Now we are two
The big day arrived. Cards and presents were opened, candles blown out on the cake, but nothing happened. We had expected a transformation in the manner of Harry Enfield’s Kevin character becoming a teenager, albeit with our one year old becoming a ‘terrible two’. Of course it doesn’t work like that; we’ve been experiencing certain characteristics of those terrible twos for some time. Now, a few weeks into her third year, we’re beginning to get a taste of what two-year-old is all about and it’s a fascinating place…

Being two is a big and bold place for Tilly. In the weeks leading up to her birthday she’s visibly transformed from being a somewhat shy figure at playgroups to being the life and soul of the place. At the moment she’s rather preoccupied by new-found feelings of ownership: “no, my toys!” being one of the regularly heard phrases but there’s all the signs of a really interesting personality developing.

Humour

Being able to share jokes is a brilliant new dynamic we now have with Tilly. The range is impressive, covering slapstick, such as tripping over things (I do that a lot, sometimes for comic effect although often unintentionally), and running jokes, where she says goodnight to my wife first in a cute voice and then in a ferocious growl. There’s a touch of comic melodrama in Tilly’s style too. If a toy is lost she’ll immediately call out “where are you?!” (as if they can hear and will shout back) and “I found it!” if located. Anything falling over can now also expect theatrical accompaniment of “oopsy daisy!” for good measure. It’s all rather fun.

Feelings

We’ve rapidly moved from a world of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to one where feelings and preferences are being expressed. “No like it” is now a commonly heard at mealtimes, although happily “like it” is now also making an appearance. If Mummy and Daddy’s programmes are on the television or radio we can now expect these to be quickly dismissed as “boring”! Tilly is also keen to tell us if she’s hurt herself or has had an accident: “Tilly hurt foot” and “Oh no! I’m wet” are now the sort of phrases that send us racing to action.

Emotional intelligence

A toddler’s world can see completely self-absorbed, and rightly so, but we’ve seen that Tilly is a really caring little person inside. For a while, if I’ve gone ‘ouch’ while checking the temperature of her food, Tilly will readily observe “Daddy burnt finger”. Today, however, she went made another leap, asking her mummy “are you alright” while bouncing up and down on her like a loon. It seems she’s already learnt that while parents may be superheroes (one tries) we are not indestructible.

Impatience

We have established a basic understand of time, comprising ‘now’ and ‘later’, although Tilly naturally demands control of both. Anything she wants must be delivered ‘now’ and anything she doesn’t is dismissed until ‘later’. Happily, she doesn’t (yet) descend into tantrums if her requests are refused.

Storytelling

One reason why Tilly possibly doesn’t have more tantrums are her excellent communication skills. Her vocabulary must stretch into several hundred words and she commonly comes out with sentences of a good half-dozen words. This is leading to narration; telling us small stories about what games she’s been playing with toys or what she’s doing that day. Her recollections can be rather hit and miss but when Tilly has a story to tell unprompted it can be rather special if at times wholly surreal.

Singing

Along with stories, Tilly has developed a small but growing repertoire of songs. Twinkle twinkle little star can now be recited in its entirety and we’re working on Miss Polly Had a Dolly. Of course when favourite songs come on at playgroup she’ll flatly refuse to sing a word but at home we’re winding bobbins and head-shoulders-knees-and-toesing with gusto.

Exploring

Tilly has generally been content not to explore cupboards, drawers and power sockets. That was until a couple of weeks ago when she attended a birthday party of a fellow two-year-old where other children were forensically analysing everything that opened. Now Tilly seems to have picked up the same idea and I can see our toddler-proofing is going to have to be stepped up a few notches pretty quickly.

Concentration

Getting 2 and 3-year-olds to focus on something for an extended period is notoriously difficult and Tilly is no exception, although we’re trying out new play ideas to add variety to her substantial but largely ignored collection of toys. A firm favourite is her shop, where she gets each of her toys to take turns to buy something – impressive for someone so otherwise opposed to the idea of sharing anything with anyone!

 

All in all it’s a brilliant time. Yes, some days you can feel as if you’ve been hit by a toddler whirlwind, but every day there are new words in use and concepts being understood with a plentiful dollop of two-year-old surrealism. The world is quite a place from down there and it’s a lot of fun being along for the ride.

 

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16 thoughts on “Now we are two

  • 8 February 2015 at 8:48 am
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    happy birthday to your little one! sounds likes she’s doing great, agree with you about the communication I found with both my older girls that the tantrums usually came from not being able to express themselves and around the 2 year mark the more talkative they got the less tantrums we saw from them! #sundaystars

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    • 9 February 2015 at 8:49 am
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      It would be great if Tilly being a chatterbox will keep tantrums at bay. So far not doing badly at all. Thanks for popping by!

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  • 8 February 2015 at 9:53 am
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    happy birthday! I’m loving 2 so far, the singing and actions of twinkle twinkle, the love he gives, the way he laughs uproariously, the jokes, the caring nature and getting us “need ice mummy” if we hurt ourselves (from a well aimed toddler headbutt usually!)

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    • 9 February 2015 at 8:50 am
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      This weekend has been filled with hilarious moments with Tilly; it’s such a time for new developments and a colourful personality emerging. Really looking to the coming months ‘terrible twos’ or not! Thanks for visiting.

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  • 8 February 2015 at 9:04 pm
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    2 is such a wonderful age. Twinkle twinkle is still one of our favourites and I think it was one of the first ones my three could song too. #sundaystars

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    • 9 February 2015 at 8:52 am
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      Singing is lovely as we can all join in songs together. Thanks for visiting.

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  • 8 February 2015 at 10:27 pm
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    Happy birthday, Tilly! Enjoy this year – sure, there may be an element of terrible twos but with each of our kids we’ve found that it’s also an amazing period where in terms of physicality, speech and personality they grow faster than at perhaps any other time in their young lives. It’s an amazing time – and it passes so fast, so enjoy every moment!

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    • 9 February 2015 at 8:53 am
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      Thanks Tim. You’re right, there’s a lot happening each and every day and being part of those discoveries is so special. We’ll do our best to savour every moment!

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  • 8 February 2015 at 11:38 pm
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    Happy Birthday Tilly – sounds like she is a little cutie, what are you on about ‘terrible’?! Can’t wait until Baby L turns into Toddler L and we can share the type of things that you listed. Enjoy buddy! 🙂

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    • 9 February 2015 at 8:55 am
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      There’s not much terrible twos going on to be fair. She’s incredibly bossy and quite authoritarian but very little in the way of tantrums compared to the stories you hear. On the flip side every day contains lots of fun and often hilarious moments. It is very full on though, so don’t wish away those (relatively) quiet baby days just yet 😉

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  • 9 February 2015 at 8:59 pm
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    Happy birthday to Tilly. Your daughter sounds wonderful. I love the sound of the little stories she tells. That is so cute. My daughter is 21 months old and is so delightful. Her language is amazing and everyday she comes out with new words and little sentences. I can’t wait to see what she is like in a few months time. Thanks for linking up with #SundaysStars. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

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  • 11 February 2015 at 8:37 pm
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    Awwww – happy birthday Tilly. I know they’re meant to be little nightmares at this age, but I loved it with my first. Such a new world opening up to them. My second will be two at the end of March and I was nodding along in agreement to everything you said. So lovely. Great post. Thanks so much for linking up to #SundayStars Steph xxx

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  • 17 February 2015 at 10:43 am
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    What a great post. I love how with speech relationships can change and with it you see ever more personality. I’m hoping this is the direction we are moving in x

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    • 17 February 2015 at 5:20 pm
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      We’re hoping that her speaking well may help minimise tantrums. Time will tell!

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  • 17 February 2015 at 4:38 pm
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    Happy Birthday Tilly! Your little lady sounds like she has a lovely character, full of happiness too. The next year will bring even more developments for her, I’m looking forward to reading about them 🙂
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

    Reply
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