Kaia incorporates her stuffed animals into our evening ritual of “search and find”

Since we came back from Australia, Kaia has gotten really into her “search and find books.” We’ve also been using her favorite Artichoke to Zucchini book as a way to “search and find” different foods, with me asking her where the mango is, and then she has to point to tell me she’s identified the mango. Before Kaia turned two, I didn’t actually know that “search and find” as a concept was a very popular 2-year-old activity. Luckily, we have friends and family who have gone through this phase with their children, and so we got gifted a number of these types of books.

So in addition to reading a number of books as part of our bedtime routine, Kaia always insists that she “wants to find,” too. Her favorite book for this right now is Under the Sea: Search and Find. The cute thing she does when she is extremely confident about knowing where something is — she’ll start giggling uncontrollably and use her finger to slap what she’s identifying. So if I say “Kaia, can you find the octopus?” And she’s 100 percent certain she knows where it is, she will shriek and giggle, point/slap the octopus, then aggressively bounce on the bed and lie down, almost jumping.

This past week, she’s also incorporated her stuffed animals, two rabbits named Henry and Peter (Rabbit). She will say “I don’t wanna find. Henry (or Peter Rabbit) wants to find. Then, she will use their “hands” to point to the object I’ve asked her to find. Sometimes, she has them take turns. Other times, she has one do a string of “finds” and then gets the second rabbit involved.

She proudly declared after having both of them participate: “Sharing is caring,” with a huge smile on her face.

I used to have moments when I’d be so sad about her getting older because I loved her as a baby so much. Sometimes, I still get sad about her walking now (as insane as that sounds) because I miss the sound of her hands happily slapping the floor as she crawled, indicating to me that she was coming near. But then I realized that if she were a baby forever (yes, I realize that’s an unrealistic hypothetical, but hear me out), then we’d never be able to enjoy these sweet, cute moments together. A blogger I follow, who has a young daughter just a few months younger than Pookster, recently wrote in a post, “I know I say this every time, but (the age her daughter is currently at today) is my favorite age!” That’s sort of how I feel – minus the toddler tantrums.

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