinese), she and I seem to be learning how to figure the things out.
Their single-mindedness. The other morning, I brought LiLi into bed at about 6:30 and told her that I was not getting up until 7:00. Well, she held her Lamb and sucked on her fingers for about 10 minutes and then decided that I needed to be interacting with her. When she sat up, her hair fell in her eyes and she immediately asked for her barrette. I said that we would get it when we got up and she nodded agreeably waited about 10 seconds and asked again. This went on and on until we finally got up. She would get distracted for a minute or 2 and then again ask for the barrette.
The ability they have to make you laugh. LiLi does this all the time sometimes by acting silly and trying to make you laugh and other times by just going about her business figuring out how the world works and how she fits into it. For example, she has begun to try and get the dog(who weighs 65lbs) to do what she wants. This often means that she wants to take her for a walk and she will go up and grab Maggie’s collar and try to get her to follow her. Maggie will just stare at her and either continue to lie where she is or stand still. Then LiLi will tell her to move and Maggie will continue to stare at her. This will continue for a while until LiLi either decides she wants me to tell Maggie what to do or she just gives the dog a big hug which inevitably leads to LiLi getting licked and then the giggling begins. The whole scene is great fun to watch.
The constant desire for knowledge. LiLi’s favorite phrase right now is What’s this? She even uses it on things she already knows but you can see in her face there is something more she wants from your answer or the object. Also, she got an easel for her birthday from Sara Lee and found the process from putting the easel together to actually painting to be the most exciting and interesting thing she had experienced. She wanted to help screw the easel together and then found all the little paint accessories very interesting and tried them out dry and then watched Sara Lee put the paint in the jars and then went at it.
The intense pleasure and pride they have when they accomplish something. Whenever, LiLi is able to figure out how to do something new on her own, her face takes on this radiance and the excitement seems to radiate around her. This is especially true when it is something that she got frustrated about and wanted me to do for her. The frustration seems to make the accomplishment mean even more. This happens a lot with her puzzles which she loves to do but often leave her quite frustrated. When she figures it out, she turns to me and beams with the delight and often claps for herself.
The ability to try things over and over again until they figure them out. LiLi seems to have decided that she wants to sing the ABCs. We have one of those learning things that sing it and she will push the button and listen to the song and try to sing and then do that again and again trying to learn the words. I hope this trait stays with her.
The beginning of understanding humor. I was cooking the other day and LiLi was watching “The Jungle Book” when she let out this belly laugh. I peaked in and she was watching the scene where Ka, the snake, has been pushed out of the tree and his tail is in a knot and stuck between two trees and he pulls it out and becomes accordian like and then slinks away. Well, I think this scene is kind of funny but I find it amazing that a 2 year old would think so.
The continual development of her personality. All the things above contribute into this. LiLi is becoming more and more her own person and she is beginning to recognize this about herself. Of course, this is what leads to the joys and frustrations of having a 2 year old but I have to say that I find the development at this stage even more amazing that the 1-2 year old development because it is about her learning to use the world around her and become part of that world and that seems even more exciting.