Growing Up

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I recently saw somebody on-line ask about the difference between a “young two” (ie, a kid who’s just turned two years old) and an “old two” (one who’s nearing three years old) — and, of course, it’s huge. I mean, M is right in the middle, but it’s incredible how much she’s changed over the last six months. She took so long to start talking; I didn’t write down a list of her vocabulary when she turned two, but when she was 21mos, the only words she said spontaneously were “yeah”, “socks”, and a version of “no”. THAT sure has changed! (Parents of late talkers take heart!)

She’s discovering the magic of letters and words right now — I was surprised to find out a couple of months ago that she knew how to spell her name. (We hadn’t worked on it, but I guess she’d heard me spell it out loud enough times that it’d stuck.) She’s added a couple of words to her spelling repertoire (“Mommy” and “baby”) and is working on the pet names. It’s mostly an exercise in memorization at this point, but as you can see, she knows that the letters have shapes as well as names. I scrambled up the letters of her name this morning, and she quickly put them in the correct order. (Top to bottom, because that’s “like Chicka Boom Boom tree”.)

When I was scooping the cats’ litter boxes last night, M came out to get me and said she was playing “at the doctor” and asked me to play too. She has a Playmobil hospital set that doesn’t get a LOT of use, but every now and then she really enjoys it. I didn’t realize until we’d been playing for a while that she was using the play as a way to work through her recent medical procedure (nothing too dramatic, thankfully). I was the doctor and the nurse, and each of her Paw Patrol pups had to have a check up. It was really interesting to see how focused she was as I did each “check up”, waiting to hear whether each pup was healthy (they all were). I’d read about the importance of role-play games like that in helping kids process events/emotions, but I was surprised that M initiated it. She’s growing up so fast!

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