I love kids at the age of two. It’s the age of exploration, and the age at which their personality begins to blossom.
My daughter has a stubborn streak, where she’ll just says “Mm Mmmm,” in a quick way, dismissing something. It feels a bit like she’s a princess, insisting on compliance. It’s completely declarative. If you disagree with her, there will be an argument. Recently, my son and I had to go somewhere. She climbed into the car, and when her mother or I coaxed her to leave, saying she wasn’t going, she simply said “Mm Mmmm,” as if that was that, and we’d better find a way to accommodate her.
She calls me “Caca momo”, which is her version of the Ukrainian “Tato Roman” (daddy Roman).
She also has a slightly different version of kaka, meaning poop. And at a remarkably young age – perhaps even before her second birthday, she developed the way of insulting people – “mama kaka” – which we heard just once when her mother couldn’t accommodate her, and also “Dania Kaka” – once or twice when her brother wouldn’t give her any attention (a recurring theme in our home).
She learned the expression “yolky palky”, which is sort of a strange Ukrainian expression for “darn it”. I literally translates to “Christmas tree sticks.” I have no idea about its origin. When her mother asked her how she’d feel if I went away for a short while on a trip, she said “yolky palky”.
She was just a little late in beginning to speak, probably a result of being a bilingual household. For the short period of time during which we worried about this, we encouraged her to speak as much as possible. Her mother was getting ready to plant some flower, and told her the Ukrainian word for flowers — “kvity.” She repeated “Keety”. Her mother repeated, more slowly, “Kvity”, and again, “Keety.” They went through a few cycles, and then our little angel drew her arm way back and swatter her mother’s cheek. It was so unexpected, emphatic, and uncharacteristic, and both of us parents doubled over laughing.
Once, she threw her mother’s phone. For better or worse, she started watching Lingo Kids on her mom’s phone. The screen cracked, and her mother, frustrated and working busily in the kitchen told her there’d be no more phone. Our daughter, no doubt devastated, stood thunderstruck for a moment until her mother seemed to no longer be watching her. Then she very slowly and carefully braced herself first with one hand on the floor, then lowered herself to her elbows, then she turned over onto her back as if she had slipped and fallen, and she let out a horrific, pained cry, desperate for some sympathy . . . which she received.
Another time she was chatting with her grandmother back in Ukraine over a video call. She does this regularly. And when she had to go potty, there was no reason to interrupt the conversation. And when she did her business, she had no hesitation in pointing the phone toward her work and showing it to grandma.
She has several habits of a younger child, like the willingness to play completely by herself. Also, she sometimes pre-emptively says “and me!” to ensure she isn’t excluded from something which may be going on.