If my almost-two-year-old daughter could talk, I think she would've already taught herself to read and write. If she could write, I think she'd be running a blog dedicated to educating the toddlers of the world on the best ways to gain independence. If she could read, I'd be leaving her notes around the house, reminding her that she is, in fact, a toddler, and not the grown-up she seems to believe she is.
She's always been a pretty quick learner. It took me a while to believe it; primarily because she's my first child and the first in almost twenty years on both sides of her family. I didn't have a lot of experience with babies and developmental timelines. I was told by more than a few veteran moms that she was advanced, but that was long before I really knew what was going on in my new life. Personally, I'm a big fan of change, so I was more surprised than anyone to find that I didn't want her to transition too quickly.
It makes sense. What mom truly wants their babies to grow up? However, it was more than just what I couldn't control. Teething and beginning solid foods are things with a fairly predictable timeline. Breastfeeding and potty training are not. It wasn't until after she had stopped nursing completely at 15 months that I realized I held her back. She stopped asking for it a month before I stopped offering. I wasn't ready! I wasn't ready? How could this be true? I'm the flexible one, and there I was, surprised that I was sad that my first baby was done nursing. Forever. I thought back to all the exhausting early days when breastfeeding seemed to consume all my time. I loved it, but I couldn't wait to have my body back. The difference, I think, was that back then, it seemed like it would never end. When it finally did end, it hit me that it was done for good.
I was all too happy to transition away from formula and into whole milk. (Think of all the money we save!) My reasonable and realistic goal for her before our second arrives is to have her 100% off of the bottle. Sounds good, right? The nerve of this little girl, I tell you... She didn't care about my goals. She basically started potty training herself. Who does that?! What year-and-a-half-old baby decides to start using the potty one day? You know how easy it is to teach a cat to use a litter box? Even as a kitten, you can just show them where the box is, and they get it. That's almost how my daughter is. "Oh, good, I'm glad you put this little potty in here. I've been wanting a better way to do this." Boom. End of training. I didn't even research training pants until after she peed in her potty for the first time because I thought I had time! (Am I over-exaggerating? Nah, that doesn't sound like me.)
The bottom line is that I'm not even needed anymore, basically. She keeps me around to write her memoirs and drive her everywhere. Maya, if you're reading this, remember me and all the diapers I changed when you're running your own business at six years old.