Thursday, July 3, 2008

A very serious post about Berit. Seriously.

Here's a big post about my girl Berit, mostly for her benefit but it might be comforting for other moms to see and know that they aren't alone in the Terrible Twos: Girl Edition.

Berit is nearly 2 1/2 years old, and is proud to tell you this information while holding up two fingers and beaming. She loves being two, and is very curious about her friends' ages. I think this comes with becoming a big sister -- she's the Big Girl now, and can do things that babies can't. 

Berit has given herself a number of nicknames, which I'll spell phonetically, for obvious reasons: Beebee-o, Bee-bo, B, Beboly-bobily, Beep, and the lovely B-O. We also call her Lovebug and Honeybee. 

She's a sensitive child, which is a nice way to say she's moody and quick to find fault with any given situation. Just this afternoon at the park, I opened the bag holding her PB+J, and she had a full-on meltdown because she didn't want it open. Not because SHE wanted to open it. Not because she didn't want to eat the sandwich (she did want to eat it). She just didn't want the bag open, and especially not by me. If she wakes in the middle of the night (which she does quite often), there's no whimpering and then drifting back to sleep. It's a full-on, wake everyone up, check for a fever, need a new cup of water, are there pins in the bed poking her? kind of wakefulness. 

But she's also a very kind, sweet, smart girl. I know all moms say this about their children, but in Berit's case, each one of these qualities is well thought-out by her and deliberate. She quietly observes friends playing before deciding what she'd like to do, and very rarely tries to get involved in play (common for this age, I think). (Though with her cousins she does actively participate, which is strange, because she sees them less frequently than her friends. Cute for us adults to watch, and extra happy get-togethers for all.)

She makes sure everyone has what they need and takes very good care of her toys. She's the kind of kid for whom a dollhouse, baby buggy and cradle and kitchen are great toys. She never mixes her toys up -- in other words, we rarely find a kitchen toy mixed in with her dollhouse toys, or an upstairs toy downstairs (except babies, which go anywhere and everywhere). She loves to sing and knows probably 100 songs or so. We counted one time and got pretty close to 100, and she's since learned a few more. She is teaching herself letters, because she knows a few and words that start with them, and I haven't done a thing regarding this. (Brag: The other day she said, "Donut. Donut is D, like Daddy and dog.") (She loves donuts in a big way.)

She's all girl and loves to play dolls, dress-up and read. She also loves anything athletic, especially extreme sports with Daddy. 

She has a "blanka," which is one of my old t-shirts that she carries everywhere if possible, and even tucks into the neck-hole of her shirts if she's too busy to carry it with her hands. She also has an elephant that's very, very special, and her favorite color is green. In fact, she tries to be dressed in green whenever possible, and any choice she has will be a green one, if it's an option. We don't know how this happened, but it's been Green Machine for a very long time now, with no end in sight.

She hates sleeping, and sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night furious that she has fallen asleep and refuses to go back to sleep. This is fun for the whole family, since her wails are never in a nice inside voice, and wake up Marta, who actually likes to sleep but if she's awakened during the night, thinks she needs to be up for a full two hours before going back down. 

B also hates having her hair brushed, the getting clean part of baths, sunscreen and bug spray, when we do anything for her that she could possibly do for herself, pooping, getting messy and any rushing to do anything.

She loves strict order (all of her jibbitz must be turned the proper way on her crocs, her buckles must be just so, toys need to be arranged perfectly, etc.), rules that make things nice for everyone involved (taking turns with toys, for example), swings, swings, swings, chapstick, water and make-believe.

We call her serious, because she is. Ever since she was a baby she's been more thoughtful than anything else. Even when she was born she didn't cry, didn't fuss, just looked around and took everything in. We play a game where we say, "Get serious. Get serious!" while we make serious faces until we all crack up.

She pretends she's stoic but needs cuddles forced upon her. She wants total freedom but craves structure. She is desperate to do everything herself but needs adults to step in at exactly the right time to avoid a meltdown that could ruin her day entirely. If she's not learning , she asks for it. She makes up adorable names for people, animals and toys (examples: One doll is named CeCe Bingo. A dog is named Cooking.).

She is fun, fun, fun, and I often wish I had the time to just focus on her happiness for days on end, because I would love to see her just blossom under the attention. She gets mad at me for splitting my focus between her and her sister, and for days will avoid me or be grumpy with me, until she finally crumbles in my lap with hugs and won't let me hold Marta. 

I'm so happy she was my first baby, and she'll always have a really special, lovely place in my mind because of it. Not that my other child(ren) won't be special and I don't love her more, etc. etc. But she has taught me so much, and I think we figured out this parenting thing together, more than my learning to do it on my own. 

Trevor just reminded me that the other day she said, "What a mess. Holy cow." This is significant because she's so order-minded. While we were at his parents' house, she went over to the rugs where everyone's shoes were, and lined them all up. She then went to her cousin Annie's crocs and lined up all of her jibbitz, just like she lines up her own. Hmm... will I be writing a post about this in the future, possibly looking for a therapist?

1 comment:

camtaysmom said...

thanks, lisa, for the laugh-out-loud, smile-till-your-cheeks-hurt account of your darling daughter! there are so many big girl/boy -isms, aren't there?
-- shelly gudmunsen