Our little Livia is 26 months. She’s my shadow and parrot because everything I do, she wants to do too. But turning two has not been easy, especially when the universe decides that you suddenly have to share mom and dad with three other little girls. And she has surprised us all by her maturity and embracing the triplets as part of our family. She has decided that they are all called Lucia (her favorite name of the three) and when she feels like it, she will ask who is this? Apparently toddlers cannot distinguish between three fairly identical triplets, much like some adults.
She loves to sing, dance, color, draw and do puzzles. She used to be really impatient with puzzles and throw a tantrum when she couldn’t figure them out but with age, she has learnt to accept challenges and try and try again until she gets them. Sometimes she plays with blocks and Lego, but not as much as her dolls. She has her own set of triplets made up of Iggle Piggle, Upsy Daisy and Mr. Hobbes. She babywears them, bathes them and puts them down for naps. Sometimes she shares her triplets with the real triplets, but one has to be careful about giving her favourite toy to one of the triplets without her permission. Otherwise, she’s glad to share her dolls and toys and at times a bit too enthusiastically. She doesn’t understand that her triplet sisters cannot grasp and hold things yet.
We don’t tell her what to play and she is left on her own on most days to do whatever she wants. And she is one busy girl. I’ve never seen her stop and do nothing. She is always doing something or is up to something. If I am doing something, she will inevitably stop what she does to join me whether it is loading the laundry or preparing the ingredients for dinner. Even when she stops and sits or lies down, she’s chatting or singing to herself. Sometimes it can get too much like talking and laughing at 3am which really freaks us quite a bit. She’s quite the whirlwind at home that I often tell her dad that he needs to bring her out just so I can get some peace and quiet.
She’s also a fairly good helper, depending her on her mood. Somedays she enjoys helping me out with chores, other days she says NO or DON’T WANT. Her speech isn’t entirely comprehensible, though they get more comprehensible with each day. Its not easy learning Mandarin and English simultaneously so its taken her much longer than other kids her age to form phrases that are more than 3 words. We are not too worried about her pace of learning because she has an entire childhood to explore early interests and develop herself in all ways.
In January she will be starting playgroup which she will go to thrice a week so that she can play with other kids and have an excuse to get out of the house more often. Yes, how she loves going out. Even if its just to the supermarket downstairs. Our favorite thing to do is to bring her to the swimming pool where she has learnt to paddle independently in the water and to the playground where she just go absolutely bananas. She makes friends very easily, though the friendship is sometimes not reciprocated. She doesn’t care and keeps trying which can really annoy other children.
Her favorite food is obviously ice-cream and fruits, but she eats almost everything we eat, including the much dreaded vegetables. We just don’t make a big deal of it and place foods on her plate and leave it to her to decide if she wants to eat them. Its not always smooth-sailing and everything they say about the terrible twos is completely true. And sometimes we come down on her too hard when she does something wrong, but at the end of difficult days and moments, everything can usually be resolved with apology, a kiss and a long hug, and the hope that both parent and child can try better again the next day. There’s always something special about being a first-born even though nowadays the triplets tend to overshadow her presence. We obviously worry endlessly about whether she will left out when they start growing up and forming bonds and cliques, but given her disposition to be social, it might be the last thing to worry about.
They say to really enjoy two year olds even though they are known for their terrible twos. Because unlike three year olds, two year olds are not as opinionated, they don’t hold grudges and still want to hold hands, and needs lots of hugs and kisses. My absolute favourite thing about this two year old is how much love she has given to her three sisters even when she knows full well that she has to wait in line for them to be settled before she gets attention. Like how on her very own she will say goodnight to each of them and kiss each one on their foreheads before going to bed. We never did that for her to mimic so who taught her that? Nobody. She is just that sweet.