Age: 2 years, 5 months
Taking care of a toddler is a rollercoaster. One day Amelie is kind, silly, agreeable and obedient and the next day she skips her nap and teeters between being a happy girl and heading straight to Meltdown City. She’s moody! Wonder where she gets that from…
Dinosaur has been left behind and Baby Monkey has emerged as Amelie’s current treasured stuffie. He comes everywhere with us (so does Sleepsack still). Dad accidentally left Baby Monkey at a candy shop in Boulder and he had to drive back during nap time (a 40 minute round trip) to save him because can you imagine the heartbreak?
Both Dinosaur and Baby Monkey were gifts from my brother. Apparently he knows what Amelie likes!
Schedule: She goes to preschool on Wednesday and Friday mornings. After xc season ends, we might add in Monday too. She’s still on the same schedule as before: up around 8am, to bed around 8pm, with maybe a nap from 3pm-5pm. Ugh, I wish it wasn’t so late, it makes for a weird evening.
Preschool: Preschool was a daunting undertaking. We toured a handful and each one made me nervous. It’s a decision I didn’t want to agonize over but I didn’t want to mess up, either. Our final tour felt the best to me. I really appreciated the teacher Miss Marlene. She’s a no nonsense type of lady. She controls the classroom well and has a lot of experience. “Miss Marween”, as Amelie says, has been wonderful. Amelie now puts her nuk in her pocket at school and Sleepsack/Baby Monkey go in the cubby for the duration of the day. She is gentle but firm; just what Amelie needs.
The first drop off was a disaster. Amelie cried and Dad stayed way too long. Dad was such a mess after dropping her off, he went to a nearby coffee shop to work instead of his office so he could be close by. He called me with the news and I felt stressed at home even though I was very much looking forward to the morning off. Then he went back to preschool after an hour to secretly peek in and check on her. She did ok that first day. They put together a book about things she did with pictures and you can tell she’s been crying. It snapped my heartstrings right in two!
The next few drop offs were sad as well. But she did come around and now says “Bye bye, Dadda!” and Sleepsack also chimes in (in a lower voice) “Bye bye, Dadda!”
Last Friday didn’t go so well though because Amelie is tired. She tried to put on a brave face but her lip was quivering and she held onto Daddy’s legs.
Now I get it. I get why parents sob at the bus stops on the first day of school. The thought of Amelie going out into the big, bad, cruel world makes my heart hurt. Will they be kind to her? Will they ensure she is treated fairly? Will she be scared, lonely? Will they understand that she is shy and smart and sweet? Will they try to change her?
It gets me feeling all the feels.
Likes: She *loves* getting her toes painted, lasagna, swimming, cooking, playing at the sink with the water and soap brush, Sesame Street, playing helicopter with Mommy before nap and bedtime, and her gold shoes…she gets lots of compliments on them.
Of course, playing pretend with Daddy is still her favorite. He is so good with her.
Daddy’s girl, through and through.
After we put the kids to bed, we have to clean up the house. We drag ourselves around, picking up toys, wiping up food and cleaning dishes. It’s stuff I’ve been doing all day already so I can hardly muster motivation. Even so, Zack takes the time to put Amelie’s stuffed animals in funny places, waiting to surprise her in the morning. Gosh, I love that guy. <3
Potty training: We had success early on, she peed in the potty the first time and it’s been bumpy going ever since. She’ll wear undies for a while but then wants her diaper back on. We read lots of books about going potty but I think I need to take a weekend to go for it. She looks sooooo cute in her undies!
Verbal: She’s talking so much. I love it. My MIL mentioned it and I agree, I think she’s having some articulation issues. It could be rooted back from her baby days with her tongue thrust or maybe it’s a pacifier induced problem. She has trouble with “Fs”, which is why she refuses to count past three! She has made up a few replacement words for things that she feels more comfortable saying. I love listening to the sentences she creates!!
Only recently she’s been using possession: “Where my Daddy go?”
Quotes: “Hey, what is this guy?” –when she wants to know what someone is doing
“I love you this much!” — holds arms wide
“Silly Mama!” — when I don’t quite understand her
“Dad-da always comes back” — I borrowed this from Daniel Tiger one weekend when Daddy was gone for a wedding. Now Amelie sings it whenever we talk about preschool. She knows that Daddy will always come back to get her.
Learning: I don’t have anything to compare her to but I think she is smart. She has an excellent memory and impressive comprehension. I try to explain things to her and end up getting myself all mixed up but she follows right along. For example, scarecrows. “See, they look like people but they aren’t people. They are fake people. Pretend people! They hang out in the farms, I mean the fields, which are on farms. It’s part of the farm, along with big red barn, you know? Then birds, specifically crows…nevermind, anyway, they fly over and think the scarecrows are real people and get scared and won’t eat the crops. I mean the plants in the uhh, the fields, like corn and stuff….”
She takes it all in with no problem. Zack and I have to be careful because she is paying very close attention to our conversations. She doesn’t miss beat.
Social: I think preschool has helped immensely on this front. Amelie is becoming more courageous with engaging people when we are out. She got this one guy, behind us in line at Target, to jump up and down and spin! It was hilarious. Usually her opening line is “See, I have gold shoes…” She is still shy and takes some warming up time when she is tired. She’s made a little friend (her “best friend”) and they’ve been playing together so well recently instead of being in the same room but avoiding each other. It’s adorable!
Sleep: She’s still skipping her naps often during the week, hence this endless cycle of moodiness. She also still has a persistent cough! It went away for about a month this summer and then she got sick again. She keeps us all tired. Poor girl, I’m starting to worry. I plan to make another doctor appointment soon but it’s difficult with Cade’s nap schedule and coaching. I feel like I’m asking so many favors of Zack and my MIL that I’m hesitant to add more thing to our extremely hectic weeks.
Before bed, she has me cover her up with two blankets with a pillow on top, and “I need water!” and “Kiss me!”. I usually also have to kiss Monkey and Sleepsack before I’m allowed to leave for the night. She is far from affectionate so I am not taking these moments for granted.
Cade: She has been taking toys away from him and having trouble sharing now that Cade is becoming more mobile. She doesn’t like him touching her stuff – who would?! She puts up with sharing bath time (he loves it!) and she’ll play peekaboo,which makes him howl with delight! She get jealous of him but is doing well adjusting. She’ll even say “Hi Cadey-Cade!” when I bring him upstairs in the morning for breakfast. He grins so wide, he almost loses his pacifier.
Amelie, I admit, I am tired. I drink too much coffee and don’t have enough patience. I can see, even on your hardest days, that you are trying so hard to be a good girl. You put on your silly smile and through your tears you tell me, “I happy, Mama.” You have challenged me and some days I’m not up for it. But each morning I remind myself how blessed I am to have a fresh start. A new chance to be the Mommy you deserve. I hope I don’t let you down.
I love you thiiiis much. *holds arms out as wide as they go*