It’s almost two weeks late, but I didn’t want to let my Bean’s second birthday go by unmarked.
She is such an interesting child. She is so determined. I think her biggest daily goal is to keep up with her big sister, and it doesn’t EVER occur to her that she won’t be able to do something that her big sister can do.
Whatever Monkey does, Bean does. When Monkey runs, Bean runs. When Monkey jumps, Bean jumps. When Monkey climbs, Bean climbs. When Monkey screams, Bean screams. One time Monkey jumped up in the air and Bean mimicked her so instantaneously that I couldn’t help but laugh.
A few weeks ago we went to a local indoor activity gym with a giant climbing obstacle. Bean ran right in there after Monkey and Monkey’s friend, and managed to climb up the first few obstacles by herself. Eventually the spaces between the levels got a little too tall for her legs and she cried while I looked on from the floor level. She wasn’t crying because she was scared though. She was crying because she was mad. Monkey had gotten so far ahead of her and she couldn’t keep up.
Monkey, bless her heart, came back and gave Bean a boost at each next level.
The girl has no fear.
This past weekend we went to the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, which has a gigantic indoor water park. In the center of the park, was an expansive multi-level kids play area with slides as tall as 20 feet.
This is what it looked like.
We no more than walked over to it, and Bean was already making her way to the top. The very top. Like, I was literally running through this thing to keep up with her. She got all the way to the top, pushed past the line of 5-, 6, and 7-year-old kids waiting for the tallest slides, and stood expectantly in front of the lifeguard who nodded at her and motioned her over towards the yellow slide to which she casually walked over, sat down, and went. I got there just in time to see the lifeguard nodding at her (did he not see her push past all the other kids waiting in line??), and incredulously watched her go down like she had done it a hundred times instead of her first. I frantically started waving to Husband who was 20 feet below that she was on her way down. The pool at the bottom of the slide was only six inches deep, and the slides were okay for kids as young as her, but still! She just took off and didn’t wait for anyone’s approval or permission.
A little too brave for her own good, if you ask me.
She also followed her sister up this rope wall without any hesitation, and mastered it after the second attempt.
I think her favorite word is “Me!” As in, whatever Monkey says she wants to do, or we tell Monkey she can do, Bean is right there to echo “ME!” because she wants in too.
I think Bean will be the type of child who constantly is emulating her big sister. And given that Monkey is a natural leader, I think it will be a good thing. I feel very blessed that their “short” age gap (just under two years) has led them to be the best of friends. They’re always looking out for one another.
Bean remains loving and empathetic as she tends to her babies, and while she can be very cuddly and clingy, she won’t give up kisses and hugs when she’s in a stingy mood.
She has more interest in reading books (by herself), and still wants to color and draw like her big sister.
She’s never been a real big “entertainer,” like her sister, but we do notice her laughing and trying to make us laugh more often. I know that sounds weird, but she was never that baby who would just laugh and laugh at your silly antics. It was only six months ago that this was still her face du jour:
And she continues to challenge us in ways different from her sister. After reflecting for awhile, I think that Bean is more strong-willed than Monkey, but Monkey was no cake walk either. Monkey was the child who, when transitioned to a big girl bed, was an ABSOLUTE TERROR. Ev-er-y single night she would rip ALL of her clothes out of her drawers, scatter her books all over the room, and tear the diapers out of the box in her closet. Every night. FOR MONTHS. Bean has not done that even one single time. She mostly stays in her bed and the “worst” she’s done is gotten out of bed to read books.
Bean seems to have more of a desire to control things, have things her way, and is less willing to listen and cooperate than Monkey was at the same age. Maybe this is because she’s the second child and is constantly “keeping up” with her sister, rather than getting to choose things for herself. Maybe she wants to leave her own mark. She also seems to want to experiment with pushing the boundaries more than I recall Monkey doing. Latest case: after being potty trained for a month, she’s majorly regressed. After ruling out a bladder infection and constipation, her pediatrician and I think it boils down to peeing in her pants because she can. Because she wants to gauge our reaction. She wants control. I find it highly unlikely that she forgot her body’s cues because she still proactively asks to go to the bathroom for No. 2 and hasn’t had any poop accidents.
I have to say, that I may be putting on my rose-colored glasses when reminiscing about Monkey’s Terrible Twos. I mean, at the time I certainly remember thinking she was *extremely* challenging. I wonder now if I’m forgetting some of the most challenging parts, or if Bean really is more challenging; or, like I said, that they’re just challenging in different ways.
I’m hopeful that as her vocabulary is starting to expand, she’ll be more apt to communicate with us so we can reach compromises, rather than just throw fits and/or run away when we want her to do something.
One thing I know for sure — she is one smart kid.
Her pediatrician just reminded us this week that the traits we find most challenging — her stubbornness and desire to control, will translate into really good things later on. She definitely has a strong sense of self.
Finally, here’s a fun little thing I saw on Pinterest that I thought would be fun to do with the girls every year on their birthdays. Technically, you’re supposed to start when they turn 3, so Bean is a little young for this, but here goes:
20 Questions with Bean — Age 2
1. What is your favorite color? Pink
2. What is your favorite toy? Baby doll
3. What is your favorite fruit? Um. Nothing. The kid doesn’t eat fruit. She eats vegetables. Preferably green beans
4. What is your favorite TV show? Sesame Street
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Mac and cheese
6. What is your favorite outfit? Nothing in particular, except she has to pick it out
7. What is your favorite game? Trouble (because she likes to push the bubble)
8. What is your favorite snack? Cheese, Goldfish crackers, pretzels
9. What is your favorite animal? Dogs
10. What is your favorite song? Mr. Bassman (Laurie Berkner)
11. What is your favorite book? Duck and Goose: How are you feeling? (she loves to make the “angry” and “happy” faces)
12. Who is your best friend? Monkey
13. What is your favorite cereal? None
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Climb, swing, slide (but without getting her hands dirty)
15. What is your favorite drink? Milk
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas?
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Blanket, lovey and Curious George
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Eggs
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Mac and cheese and green beans
20. What do you want to be when you grow up? TBD