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Portrait of an AP Two-Year-Old

In my attachment parenting (AP) journey, I’ve felt like many resources provide a picture of this parenting style during infancy but not for beyond that. When Beyond the Sling came out it was such an encouragement to read about the daily ins and outs of someone else’s AP lifestyle and recognize elements of my family dynamic in that. So, to celebrate my dear E on his second birthday*, I thought I’d share this simple portrait of our growing guy:

*Read about his awesome birthing day here.

Birthday Boy!

Birthday Boy!


Sleep
You start the night in your own bed, a crib mattress on the floor in a room with your brother. Some nights we nurse to sleep, other nights daddy or I sit near your bed. If you wake in the night (5 out of 7 nights in the week it happens around 1 AM), you grab your water cup and baby and climb into my bed to sleep between daddy and I. You ask to nurse and I tell you, “Milkies are asleep. We can nurse again after 6 am.” When you were 14 months old you were waking every 45 minutes to nurse, and so our family gently instated some healthy boundaries over the course of several weeks to help all of us have better nights. (Here‘s a storybook about bedsharing and night weaning that helped us.)

Nursing

You ask to nurse pretty much every time you see me, but accept no easily (though you appreciate patting my chest or getting a snuggle instead).  Other times when I’m not in the mood for nursing and you are, you come up and bite exposed skin on my arms or legs.  I tell you, “Bites hurt. I like kisses,” and we move on. When I do say yes (at this point, only a few times per day), it elicits a fit of giggles. We’ve gone from signing milk to saying muk to muk mama (which was your name for me for awhile) to muk pees (milk please) to muppies, muppies, muppies (milk please repeated very fast) to tiny muk (as in just a tiny bit more…at least that’s where we think it came from) to your current favorite: dat side (that side) and other side. You’d probably keep latched and sipping for ages, but you get so wiggly that I have to cut you off.  Cheers to us for making it to the World Health Organization recommended age! It’s been wonderful to see you enjoy all of the benefits of extended nursing.

Attachment

For the first year of your life, you typically weren’t away from one parent or the other for more than two hours at a time, but these days you spend one day each week with grandparents and another day at home with a babysitter. You deal with it well, and occasionally still even nap in a meti tai on your grandpa. You love to see your grandparents, babysitter, and teacher at church. When I return, your whole face lights up and you squeal, “Mama home! Milk, please!” You are equally excited to see daddy, who is the primary caregiver on weekends while I work. You get so busy having big adventures with him (like grocery shopping and home repairs) that you don’t even ask about milk until I come home.

You like to start long walks–and even go hiking–on your own two feet but  when you tire, you appreciate being worn in a baby carrier on our backs. You are very clear about “Me walk, down!” when you are ready to get down and are adamant about, “No uppies,” when you don’t want up in the first place. You do enjoy quick ups and downs in a carrier when we are running errands as well as long wears when we are on a big adventure–like gallivanting around Washington, D.C.  We treasure the snuggles when we get them and celebrate your adventurous spirit when you want space. We see the beauty of a secure attachment in you–we are your place of emotional and physical safety. That snuggly time with us is a launching point for you to explore boldly and independently (before you again return to refill your attachment cup).

Just like daddy: wears a baby (doll) and uses tools

Just like daddy: baby (doll) on the back and tool in the hands

Personality

You have a lively imagination and initiate make-believe play. A favorite game is den: pulling the blankets over our heads and pretending to be a skunk, raccoon, or bear. You know a lot about these animals from books. You  love animals and–much to our surprise–can correctly  identify several birds by name unprompted. You often notice animals before anyone else in the family, including deer in the forest, a cardinal in the yard, and even a surprise fox in our front yard. You ask to hold every animal possible from bee to worm to bird to pig. Your favorite book is Heron Haven: a book featuring your great-grandma’s pet project of wetlands preservation in Omaha Nebraska, and you particularly like identifying the birds and critters in that book.

You say hi and bye to everyone you meet, which has earned you many adult and big kid fans. You love babies, want to hold them, and are concerned when they cry. You ask me to help them if the crying continues. Every time we pray together you ask to pray for Wee, AuAu, and Matt (Lee, Auggie, and Matt), the facilities team at church. You enjoy watching them fix things and clean.

You are opinionated and confident and advocate for yourself by saying, “Me turn,” and ” I do” (meaning that you want to do it for yourself).

You love trucks. You love playing with them, reading about them, pretending to be one by saying beep, beep while walking backward, and watching out the window for them every morning. Trash day is particularly exciting as you watch for “hop hops” (you can say trash truck, but you prefer to refer to the hopper).

Brother V is your favorite playmate. When he’s sleeping or away, you ask about him. When he’s around, you like to play with whatever he has, which leads to some tension. But, you both are working on growing your self control and using kind words and gentle touches. You also like to play chase and catch with him, but you often initiate through hitting, pinching or taking a toy. We’re working with you on using your words to invite him to play in ways that  you both enjoy. (Thank you Aha Parenting for positive discipline encouragement and ideas.) Playing hide-and-seek is a favorite because you can (sort of) count to ten and then run and chase people.

You enjoy physical stimulation: spinning until you fall over with dizziness, running down a steep hill, climbing high ladders, and rough play. You also love music and play DJ at the stereo with kid CDs, requesting your favorite songs (No More Pie, Hello Everybody, and Tractor, Tractor).

You have a distinct fashion sense. You like to wear your swim suit as much as possible, as well as hats for dress-up. When it comes to shoes, you often pick Robeez featuring one weewoo (referring to the fire truck’s siren) and one woof woof (dog) or your two, “man shoes” (gingerbread men).

We’ve never heard a baby have as many giggle fits as you do, and the things that start them are always a surprise. Your smile lights up the world around you, as does your curiosity, love, and sense of adventure.

E Shoes

 

 

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About More Green for Less Green

Hi, I’m Pamm. Welcome to my little slice of the web! As a progressive Evangelical female pastor and crunchy homeschooling mom, I’m never quite what anyone expects of me. But, hey, that’s what makes blogging interesting, right? Join me as I try to wholeheartedly parent my three little boys, slowly fix up the trashed foreclosure we bought in 2009, and live simply.

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