A Splashing, Swinging Second Birthday

My Ladybug turned two years old last week. People say time goes so fast, they can’t believe it, yadda yadda.

It’s true.

I think, though, that what makes time go so fast is how much a kid changes in that first two years. She goes from being a blob that just eats and sleeps to a tornado that runs around laughing and jumping.

I’ve been rereading the book Meaningful Differences in the Everyday Experiences of Young American Children by Hart & Risley, which documents just how much children learn in their first twelve months of life alone (the book actually demonstrates through research that children from lower income households start life years behind their affluent peers due to differences in how much vocabulary is heard in the home). It’s funny to read this book now, having lived through this time period with Bug, when last time I read it I was a young, single professional at the US Department of Education.

Bug no doubt has TONS of energy. I won’t lie – lately it’s been difficult to corral that energy into something that will keep her happy and safe. While we do admire her spirit, we have less and less energy ourselves to keep up.

So for her birthday we tried to have fun and tire her out. We invited some friends to join us at Great Wolf Lodge in Colonial Williamsburg the weekend before the big day. This place is great! The whole theme of outdoors and nature is done in a fun way for kids. The waterpark has lots to do for the toddler set, and we adults enjoyed a run on the big water slides. We shared a big suite with friends and generally tried to keep Bug from jumping out of her skin with excitement.

On her actual birthday we went to Play N’Learn, which I mentioned in my last post. Bug could have spent all day on the indoor swings, until I showed her what fun I had on the giant trampoline. I was thrilled to have a few of her (and my) good friends there, and we all laughed until the breaking point when the tantrums started (by the kids, not adults). Then four adults braved a crowded Chipotle for lunch with the kids. It was a massive achievement to get everyone situated and eating guacamole – victory prevailed!

I ended up keeping Bug out of childcare for her actual birthday because, well, it was her birthday and I wanted to be together. I even snagged 10 whole minutes at the exact anniversary time of her birth to read the birth story my doula wrote for us. And this weekend, my family from NY visited for lots of fun – really a great visit, including a walk under the cherry blossoms. But it’s been a crazy few days and a lack of schedule has done us in. I’m looking forward to a regular week of life in the ‘burbs.

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5 thoughts on “A Splashing, Swinging Second Birthday

  1. I forgot to mention the excellent restaurant we went to near Great Wolf Lodge: it’s called Food for Thought. It’s menu is vast and hilarious. A popular place, so make a reservation or call ahead.
    http://www.FoodForThoughtRestaurant.com

    We also stopped at Bass Pro Shops on the way down for a bathroom break. This place is cool! I mean, it’s a lot about hunting which isn’t for me, but it’s also about outdoor stuff. A great place for kids – gigantic aquariums, fish out front, dogs walking around. There’s a restaurant we had hoped to get to on the way back, but Bug sleeping trumped that stop.
    http://www.basspro.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/CFPageC?storeId=10151&appID=94&storeID=67

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