One day, not too many months ago, we woke up and our sweet little daughter had been replaced by a barbarian. Eyes wide with terror, we had absolutely no idea what she would do next. Who was this creature, and what had she done with our darling daughter? Up until that day, she didn’t say a whole lot or do much out of the ordinary.
It all started with her dipping her apple slices in picante sauce (and saying “yummy!”), and it basically went downhill from there…
1. One day I could have sworn she had something dark hanging out of her nose. When I checked, it was all clear. Later, she sneezed, and out popped a rock. I was able to grab the edge of it and pull it out before she sucked it back up again.
2. Whenever we’re changing her diaper and we discover it is a super smelly messy one, we often say, “Ohhh, boy!” Well, one day, she was pretending to change her doll’s diaper, which she had never done before. She turned to me very seriously and said, “Baby diapey.” Then, looking at her baby, her eyes got wide and she said, “Ohhhhh, boy, baby!”
3. One morning my husband asked her what she wanted for breakfast, expecting to hear yogurt, or maybe cereal. Her reply? “Pickles.”
4. She has really started getting this whole imaginative play thing down. One afternoon, placing her dirty socks in a mixing bowl, she proudly displays them to me and exclaims, “Cooking socks!”
5. As I’m unloading the dishwasher one day, she grabs two glass pot lids, bangs them together, and says, “cymbals!” (Luckily, the pot lids remain intact.)
And last, but not least…
6. One day we were sitting around the kitchen table and my husband was explaining to her that mommy and daddy are married and we had a baby and you are our little girl, that sort of thing. Then, to measure her comprehension, he pointed to himself and said, “Who am I?” She paused, and said, “Baby daddy?”
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is our daughter.
It’s going to happen. One day you’re going to wake up and have a two year old. There’s no going back to those sweet infant days. Don’t let those blonde curls fool you.
(If you or a loved one has recently woken up to find that a barbarian has replaced your perfect child, don’t wait, call in the professionals. For the first few months, I was completely at a loss for how to address my barbarian in this new phase of development. Since then, I’ve read Love and Logic for Early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years. I can’t tell you how much easier it has made my life. It has taught me to be a better parent, even as my child grows up. Apparently teachers in lots of schools use Love and Logic methods in their classrooms. I can’t recommend it enough! Of all the parenting books I’ve read and loved, this one is at the very top of the list!)