Simply put, she amazes us more and more each day. Every day she comes home singing a new song or using a new word she has been learning about at school. She can now “sing” the entire alphabet all the way through (correctly pronouncing each letter, by the way). The letter G is no longer “joo” to her. And she can’t leave out the ending where she proudly proclaims that she now knows her ABC’s and that you better sing with her next time. Good thing “next time” is usually about 10-20 seconds later… so you won’t have to wait long.
This weekend she started singing a new song but we couldn’t quite make out all the words, so Mommy B asked her teachers about it on Monday morning. “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” was the answer. But of course… why couldn’t we figure that out? “Happy Birthday” is still a current favorite, and now she incorporates her classmate Scarlett’s name (not our dog) who we’re having a joint birthday party with in a couple weeks. Scarlett was born one day after Alli, and instead of trying to make the other kids from school decide who’s party to attend that weekend, we just decided to have one big party with everyone all together. Plus, Scarlett’s parents are hosting – so I’m all for it. “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” is up on the list these days, especially now that it’s still dark outside when we leave the house. She finally gets to see the stars in the sky rather than in a book, given that she goes to bed at night before the sun goes down.
We’re also working on “Trick or Treat” with her so she’ll be a big hit when she rings the doorbell countless times on October 31st. I won’t reveal her costume yet, but it’s going to be hard to beat her Roo costume from last year. Last year, she had just started walking so it was a little tough for her to get to all the houses on her own. I have a feeling this year could be pretty exciting for her. Plus, she’s had another year to understand what candy tastes like and how wonderful it is. Dad-E and Mommy B could be “inspecting” much of it this year to make sure it’s all on the up and up. That’s what my parents used to do… yeah, don’t think I forgot!
She absolutely loves ‘nastics. Each Saturday morning, one of us takes Alli to a 30-minute gymnastics class just down the road from our house. There are usually 4-5 other girls there each weekend, all of which are maybe a couple months older than Alli. She was a little shy/hesitant at first – rightfully so given that she had never done anything like that before and didn’t know any of the other kids in the class. But with each week, she gets a little more confident and a little more daring with each of the lessons. She’s already mastered the balance beam (with a little help, of course), can hang from the parallel bars on her own, goes nuts on the trampoline (which results in a tumble into the foam block pit), takes herself down the slide, and kills the stretches on the floor. While the other moms are chasing their kid around the gym, Alli is (usually) sitting attentively in the circle listening to the teacher give them instructions. Must be from all the times she does that at school. It is truly gratifying to see how much fun she has each time we go. And to know the whole time that she’s improving her physical awareness, balance and concentration is just icing on the cake.
What else? She doesn’t really use a sippy cup with a straw anymore (unless we’re on the go); she drinks straight out of an adult cup holding it with both hands. They’ve been doing this at school for a while, so we recently stopped sending a cup with her each week. This results in a couple spills every once in a while, but you’ll have that given that she’s not even two years old yet.
Speaking of, she’s basically 98% potty trained. She has gotten so good at telling us when she needs to go to the potty, or will just go herself if we ask her if she needs to go. It has helped that we have a pretty good routine in the mornings and evenings that involves the potty, so the opportunity is always there for her. She typically goes once in the morning when she wakes up (sometimes even waiting all the way until she gets to school), and a couple times in the evening when we get home. She almost always wakes up dry and will go directly to the potty if she has to go right away. An interesting situation has occurred since we started her on this daily routine – she’s gotten into the habit of going #2 every night right before bed. This has turned into quite a nightly ritual – complete with Pooh and a couple books she likes to read while on the pot. And just when she’s all finished, cleaned up, and has assisted us with flushing everything down the toilet, it’s right back on the potty for round two. One night last week she made four (yes, 4) trips to the potty before she finally went to sleep… each trip being as, um, “productive” as the last. Mommy B was on Alli duty (or more appropriately, dootie) that night, so she caught the brunt of it. But my goodness, I don’t know where she keeps it all.
Moving on… she wants to do everything on her own. If it’s something she’s seen us do (or has done herself in the past), she doesn’t want anyone to help her do it. If we try to help her out, it’s “No mama!” or “No dada!” followed by her pushing our hand away from whatever it is. She’s becoming more and more independent by the day, and it’s both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time. I know that all too soon there’ll come a day when she doesn’t need my help for anything she’s doing that day. She’ll be able to go to the bathroom, get dressed and feed herself without our help. Soon after that, she’ll be driving herself to school and coming and going as she pleases (well, almost).