Kara has been masterfully keeping this blog updated, tonight I felt it was time for daddy to contribute a post (or two).
I have always enjoyed two year olds. Maybe it's the age I relate to best. Two is fun, two is the border between complete dependence and belief that you should be independent. Personalities come out at two. Humor comes out at two. Crazy development of speech, remembering song tunes, counting, potty training comes at two (Annika is going strong on day 5 of potty training, she is a little champion- no accidents in 3 days).
Two also welcomes in strong will, defiance, mischief. Two brings testing limits. Two can be tiring, test your patience. With Annika, we have enjoyed/ encountered all the above. With Annika, the strong will is there, we have out battles, but they are quickly getting fewer and further in between. I marvel at what an amazing job Kara does with her. That girl doesn't get away with much!
The reality is, I love Annika at this age. While she is still putting words together amidst her own language, she communicates just fine. I love watching her nod her head to music. We will be playing Play Doh at the table and we will be listening to Jack Johnson, a Curious George song will come on and within the first 8 notes she will point behind her and say, "George." The next song to come on will be something random and within the same amount of time she will casually say, "No George." Yes babe, you know your music.
I love the fact that she would rather read and play than watch tv. She hardly cares to watch tv anymore, she would rather do 30 laps of barreling through our bathroom to me at the foot of the bed and have me throw her over my shoulder onto the pillows. I love that she HAS to close the door by the bathroom and stand wedged in the corner of our counter until I count to three before she will start running.
I love coming into her room in the evening before going to bed to see her crib completely in shambles, her body somehow contorted over blankets, books and pillows, and I just marvel at how much she reminds me of her mother. I love walking into her room in the morning when she calls for mommy and daddy and when she sees me she immediately yells daddy and then quickly follows with a finger over her mouth and "shhhhhh, mommy," because she knows there is a good chance that mommy is asleep from working the night before, or Audrey is still sleeping and we shouldn't wake her up.
I love how Annika is learning how to be a big sister. How she already knows that Audrey looks up to her, and that by being goofy she can get the smiles and giggles out of her sister that no one else can. I love that having a sister is teaching her to share her things, her mommy, and sometimes her personal space.
I marvel at how she is wired. How on one hand she can completely destroy her bed, make her hair and face a mess, yet at the same time have this uncanny need for order. She will start singing "Clean up, clean up," go into the pantry, pull out the swiffer and get busy without any prompting. She will put away toys because she is done with them without us saying a word. If I pull out a Clorox wipe, she runs to me and says, "clean, clean" because she wants to help and wipe down the counter. I love how much she is an extrovert, how she LOVES people, until she is done and must go home (again, her mother). I love when she gets unravelled she will calm down if you pray with her.
While not always easy, Annika at two has been awesome. Kara is an awesome mom, and I am a lucky dad.