I have to admit that almost three is perhaps my favorite age so far with Elise. Just two was not. But she now is pretty much potty trained and buckles herself in the car. And "reads" herself books. Her most animated conversations are on the play phone to Mimi and Papa and to Grandma, but she's still strangely silent when she actually talks to them. The other day I heard the rustle of cellophane in the kitchen and found her sitting on the stool she'd pulled up to the pantry to get the bag of chips I'd placed out of her reach. "Chips are healthy food." she sunnily announced while nodding her head in hopes that I'd nod mine as well.
We made our monthly trip to the mall that houses the Australian Wal-mart equivalent and the Boffa beauty salon. She sat quietly while I got my hair washed, cut and styled, but insisted on pushing her own buggy once we were done. Trips to the mall are a big occasion for her and something that we've only recently recommenced after a brief outing had me, cursing like a sailor (but only in my head) as I hauled out a squealing, squirming toddler that had fallen to pieces (while holding a lolly) because I simply refused to pay money for her to ride the Wiggles carousel when there was a free and functional escalator right next to it. I grew up going to rodeos that featured the greased pig contest. The object was to catch a piglet they'd poured vegetable oil on, put it in a bag and bring it to the middle of the arena. Who knew such a contest had a practical adult application. Malls are difficult places to have really affirming experiences with your child, and I'd given up for awhile, but eventually, like childbirth the memory faded and we tried again.
And today, generally, went well. She is after all, nearly three. She oooed and aaaahed at the little bunnies, but then seemed content to move on. We even passed by the Wiggles carousel with only the mildest of protestations. She looked overly precocious as she gently pushed her hair out of her way before sipping her baby-chino. But then as a reminder that she is just two, when I gave her half of my muffin, she sank into a tantrum. she wanted the whole thing.