Stella turned two years old last week, during our beach vacation. She’s still singing happy birthday to herself, talking about birthday cake, and reminiscing about blowing out candles and good times with her “Happy Birthday balloon with smiley faces.” The balloon was accidentally released into the sky, but the sight of it drifting to ever more impossible heights pleased everyone, including Stella, and somehow seemed appropriate and celebratory. I know what you’re thinking. “How nice!” and “Hopefully no sea animals were killed by the balloon remnants.”
So Stella’s two now. All of sudden, she talks in complete sentences, giving crucial information, and answering questions. (Yeah, she shouts commands, but mastered that long ago. I guess they’re just more specific now.) Though she can string words together like a champ, it’s the short one-liners I enjoy most. Must be the advertising copywriter in me. Some examples of dialogue:
Me, in response to her crying: “What’s wrong?”
Stella: “My belly hurts! And my knee.”
Me: “Where are your glasses?”
Stella (walks over to the table, where her specs sit): “Right there!”
Stella: “I’m running! I’m running down the street!”
Me: “Yes you are running! Running down the street!”
Stella (returning to room after leaving for 5 seconds): “I’m BACK!”
Now that Stella is two, she treats her glasses with more care. She usually takes them off with two hands and carefully folds them before handing them to me. We switched to using magic tape over her right lens, instead of a solid patch, at her ophthalmologist’s suggestion. That’s made patching harder, I think because her right eye is still getting input but it’s really bad input, instead of being totally blocked out. But overall, she’s patching like a champ. When she peeks over the top of the glasses, I say “No peeking,” and that usually stops it at least for a little while. I use screen time as the “patch game”… so if she peeks while watching say, “Here Comes Science” DVD, I say “No peeking,” and if she peeks again, I turn off the TV and say, “You’re peeking so the patch game is over.” It works pretty well! Stella’s doctor was very helpful in coming up with strategies like these.
Stella really likes to nap. She asks to nap often. I’ve heard patching causes strain that can make kids cranky and tired. Plus, we went on a long vacation that involved a three-hour time change. In any case, this kid knows when she’s tired, and I totally appreciate that.
Her raw/giant-carrot-chomping phase seems to have waned, but Stella is now eating lemons like they’re apples, waxy rind and all. Her current favorite foods are: chocolate ice cream, mac and cheese, vanilla ice cream, extra cheesy mac and cheese, sliced almonds, peaches, cheese in any form, ice cream, cottage cheese, bagels, and carrots. And ice cream and mac and cheese. We are so alike in some ways.
We gave her a really cute wooden play kitchen center thingee for her birthday. She loves it–washing dishes and putting lids on pots, turning stove knobs, and removing the faucet. I’ve been letting her play with dried beans and bowls and my large kitchen utensils for a while. She’s really kicking things up a notch now and pretending to cook. Though she hasn’t made anything but mac and cheese yet, I expect her to branch out soon, menu-wise.
Stella is completely, 110% obsessed with the aforementioned “Here Comes Science” DVD featuring music videos for science-centric songs by They Might Be Giants (TMBG). Against my idealistic intentions, I let her watch it every day, because it’s an effective way of launching the “eye patch game” (the game? wearing her patch). During vacation, she watched it two or three times a day. She watched more TV that week than the rest of her life combined. She was teething, jet-lagged, patching, and got a fever and gastro bug, so I just let her go nuts with it (though at times I really did just have to start cutting her off). It was all worth it because now I get to hear appropriately bespectacled Stella belt out scientific yet catchy gems such as:
“ROY G. BIV is a colorful man!”
“STEEEEEAM is a GAS!”
“Meet the elemeeeeeents!”
She is fiery and fabulous and has me by the balls. She’s sweet and strong and fast as lightening. She’s a ruthless tyrant and cuddly snuggler. A monkey and a mastermind. She’ll read book after book after book until the cows come home, then happily “moo” right along with them. I may be diagnosed with severe OCD for admitting this, but I say, mostly in my head but sometimes out loud, at least hundred times a day in the exact same way, “I sure do love my Stelly girl.” I really, really, really do.
For your enjoyment, in celebration of Stella’s 2nd birthday, here are the “music videos” (do they still call them that?) corresponding with the lyrics above:
ROY G. BIV
MEET THE ELEMENTS
SOLID LIQUID GAS
I’ll post a birthday pic