If I’d Only Known…

My beautiful sister-in-law Kristen suggested that I blog about Ella being two so that she’d know what to expect with J.J. (he turns 2 at the end of this month).  I’ve spent several days mulling this over…

Let me start with this… I worked in a Private Preschool for a couple of years about 10 years ago.  For about a year, I was the lead teacher in a classroom with kids ages 12 months – 24 months.  I loved that room.  I loved those kids.  Then, after we had two teachers leave for lunch one day and not return (shouldn’t the fact that they were carrying boxes out been a clue?), I got popped up into the 3-year-old classroom.  I worked in the 3’s class for about four months until an Assistant Director position came open at another location under the same company.  I interviewed and with amazing references from one of two bosses in my lifetime that I have adored, I got the job – meaning I left my boss I loved and went to work for the worst boss I have ever had.  Seriously.
In my six months as an Assistant Director I was consistently left “out of ratio” – however I always worked it out to be watching the school age kids in the front room while toting a baby from the nursery (keeping all the other rooms “in ratio”).  It was incredibly stressful.

That said… do you notice which age group I NEVER EVER worked with?

Yep – the two-year-olds…

I was completely unprepared to be the mother of a two-year-old.  C.o.m.p.l.e.t.e.l.y. U.n.p.r.e.p.a.r.e.d.
I’m just now finding my bearings for this year and we’re less than two months away from her 3rd birthday.

What do I wish I’d known… I’d heard that three is worse than two and from that time in the 3s class, I can tell you that (in my opinion) – it is true.  She has not nearly been as bad as several kids who still haunt me…

Things we’ve accomplished at two: 
That catching snowflakes is one of the best parts of winter

That it is fun to save money

That heartbreak comes at any age… (giving up Nuks will always be her first)

Learning how to walk the dog (though that job doesn’t last all they way through the neighborhood yet)
*can’t find the picture!

How to garden with her daddy…
How to walk on a balance beam
That road trips to visit family is worth the car ride
How to properly hold a guitar 
(can’t wait for her to be big enough to hold one that will play & take lessons)
 That vacations with family are the best!
To climb stairs without giving her mom a heart attack
That carousels are fun and not torture

How to “fall” into a pool, turn around and find the side without drowning 
(still with supervision, though)

A bit about the family tree – Mommy is mommy, Mac is mommy’s mommy, GG is Mac’s mommy
(and that EE counts as an extra grandmother)

That costumed creatures are still REALLY freaky- Cmor, Barney, Cat in the Hat, George…
all good from a distance and with Amy & Jackson in the middle

Being able to do crafts… with glue… and only make a minimal mess

Walking through the Zoo or Maymont without a stroller and without having to be carried 
(just did this).

That babies live in tummies first…
(though actually being pregnant is not required – Ella often has a baby in hers)
And that holding babies requires one to be very, very careful…

That we live in a neighborhood (and that we are in OUR neighborhood when we get here)

Learning how to take our diaper off in bed-with or without poop in it 
(she did this again last night – no poop)

Do you know what my Pre-school program did with the two year olds?
They potty trained them.
By the time those kids got to the 3’s room, they were already using the potty.

Things we have NOT accomplished at two:

I’m pretty sure that this will get accomplished at 3.

Kristen, I really wish I had known how cool it would be to watch my own child (not someone I’m paid to watch) learn new things.  There are days when I hand her to Jeff as he walks in the door and take time for me.  There are days when if someone touches me or pulls on me one more time, I’m going to scream.  
I wish I had known just how whiny a two-year-old can be.  
And that “whiny” is a tone… not just an action.

That said, every day that she says something incredibly smart or does something she has never done before (like putting her pants back on after she takes her diaper off in bed… pretty impressive) I am glad that she’s two and able to tell me what she wants and verbalize her thoughts.

I’m sure there is more to share… but it about time for her to get up from her (no longer every day) nap.  Two has been difficult, but I’m afraid of three.
Ask me again in a year and I’ll let you know…