2 and 7/12 (and a little bit more)

So, Laurel is 2 and a half now. Very much into doing her own thing, her own way, on her own timeline. Shrieks and howls will alert you if something you are doing is interfering with what she had in mind. She amazes me daily. Today, she correctly identified all the vegetables coming out of the CSA basket - differentiating between kale and lettuce, and somehow knew what a garlic scape was. Of course, she's been able to tell the difference between maple, oak and sycamore trees for months now. It's all in the leaf. She's potty training. She's too smart for us, and I think she's drawing it out so that she can get jelly beans. The games she plays are all modeled on setting up elaborate scenes of regular daily life...picnics, camping, dessert, going to bed. She's obsessed with Thomas the Tank Engine, but unlike most kids, she seems to get more of a kick out of the personalities of the trains, than trains themselves. I bought her a track, but she's unamused by setting it up and pushing trains around. She likes her trains to be either useful or getting into some kind of scrape that makes the conductor cross. (All parents of two year olds just rolled their eyes at that statement.)

I've noticed her sense of empathy has developed. We aren't a household of a lot of Because-I-Said-So rules. Occasionally I regret this, because it seems like it would just be easier to declare a lot of rules and make everybody follow them all the time, and instead we spend a lot of time explaining things and figuring out gray areas as a family. But Laurel seems aware that M and I have feelings and needs and that there are times when we can't do what she wants to do because of it...and I've been surprised to watch the temper tantrums fade away to be replaced by acts of kindness - she carries her dishes to the kitchen, for example. Not because it's a rule, but because she wants to.

I posted a picture of her, but it got zapped by the internet. In it, she's walking, alone on a path in Frick Park, and when I think back on this time, I think I'll picture her like that...a little sassy, independent skip in her step, doing her own thing.

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