Kate turns 2.

Kate is a few days shy of 27 months, but just officially turned 2 a few weeks ago.  Specifically, she turned 2 the day of Abeona House’s first-ever field trip.  This ambitious trip involved a walk down Oak Street to catch the newly opened Carrollton Street side of the St. Charles Streetcar, a ride to Audubon Park, catching the Audubon Zoo shuttle at the park, taking the shuttle to the Zoo, going to the Zoo, eating lunch, catching the shuttle back to the park, getting on a Streetcar, going back to Oak Street, and then walking back to Abeona House.  With 18 or so 2, 3, and 4 year olds.  I know what you are thinking.  All us parents thought it, too.

When we got to Abeona, all the kids had changed into tye-dyed t-shirts that the classes had made.  I began to do what every other parent before me had done upon arrival: change their child into the t-shirt.  Little did I know that the inside of her shirt had actually been laced with hot oil, which dripped on her body during any and all attempts to dress her.  Her tantrum, complete with “No Mommy, it hurts!”, was spectacular.  I was actually speechless, almost dizzy, at the realization of what was happening. Kate is really going to do this 2-year old THING… which means WE have to do this 2-year old thing.  AGAIN. I regained composure and readied myself for parenting.  Was the t-shirt worth a fight?  No, it wasn’t.  Experience told me there would be more important things to fight about later.  I decided to be diplomatic, a strategy that once worked with two-year old Will, and gave her the choice, “Kate do you want to wear your school t-shirt like your friends?”  “NO,” she replied.  And so it went.

My predictions of continuing struggle were completely wrong.  Actually, the trip was a rip-roaring success, thanks to the spectacular planning of the teachers and incredible karma of the Universe, which aligned all necessary steps perfectly so that there never was a hint of waiting.  The kids were incredibly well behaved.  Even Kate.  Cuteness was everywhere.  Parents bonded; one was even hit on by a Zoo employee.  We really had a fantastic time.

(That’s Kate and her teacher, Allie.)

So everything was fine.  Kate was the ONLY kid without an Abeona shirt, but this wasn’t an issue.  Until lunch time. Sitting in the shady grass at the Zoo entrance, Kate opened her lunch box and found the shirt (I packed it inside just in case she had a change of heart.)  When she found the shirt, she scrambled to put it on — over her clothes, all by herself — so quickly that she seemed almost in a panic.  And it dawned on me.  There probably wouldn’t have been a struggle that morning at all, if I had just handed her the shirt and asked her if she wanted to do it herself.  How could I have forgotten? THAT is what being 2 is all about.