By: Revanche

My kid and notes from Year 2.0

March 15, 2017

My kid in year 2.0

The Age of Un-Reason

Leaps and bounds

JuggerBaby hit age 2 with a blast of temperamental mood swings and sudden skills developing. A week before zir birthday we were still prompting, “More, what?” “Mo’ milk.” “More milk, what?” “Chz.” “Say, ‘more milk, please'” “CHZ!!!”

The day after, ze strung it all together handily into nearly civilized dinner conversation if you ignored the rice and curry dribbling down the side of the table, and the curry in zir hair, splattered when ze gesticulated with an excess of emotion: “Mo mik, chz!” “Mo wice, chz.” “Tant you, mama.” “All done!”

More phrases: “No, mama eat!”
“Gigi (Seamus), nom!” (Seamus, come)

Literacy (almost)

Ze is pretending ze can read more frequently, making noises that mimic reading as ze taps each page of the book “ah eh oooh ah ah oooh, eh eh eh.” Then ze looks at me expectantly. It’s still unclear if ze wants applause or follow-up reading. But here’s the sort of amazing overnight change: ze has a play alphabet set from my aunt and ze went from knowing where to place the “A” and the “Z” one day, to placing all the letters with confidence the next day. This is after months of playing with the letters, chewing and licking them, and getting the placement wrong 98% of the time.

I’m going to assume that the tantrums are associated with these leaps in skills and not what we can expect for the whole year.

Parenting skills

Toddlers mimic everything you do. Some parental behaviors for infants, therefore, are completely inappropriate if your goal is to nurture a toddler who isn’t a giant bully. At a gathering with friends and their kids, ranging from six months to three years, I noticed the infants’ parents grabbing things out of their hands quickly without a second thought. That’s because infants lick and chew everything. But a toddler is watching what you do, so if you grab things out of their hands routinely, this reinforces their already uncivilized propensity to grab whatever they want out of other kids’ hands.

JuggerBaby still gets into everything but thankfully ze doesn’t immediately shove it in zir gob every single time so I can be more relaxed and strategic about my responses. When ze dug into my bag of chargers and cords, rather than scolding and snatching them away, ze was directed to clear the mess. Always happy to have a task, ze helped me organize the cords. This is a 180 degree difference from how ze “helped” me at nine months (and I have the pictures of the utter wreck of a room to prove it).

Bargaining. JuggerBaby used to exercise rudimentary bargaining skills, learning to offer trades to get what ze wanted, but ze sprang a new level on me the other day.

Normally our bedtime routine is strict: dinner, bath, books, bed. But I deviated by looking for a song from daycare on my phone and ze asked for a different song when our search came up empty. It was a treat but then ze tried to push zir luck for more. “No, that was one-time treat, we’re not watching more videos.”



“Please?” + the baby sign for please.


“Ears?” Gesturing at ears.

This is a restriction I often place on listening to music on my phone: “radio-only” or “ears-only” when we are playing and ze wants music. I don’t like zir to be glued to a screen all the time. It was a clever offer – it was a compromise I was tempted to accept. But no, I’d rather we didn’t get used to using the phone as a bedtime crutch. I had to congratulate zir for being clever enough to think of negotiating terms, though. It was much better than going straight to a tantrum.

Things we bought

I was not planning to spend more in 2017 than we did in 2016. We bought formula, childcare, diapers, and a minimum of clothing. Then surprise! We were given a list of Must Haves for zir transition to the next age group in daycare. It turns out you swap bottles and formula gear from infancy for active kid gear in toddlerdom. Initially I was annoyed but most of them make sense.

Of course, I didn’t buy everything right away. We had a few weeks to get it together so I made the most of my time: did some research, scoured sales, compared new to used prices, used gift cards when I could.

Bike helmet

Daycare has tricycles in the play yard, it seems a shame not to let zir participate and, with any luck, gain some sense of coordination.
The problem is that zir head is still too small for standard kid sized helmets, so we had to spend more than I wanted to on a much smaller helmet.

My target budget was $20, the helmet we ended up with after some research on safety and fit was $27.50.


Rain boots

This makes sense, ze should be able to splash about even if it’s wet, and shouldn’t have to go around in wet shoes and socks all day.
We hadn’t gotten any rain boots because we live in drought-bound, foggy California, and it seems silly to get seasonal gear for a season that usually lasts 2 and a half days in three months. I talked to friends with kids first to see if they had any outgrown rain boots lying around, but no one did.

After seeking advice from a friend with twins, who confirmed that it was perfectly fine to buy the boots in sizes too large so they last more than a year, we visited REI to see if they had anything on clearance.  Ze tried on a pair three sizes too big for a test clomp (size 9) and LOVED it. Ze was able to get around, but they were a little TOO awkwardly oversized, so that was helpful information. We don’t want to send zir into the rain to twist an ankle! REI wanted $90 for the boots that were rated for freezing and snow weather, which is much more severe weather than we’re likely to be in, so we passed on that pair.

We bought this pair in size 8, only 2 sizes too big, from Amazon for $13.76. I had a $2 promotional credit from this offer (buy a set of 3 gift cards for $3, add at least $10 to each card, get $2 back per card), plus a $2.55 credit from a promotional credit they’d screwed up on an earlier order, bringing the total down to $10.06 after tax. That’s less than what I was seeing boots listed for, used, so I’m satisfied with that price.

Update since buying them: Ze is in love with these boots, and we’ve had an unusual amount of rain this year, so the cost per wear is already down to dimes per wear! That makes me feel much better about buying them.

:: When did you learn to ride a bike / trike? Were you a reader, growing up? Do you remember being read to by adults?

16 Responses to “My kid and notes from Year 2.0”

  1. Sense says:


    Yes, I was read to, saw mom reading constantly, also read constantly. To the point where I got in trouble at family dinners for sneaking my book in and reading under the table and scolded for reading instead of interacting at social gatherings. My serious reading addiction continues to this day.

    Had a Big Wheel, then a metal red tricycle, then training wheels bike (training wheels taken off one at a time), then normal bikes. My “fancy” several-speed purple bike even went to college with me. I never had a helmet.

    Great memories!

    Glad LB is enjoying learning and reading. Brains are amazing things.

    • Revanche says:

      I wonder if we’re able to instill that love of reading in kids by example and by reading to them so much or if we came to it naturally. <3 I, too, hid books under everything to keep reading constantly.

  2. Advances and tantrums definitely come together in our household. It does seem to be getting better as Baguette gets older, though; she’s making some wonderful strides right now, and and her mood is actually quite lovely. But when she was younger, taking those steps and regulating her mood just seemed to be too much all at once.
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    • Revanche says:

      I have to keep reminding myself that tantrums may be linked to brain development but it gets frustrating sometimes.

  3. We would also get temporary loss of potty training whenever there was a big developmental or physical change. (Sometimes still do…)
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  4. Princess Buttercup says:

    The mental image of toddler JB clonking around happily in rain boots has brought a smile to my face. Thanks!

  5. SP says:

    I really love the baby goat image you use with these posts It makes me smile every time to think about LB (and toddlers in general) similarities to goats. 🙂

    $90 for kids boots? Yikes! Glad you found a more appropriate deal.

    I don’t remember learning to ride a bike, really. I did read a lot as a kid, and I remember being read to!
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    • Revanche says:

      Yay I’m glad you get a kick out of it 🙂

      I suppose someone out here thinks $90 is a good sale price but wow is that not me.

      Would you consider yourself an avid reader as a result of your childhood reading?

  6. Sally says:

    We were on tricycles (the metal kind, not the lower to the ground plastic kind) from 2 or 3. Bicycles, I think started at 6. I’m planning on starting my daughter earlier on a balance bike.

    Reading– I remember being read to as part of bedtime, and was probably read to at other times, too. I was a huge reader once I learned how, to the point at which my parents limited how many books I was allowed to check out of the library. I’m really hoping that my daughter has a love of reading, too. (And am not planning on restricting how many library books she can check out if she does.)

    • Revanche says:

      I love those metal tricycles from back then! Our friends have balance bikes for their kids but we’re not quite ready to go that route yet.

      Bravo for your daughter getting to read her fill! It might not be the same at your library but mine only allowed me to check out 12 books at a time, aka almost more than my two tiny arms could hold, but I went to the full limit anyway 🙂

  7. Cute… I need to ask… Why is JB calling Seamus Gigi? Is the name too hard to say or is Gigi the nickname? And does Seamus get confused by the multiple names then?

    As for me… I don’t know how to ride the bike. Dad taught my brother first. I had fears of falling off the bike so I needed more time. Dad didn’t have time to teach me after awhile as he was busy working… So… I’m a 2-footed walker only. ^_^;
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    • Revanche says:

      We have no idea where it came from! It’s nothing like ‘Seamus’ and we never said ‘Gigi’ in any context either, so it’s entirely just what ze thinks is his name.

      Would you ever want to learn to ride?

  8. Linda says:

    From the photos taken of my efforts to learn to ride a bike that must have happened around 5 or 6. I do remember starting with training wheels and being scared/thrilled when I progressed from them to riding without. I’ve also seen photos of me on a tricycle at my grandparent’s house, but I don’t recall riding one.

    I’ve always been a HUGE reader. My parents were proud that I got a special reward from the first grade teacher for reading more books than any child she’d had in her class. By second grade, though, the reading was considered a “problem.” We were encouraged to read or do some other quiet thing if we had finished exercises in the classroom early. I would always read and tune out what was going on around me so much that the teacher had trouble getting my attention when we were ready to move on. I also started to have problems with being tired during the school day because I would stay up late reading. Reading was my escape from a childhood that often wasn’t good. Someone must have read to me when I was too young to read myself, but I don’t remember it.
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  9. Stephonee says:

    Gaaaaaaaaaaah these updates are always so cute!

    I don’t know when I first learned to ride my tricycle, but I can clearly remember being 4 years old, riding my tryke around in circles in the basement around the stairs (we lived in the sticks, so the basement floor was the only flat place to ride!), pretending I was a Ghostbuster. I still do that, of course (pretend to be a Ghostbuster, I mean. I don’t have a tricycle or a basement these days).

    I don’t remember being read to, though I’m sure I was. My first reading memory was of after I learned to read, sitting in my room near the door, reading out loud, and having my family yell at me that I needed to learn to read in my head. I guess I was reading pretty loudly! I remember it blowing my mind that I could read without saying the words out loud. Amazing!
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