I was marveling yesterday at Cora's friend L, who is about 3 1/2 months older than Cora (L will be 3 at the end of August). She's potty trained, she talks in clear, coherent sentences, and her motor skills are excellent. It's just amazing to think that by the end of summer, that will be Cora. (Hopefully. Particularly the potty trained part.)
I've noticed that just over the past couple weeks, there's been so much improvement in Cora's language skills. Sometimes she just whips something out that totally floors me. The other day, we were in the car, and I pulled up to a stop sign (that I promptly rolled on through) and Cora shouts "OCT-ee-GONE! STAHHHHHHPPP!" I was like, whoa, nice work (little backseat driver). She's known the basic shapes for a long time now, but apparently she's moved onto more advanced ones. Today, she was talking about something involving the eggs and she used the correct verb tense (to describe something that had occurred in the past), which I hadn't noticed her doing before, so I thought that was pretty cool. Of course, the vast majority of things she says is still nonsensical, mostly because she talks nonstop. Seriously. She even talks in her sleep. So, maybe it's like monkeys and keyboards, eventually you'll get a sonnet.
Obviously she learns most of this stuff at daycare, because pretty much the only stuff she would learn from us would be random medical and legal terms, maybe some political terms, and the f-bomb. (Which, surprisingly, she hasn't said yet. Although I'm pretty sure she says "shit." Considering her friend J says "douchebag," we're eventually going to get letters home from their City daycare.) Even so, the dog still doesn't understand her, or at the very least, considers her not the alpha dog, and doesn't take commands from her. This frustrates Cora very much, because if there's one thing Cora loves to do, it's boss everyone else around.
Anyway, I'm enjoying age 2 overall, although she generally refuses to nap, either at home or in daycare, which sucks. And sometimes she'll wake up randomly at like 4 am and start knocking on her bedroom door to be let out. (Uh, noooo.) Sometimes she doesn't even make noise, but we find her asleep on the floor among all her blankets, stuffed animals and her pillow (totally weird kid). But she actually has fewer tantrums now than she did before she was 2, and we can reason with her to a certain extent when she wants something RIGHT NOW and she has to wait.
She's just a lot of fun. She's happy and enthusiastic. She's sweet and snuggly. She likes being chased around the house and tickled, and held "UP-side DOWN!" She loves to color, paint and read books. We have tea parties and when one of us (usually Husband) is cooking dinner, Cora "cooks" on her play kitchen right along with us, and then makes us take "bites." She loves to tuck us into bed, and say "night-night!" She doesn't even seem to mind when we leave and makes a big production of saying "bye-bye!" and blowing us kisses and saying "love you! mwaa!" (I'm working on getting her to say, "Ciao!")
One of her favorite jokes involves this bucket of jungle bits, it has plastic trees and some plastic jungle animals. She holds the plastic lion on top of the plastic tree and exclaims, "The lion's in the TREE! That's FUNNY!" and then laughs hysterically, because, duh, lions don't go in trees. (No clue where that came from.) We finally got her in kindermusik (which we pay extra for at daycare -- big ripoff, but she loves it) because she was taking my candlestick holders and pretending they're trumpets and marching around the house "tooting" them. So now she gets actual noisy instruments and my candlesticks are usually left alone. Baby Ballet apparently went better this Saturday (I missed it, I was sick in bed). She jumped in a lot quicker and had a good time. So, hopefully, the Easter break won't spoil the progress.
A big week ahead for Cora. She has yet another egg hunt at school, and an Easter party (I have to remind Husband to bring cheese). This is one of the times that I regret not working in the City, because I would love to go watch the egg hunt, and eat cheese with the munchkins. But, that's okay. We've had two egg hunts already, I guess I can live without a third (and the cheese). So cute though!
Anyway, that's life with our toddler. Remarkably well-adjusted being raised by us! Hopefully once the semester's over, we'll all get to spend more time together as a family. Honestly, though, the two nights a week away from the kid aren't that bad. I miss her, but it could certainly be worse. After I was talking to the wife of a City attorney at a mid-size firm who was complaining he works at least 70 hours a week and he is rarely home in time for their daughter's bedtime, and he works every Saturday, I didn't feel so guilty. It's a tough job market, and even more demands are being made on associates because firms can get away with it. So, I'm lucky that three nights a week, I get off work between 4 and 5pm and get to hang out with my kid. And even if I need to do work on the weekends, so far it hasn't been enough that I can't work on it during naptime (when naptime actually happens) or after bedtime. I work late on the two nights I'm on my own, so I don't have to work late the other nights. It's a trade-off, but one I'm satisfied with at the moment.
And speaking of work, since we're spending four days in trial this week, I've got work to do now that the munchkin's in bed. I need to get it all done because tomorrow night, Husband will be in town. Very happy about that! Also very happy that he graduates in just over a month!