So much has happened. Life does not stop...for anything. Israel is now two years old; he is two in every sense of the word. I have decided that whining and throwing fits just happens and hope parenting can at least control the duration of the phase. We're about one week in and so far everyone is alive, if no better than that. These are the days that feel long and the days I have to remind myself why I love my job. To illustrate, here are a couple conversant moments from recent days:
First thing in the morning:
Me: Israel, who do I like? (I ask questions like this all the time and Israel usually answers, "Izoo!")
Israel: No. I NOT...like...Mommy.
First thing another morning:
Israel: [climbs onto my lap] I hnuggle.
Me: You want to snuggle me?
Emotions are tough things to learn about and master. Staying home with your two-year-old teaches you that we don't necessarily get much better at it as we get older. He messes up and has melt-downs. I mess up and have melt-downs (of a different sort, thankfully!). Israel and I have to apologize to each other sometimes. Here come a lot of lessons in self-control and patience for us both!
On the positive end (as though learning self-control and patience was not a good thing in the end), Israel seems to be fairly generous for a two-year-old. We have had several friends' birthdays lately and he enjoys giving presents to people. He voluntarily shares his toys with Eden. Of course, he also claims, "Mines!" about things here and there, but seems to be more naturally inclined not to be "stingy." If I'm having a hard time getting the house clean, I can enlist his help by asking him to help make Daddy happy when he comes home. He loves that idea. Israel also seems inclined to do what is polite (with the exceptions of hugging people and saying hello to someone's face rather than after they're gone). He often says, "Thank you," without being prompted. He compliments food he likes by saying, "Thank you, Mommy. It good! Very nice! I like it!" On his birthday, I told him the polite thing to do when people tell him "Happy Birthday," is to say, "Thank you." He went around all day, saying, "I tell people...Thank you!" It is fun to watch virtues emerge. There are flowers among those thorns!
As for Eden, she continues to be sweet as can be. She can fully sit up on her own (though I am happy to report that she still also does the "senior portrait" sitting-up pose often) and is eating solid food. Thus far, she has liked everything: rice cereal, oatmeal cereal, avacado, and pears. On Israel's second birthday, she turned six months old. On that very day, she began to crawl in earnest and now can make her way from the front of the house to the back of it if she is so inclined. There was almost no teaching her these things. My girl can do whatever she puts her mind to doing.
As she becomes more mobile, I get to see new areas of her personality developing. There is much toppling over these days and, while she can sometimes handle it just fine, she seems pretty sensitive over some little things. When she reaches a small barrier or feels she may be stuck in any way, she cries as though the world would end that moment. Her cries are some of the saddest, "Why is this happening to me?" cries I have ever heard. While Israel's cries nearly always came off as mad, Eden's nearly always come off as heart-broken. Those of you who have seen it can testify: She'll break your heart.
I do not cease to be amazed by how very different my two children are from each other. I enjoy watching their two personalities interact and wonder how they will shape each other as they grow. I think they will be good foils for each other.