Our "baby" is just a week away from her second birthday, and every day with that girl in the house is a new adventure. You would think that after going through this stage with three others, we would know what to expect when it comes to living with a 2-year-old. Not so.
This girl is full of life. She is learning so many things so quickly that it keeps us all busy trying to stay one step ahead of her. One of the unique things about her is her absolute adoration for baby dolls.
Her big sister has a big basket full of baby dolls that have barely been played with. Jayda has taken over this stash, and she lovingly cares for each of the babies, as well as a toddler can.
She often carries one under each arm as she walks around the house. One of the babies might be hanging upside down by a foot by the time she makes it down the stairs, but she coos, "Aww, ba-by," in such a sweet way that it would melt even a plastic heart. She cuddles and rocks the sweet baby in her little mama arms and then one second later throws it full force onto the hard-wood floor, its head making a loud, "Bang!" on impact.
We started allowing her to sleep with a baby doll about a month ago. Each night, she demands that more and more babies be placed in her crib with her, until she now has about 10 dolls lined up at the end of her crib. Each one must be carefully tucked into bed under their blanket before she will relent and go to sleep herself.
She usually wakes up in the morning screaming because SOMEONE! has tossed all of the baby dolls over the rail and they are lying on the floor too far for this sweet, loving toddler mom to reach.
But one of the babies stands out among the others as the most beloved of the plastic-headed children. Jayda has no way of knowing that this baby is a prized Bitty Baby from the American Girl Store, but she must have a sixth sense for the best in baby dolls.
When Jayda's big sister was about 4 years old, she gave this baby the name, "Dasher." (We have no idea why.) And even though Jayda STILL calls all three of her older siblings the same name — "Ah-bee" (as in "Everybody") — she clearly calls her baby doll, "Dash."
She carries Dasher around under one arm and carries her baby doll sleeper under the other arm. Dozens of times throughout the day, she hands me the sleeper and hands me the doll and demands, "Clothes!" Just as I'm about to close the velcro on the back of Dasher's outfit, she screams, "NO!" and pulls the outfit back off.
So, Dasher spends most of her day in nothing but the cloth fabric that makes up her torso. Jayda loves to put wet washcloths on her head and when she does, she insists on putting one on Dasher as well. Here's a photo of the two of them in their, "HOT!" (Hat!)
Today, before the toddler could give me Dasher's sleeper and insist I put it on before ripping it off, I found a babydoll outfit in the basket of baby stuff. Jayda had never seen Dasher in this outfit, and I could tell she was quite impressed to see her baby doll dressed in such cute American Girl style. This lasted about an hour.
That was when Jayda brought me Dasher and began yelling, "Clothes!" This time, however, she was pulling at her own clothes. She screamed and jumped and gestured and yelled until I took off her clothes. Then she pointed at her diaper and yelled, "Pee! Pee!" until I removed the dry diaper.
Then she pointed at Dasher and insisted, "Pants! Pants" pointing to her own legs. She would not be satisfied until I took the doll-sized pants off the baby and put them on the her.
I wish I could publish the whole photo so you could see her facial expression. But here she is with the baby doll pants around her ankles. She would not give up on wearing them until she had fallen down several times trying to walk around like that.
And that, my friends, is a day with our 2-year-old. Always an adventure. Always something new. Sometimes a little frustrating. Often crazy. Always a laugh.