You are changing so quickly, I don’t think I can possibly record all the delightful things you do now, before you grow and change again into newer charming habits. Nevertheless, I’m going to try to describe you now, so that later you can read this and know what you were like at 26 months – and so that I won’t forget.
You know just what to do at every crosswalk, but I still recite to you at every curb: “Stop, hold my hand, look both ways, then go.” You are tempted to run, when I say “go,” or at least gallop, but you are starting to accept my explanation that it’s actually safest to walk when crossing the street. I love that you are beginning to listen to my explanations (though I don’t know how much you understand). I love holding your hand, and I also love that, once we’re across the street, you are eager to let go of my hand, to independently explore the paving stones or ladybugs or whatever else you discover.
Lately you’ve been pausing at the top of the playground slide in order to announce, “Car coming.” I don’t know what you want me to do, then. I say, “Stop, look both ways, hold my hand, then go” but sometimes you still sit at the top of the slide, and still say, “Car coming.”
Two days ago, the big kids, Rudy and Oliver, were playing around the corner. They’re five years old. You ran to visit them, then waited at the very tip of the curb, obediently, oh so patiently. There are hardly any cars on this street, but you know the rule about curbs, and I love that. Then, when I reached you to help you cross the street, you asked me, “No hand, please?” You didn’t want to hold my hand, just this one time, because you didn’t want the big kids to see how little you still are. So we crossed the street, side by side, not holding hands, except invisibly.
I was bursting with pride, you know? I love your sense of safety AND your sense of independence. I love your social instincts and I love that we can trust each other enough to hold hands invisibly.
When you read this, you might not understand what the big deal is, but you still can’t zip a zipper, or count to three (you’re close to that achievement, but you tend to think the numbers one and five are interchangeable). You can’t tell the difference between the question, “How old are you?” and the question “How are you?” To both those questions, you consistently answer, “Two!” It’s adorable.
You like to “do yogurt,” which is how you pronounce doing yoga. You’re eager to do a handstand – and soon you’re going to be better than I am at handstands, because you have no fear, and you have an amazingly good sense about physicality. You recently figured out how to pump your legs, on the swing, but you prefer for me to push you while making funny faces.
You just learned to climb the ladders at the playground. You’re good at clinking glasses and saying, “Cheers,” but you can’t really use a spoon or fork, yet, and you worry about messes. When you’re with a younger friend who can’t yet walk, you crawl, too, out of your incredible empathy.
It’s still hard to understand your words, sometimes. “I wanna see kiz!” you say. You want a kiss? we ask. “No, I wanna see Kizz.” You want to see Kate? “No, I wanna see KIZZ.” Chloe? Whose name possibly sounds like Kizz? “I wanna see Kizz!” you repeat, close to tears, frustrated at not being understood. Then it clicks and we finally understand: you want to see the big kids who live around the corner, Rudy and Oliver, your newest friends.
You want to pour Tabasco on your food whenever we do, but I think you know that we only pretend to pour it on your food. I think you notice, but you accept it.
You like to ask me, “What’s that?” and “What are you doing, Momma?” again and again, seeking to understand the world and learn new words. You haven’t yet learned to ask, “Why?” but I am looking forward to it when you do.