I had read once that the American Academy of Pediatricis was recommending well visits at 30 months to screen for developmental delays (read more here http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/118/1/405). As a parent of two kids under 5, I can honestly say that I never scheduled my 30 month visit. What I did notice (and subsequently reinforced my decision not to go in at 30 months) is the incredible progression and development that occurs between 18, 24, and 30 months.
At 18 months my kids began to make choices about what they wanted to eat, drink. It became easier to follow them around the playground.
At 24 months they began to play independently. They’d pick up make believe toys – princess dolls, babies, dinosaurs, or trains, and use their imagination to interact with them. They began to play with friends and started to delineate their favorite playmates from the other kids in their class.
And oh boy, that 30 month mark. They become a little person. Concepts, reasoning, full sentences. Personalities blossoming, skills developing, baby diminishing. Morgan is less than two weeks away from becoming 2 1/2. The other night she started talking to us. Really talking to us, not just saying words. I’d pick her up from school and ask about her day.
“I played with R*. We played baby dolls. We played outside. Jake was outside and went down the slide”.
She will be sitting with us and randomly decide to start in on a story. Even my husband noticed the other night. He looked at her and said “Wow, you can really talk.” It was like it happened overnight.
Today she tried to comfort a new kid at school who was having a rough transition. According to her teacher, Morgan picked up the girl’s binky, brought it to her, and rubbed her back, saying “Don’t cry. You have to use your big girl words. You are ok. Binkies belong home with your mama and dada”. Yeah, we were doing great up until that last sentence – I’m sure she was a bit jealous of the binky since it’s been months since she’s even seen hers. But you get the point.
We were now facing reality. Our toddler is in transition from a toddler to a preschooler. She is a sweet, crazy and fun little girl. No longer a baby.
The power of these months is amazing. You don’t realize how fast the time is going until one day your child starts using the word “because” appropriately – stringing together two concepts to create a full and comprehensive sentence. Or the day she starts telling you stories about her friends, real stories, not just made up gibberish. Or the day that she doesn’t want to be picked up out of bed, she wants to get out herself. She wants to change her own pull up, clothes, zipper her own coat.
It’s on these days that you reflect back to all those moments that you (yes, I’ll admit it) wished time away. Wishing that she’d potty train. Wishing she could tell you what she needed. Wishing that she didn’t want to be held all day long. And while as a mom, you didn’t wish these things all the time, you now wish those thoughts had never crossed your mind. You wish that she could have stayed a baby, snuggled into your shoulder, just soaking up the mama love – perfectly content to be a baby.
But then you balance the sad regrets with the excitement that your baby is becoming a person and the fun is just beginning. If she’s this much fun now, I can only imagine how much more fun we’ll have as she nears three!