Sloane is now 2 years and 5 months old, and I spend most of my time marveling: that she's ours, that she is smart and funny and creative, and that she is learning and soaking in so much each day.
There are moments when she is exerting her will or being cranky and that can be exhausting, but she is quick to understand and obey and her heart seems to be inclined to pleasing her parents and maintaining peace. I learned early on that she responds really well to us taking the time to explain things, and have found that it makes the world of difference when we do and when we don't. I'm constantly shocked by how much she understands and by how much she seems to appreciate explanations. Words are important to her, at least at this stage, and I get that.
Recently, her understanding has gone beyond what is spoken and is picking up on my emotions, too. Whenever she senses that I'm annoyed or upset, she says, as if she is asking for confirmation, "mommy, you're not mad. You're happy!" I can't help but laugh and say, "no, I'm not mad." Then she says, "I'm not mad, too. I'm happy!"
I'm jotting down some other things in the spirit of marveling:
1. She loves being read to, but also often declares that she will read the book by herself and sometimes asks me to leave the room. when I peek in, I see her murmuring to herself as she turns the pages, pretending to read with made up words, and reading to her stuffed animals.
2. On the way to brush her teeth the other night, she made her way by crawling and seriously informed me that she was a puppy and that I was the momma puppy. She insisted that I call her a puppy through our bedtime routine and was consistent in referring to me as momma puppy.
3. When she woke up, I said to her, "Did you have a good sleep, little puppy?" She rubbed her eyes, looked up at me and said, "No, mommy, I'm a little kitty cat."
4. One night, while reading The Runaway Bunny, she pointed out that the mother bunny dressed in human clothes looked like a snowman and for some reason that made me laugh really hard.
5. She catches us off guard all the time with the things that she says because we don't expect her to put sentences and feelings together in the way that she does all the time. I remember being so surprised the first time she said, "I'm so excited!" in the car ride over to a birthday party we were going to. She really was excited; how does she know that word? And how does she know that feeling goes with that word? The other morning we were hurrying to get out of the house and told Sloane that we needed to go. She was in the middle of eating a bowl of apples and said loudly, with some indignation, "I'm still eating!... Wait to me!" (wait for me)
6. Her favorite song these days is "Somebody loves me" by Betty Who, and often requests it to be played. When I comply and she throws her body into dancing to it, with dance moves from I don't know where, but I suspect from her father. The other day, she asked me to turn the song on and then proceeded to assign me, my mom, and herself different roles in a band. She got some pens for drumming, told me to play pretend piano in the bench and handed my mom another pen to use as a microphone. After the song was over, she ordered everyone to switch and we did it again.
7. Ken read Sloane a bible story one night and I asked her about it afterwards: "Sloane, what story did papa read to you?"
"What did Jesus do?"
"He danced, gave flowers to a girl, and washed feet!" When she said 'danced' she did a little body wriggle to demonstrate.
"I love Jesus!" She bursts out.
8. My sister told me that her and Sloane were playing with her stuffed animals, namely her sheep and bear. Sloane was favoring the sheep by giving it a blanket and toys and when my sister voiced discontent from the bear, Sloane picked up the sheep and whispered in its ear, "You have to share!"
9. Out of nowhere, she leans over, puts her arms around my neck and hugs my head tight. Then she holds my face while she gives me a kiss on the cheek. She repeats this several times. It's the sweetest thing. "Thanks honey," I say, my insides warming up. I was pretty tired and I told her so. She peered into my face and after a moment's thought, "Mommy, you're the baby, and I'm the momma." And she proceeds to take on the self-appointed role: giving me reassuring pats, nuzzles and hugs, and a few more sweet kisses on the cheeks and forehead; things that I do when I am tucking her in.
10. Last night, as I was putting her to bed, she exclaimed to me, "Cuddle me, mommy, cuddle me!" I was happy to oblige.