I have been meaning to start recording observations about Alex for so long, and am (maybe) finally ready to start. I know we will forget so much, so after writing about what's going on now, I will try to recall some other things he was doing at certain ages.
Ugh, kids today are going to be so over-analyzed and over-documented I hope it doesn't give them all a complex.
May 19, 2007
Alex is very sweet. He says excuse me, but it comes out "me me". Sometimes he will ask excuse me to objects, like "me me that chair" or "me me daddy's arm". He says please and thank you on his own. Thank you sounds a lot like "choo choo" so I hear "choo choo mommy" when I give him something.
Alex's talking wasn't particularly early, but he is going gangbusters now. He uses fairly complex sentences and we have been noticing lately how he will say completely unexpected things. Today I was asking him what it was like when it was windy while we were at the park the other day. He said that he wasn't happy and that it was cold and that we had to go home.
The other day we saw a peanut shell on the ground. I told Alex that a crow probably dropped it there. Then, Scott was explaining what bird poop is. Now, Alex thinks that birds fly around with peanuts in their mouths and poop in their butts! Going for a walk takes forever because Alex has to point out all the spots of bird poop on the ground.
See, here's Alex pointing out the bird poop! June 2007
Alex likes to help. Yesterday he said about 10 times, I'm a big helper.
Alex is generally a really good boy. He is actually pretty easy to reason with when he is not tired or hungry. But let him get hungry, and watch out! He is a terror. Unfortunately, about the only way to get him to eat much that's good for him these days is to let him get good and hungry. Sigh.
Trucks, trains and tractors are the big things around here these days. We got him a train play-table for his birthday. He has a big loader that he can ride on and a big dumptruck. These stay outside and he totes around dirt and mulch from my various gardening projects. Yesterday at Fry's electronics, he spotted a very small display of Thomas trains and similar toys so we came home with a John Deere set.
The boy's favorite words are "outside" and "treat". He wakes up in the morning demanding to go outside. He demands a treat for breakfast. Neither of these things usually happens. Although we do try to play outdoors for awhile in the mornings even on daycare days. He has a musical ride-on toy that we call his bus and a tricycle (can't reach the pedals yet) that he likes to ride but I lately have generally ended up having to carry home, along with carrying Alex too. EMaw gave him a scooter for his birthday and he tried riding it but was scared of it at the same time. That was a toddler disaster -- he wanted help but he didn't want help so he was pretty much paralyzed and I had to hide the scooter in the closet for awhile. We got it back out and he has played with it some but is still not very comfortable with it.
Alex likes to watch Teletubbies. He mostly likes the segments showing little kids doing stuff. He will make me rewind those a few times. That is about the limit of his tv watching. We were aiming for no tv until age 2 but when he was about 15 months, probably, he was sick and it was a way to pass some time. We have some Wiggles and Thomas DVDs that he likes. Scott and I don't watch much tv when he's around, but he is exposed to insignificant (ahem) amounts of college football in season.
The word for water started out (one of his first words) as anoo anoo, then became adn, and now is wadn and on occasion it really sounds like water. Oddly, balloon, which he used to say, has become boonaboona.
Tonight Alex fell against the train table and busted his lip. I was very upset too. At least there doesn't seem to be any damage to his teeth. I feel lucky that that's about the worst that has happened in 2 years. I imagine we are in for more...
May 20, 2007Alex's imagination is really starting to take off. He frequently walks around mewing and being a cat. Sometimes he is a monster, a bear, a dog or a tiger. Sometimes he mews and says he is a baby bear or a baby monster. He likes to go under the covers (sheet only, emphatically not the comforter too). He wants Scott and me to come under too, and he started pretending that we were on a boat. I have no idea where he got that from! He must have made it up himself. He likes to shake the sheet like the parachute from Gymboree, and he surprised me recently by saying that and that he would like to go back to Gymboree. We probably will wait until the fall.
When he figures something out, he has recently started saying "I did it!". So cute!
Tonight at bedtime Alex said two things that amazed me. We were reading a book about Corduroy the bear going to the beach with his friends. In one scene was an amusement park. I pointed out the carousel and told Alex he had ridden on one once. I expected him to not remember, much less even understand what I was talking about (since the picture was very small) -- and he said, "on a horsey"! When we got to the end of the book, Alex asked where was Corduroy's mommy. Maybe that's not that astounding for 2 years old, but he seems pretty smart to me!
May 22, 2007
Oh my gosh, Alex can count to 10! I was trying to cut his toenails and he wasn't happy about it so I tried to distract him by counting to 10. He counted with me, then I suddenly noticed that he was one ahead of me and I was repeating him. I was floored. So I tried it again and he did it again. Then, when I grabbed the phone to tell Scott, Alex proceeded to say eleven, twelve, thirteen! I know, it's just repetition and not the same as being able to count 10 items, but I was still pretty surprised because it is not something we work on. I guess they do at his daycare...
May 28, 2007
We have just had a very nice visit from Alex's EMaw (my mom). She arrived during Alex's nap and it took him a little while to warm up but I bet he was in her lap within 20 minutes. Alex skipped daycare and stayed with Emaw a couple days when I had to be in the office, and they got along just fine. They even walked with the tricycle all the way to the park and back and Alex didn't even ask to be carried (what am I doing wrong here? I can't even get out to the mailbox and back that way!). The visit was very short, but now Alex refers to the guest room as EMaw's room and tells me about how EMaw went home on the airplane, etc.
Alex has added Itsy Bitsy Spider to the repertoire of songs that he will initiate. I can never understand when he asks me to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star until he gets frustrated and says "Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are" which then I can pick out from the cadence and the rhyme. Alex's enunciation sometimes leaves something to be desired, but it's improving and he's only 2, what do I expect?! Tonight he was singing "I see the Moon and the Moon sees me" with me and was even staying on pitch a little bit. Alex also likes to do Ring around the Rosy and Pop goes the Weasel, which both feel like doing a dizzy bat race to me!
Here's a note I posted today on the parenting message board that I "joined" awhile back:
Here's something I tried today with my 2 yr old son, and it worked really well. He is an ok eater but does not like to try new foods and will hold out for the foods he likes (I think he would eat goldfish crackers for every meal if I would let him!). He also gets extremely cranky when he's hungry, and sometimes gets so contrary that he won't even eat the foods he likes (so, letting him get hungry enough to eat what's served can back-fire!). Anyway, today at lunch he was in that inconsolably hungry mode so I got these little cutters out -- they are like cookie cutters but smaller, they are called aspic or jelly cutters -- and cut slices of cheese, turkey and even fruit into shapes like hearts and stars. The pieces were about 1/2-inch across. When he saw those he forgot the fit he was pitching and ate a good lunch of foods he had been turning away recently.
May 31, 2007
We have been hanging out with friends more, lately, and Alex shows anticipation about it but still largely plays by himself (or with me). He knows who the other kids are and will ask the next day to, for example, "go to Leah's house". Yesterday, I was happy to see Alex interact with some kids all on his own. Once was when we walked to Baskin Robbins (which he now also asks to do, and it was just that once!). He was looking at a poster that featured cakes decorated with cartoon characters. Another little boy, maybe 3, came over and the two of them appeared to have a conversation, pointing out the different figures. Then, when we walked back to the neighborhood, some kids were out playing, including the new neighbor boy who is 3, according to Alex B. next door. Alex wandered over to check out and probably ask for the boy's scooter.
We made a big Costco run today. This evening, Alex "helped" put away the toilet paper. It comes in a pack of something like 30 rolls. He played with it for nearly an hour, on his own and with me. I think it's a great toy. It's free, as far as toys go. It's like big blocks that can be stacked, moved, knocked over, thrown, etc. The paper rustles when you grab it. We played with the rolls before, when Alex was more in the "take out and put back" stage, but we hadn't had them out in awhile.
Then, I made Alex a fort and of course he delighted in knocking it down. I wanted to record it, so when I built the next one, I told him to wait until I said to knock it over. Here's how that worked out:
Apparently, knocking down TP forts is hard work. Notice the brow wipe at the end.
Jun 5, 2007
More on Alex's imagination and the little stuff he notices (and on the "testing" stage that goes with being 2):
Alex has been playing with his doctor's kit lately. Our neighbors recently gave Alex this cool little plastic stool (which he has already had put in the closet for a couple days, for throwing it, but that's another story). Today he was sitting on it and said it had wheels. I'm like, what?? He said the stool had wheels and he was a doctor. So this is just like the stools with wheels that he saw at the doctor's office. I'm not sure we ever talked about that, so I think it's just something he thought up. When we were upstairs and he had his doctor kit out again, he made me come down and get the stool.
By the way, any time Alex notes that something has wheels, he says it "has wheels, go round and round."
Alex has been making up a lot of songs lately. He keeps asking me to sing them. The conversation is like this:
Mama, hing hong.
What song do you want to sing?
Dappy doo hong.
I don't think I know that one. How does it go?
Dappy doo hong. Dappy doo hong...
So, I got some sense that maybe they were singing Zippity do dah at daycare, and I sang that and he seemed satisfied.
And, about the testing... Several times today Alex did the exact opposite of what I told him. Pouring water on the floor of his bedroom, throwing cereal on the floor at Safeway. My approach is to provide the correct alternative (you can pour the water in the bathtub but not in your room) and a second chance, but no third chance. Hopefully that will shorten the span of this stage she said optimistically. We have been having a big battle over toothbrushing lately. It partly stems from when Alex busted his lip on the train table, and partly from his age, I guess. But tonight it dawned on me that boys who don't brush their teeth shouldn't be eating treats any more. When I said so, that boy's mouth opened pretty fast!
In addition to the stool, our neighbors also gave Alex this Superman outfit. It's even cuter with the cape!
Jun 12, 2007
Here are a couple anecdotes that Betty reminded me of, that I don't want to forget. They both occurred when Alex was about 10 months old, I think. Alex was trying to do something with a toy and he wasn't watching what he was doing. I told him to use his eyes, so he puts his eye up to the toy to do whatever it was. In the bathtub, he was trying to pour water into a cup but he was holding the cup sideways. I told him to hold the cup up and down, so he held the cup up, then he held it down. So literal!
Betty and Karen are here visiting. They have been helping out with yard work and cutting turf for putting in a patio. Alex is a "big helper" for it, and said the other day he'd rather stay here and work in the yard than go to the park. He really is a reasonably good helper, as long as you have two of whatever tools you need.
Lately, when we tell Alex something, he says, "I know that."
Jun 14, 2007
Alex has learned to say some funny things. The other day I was asking him some question and he said "no way, man." I think he might have picked it up from Aunt Karen.
Today Alex went to the park with his Nana and Aunt Karen. The park is right next to a fire station and Alex got to sit up in a fire truck. He got a new "Bob the Builder" book about counting which is his favorite, currently. He also likes reading his trucks book.
While playing with trucks lately, Alex has started pushing one truck to the edge of a cushion and then saying that it's stuck. He then gets a tow truck or a loader to come over and help the stuck vehicle. I really think he has a kind disposition; I made Jack, one of his loaders, "knock over" another car and Alex picked up the fallen car and righted it. Then he said "I helped him" and said Jack was "bad".
In the truck book I've been teaching him "advanced" truck concepts like grills, running lights and where the gas tanks are. He also knows the difference between the cab and the "payload area". Sometimes I misclassify a truck type on purpose and he says "No, that's a trash truck" or whatever. The other day we went to Pacific Topsoils to dump some sod... Alex had a great time because there were two loaders, a big excavator shovel and a couple of trucks around. And everything was in motion and working.
All is not bliss, though. Tonight at dinner Alex intentionally dumped his plate and was repeatedly stabbing the wood table with a fork even when asked not to. All part of testing the limits, I guess.
Jun 15, 2007
Alex is able to climb out of his crib. That made for a very interesting nap time today. He did not want to take his nap, was throwing a fit and climbing out. We have a big bench cushion, about mattress size, on the floor already so I asked him if he would take his nap there (he had asked to before). Alex was only moderately willing to, so I laid down on the floor next to him, you know, until he fell asleep. This was, of course, a recipe for disaster. He kept talking, fussing, playing, etc. I knew if I was keeping him awake I would have to leave, but there was no good way to do it. So I left and Alex had a complete tantrum, clawing at the door. So I went back in, told him I would stay but he had to sleep. That time he got it and laid quietly. The only thing he said was to ask for his dog, and he said please. So, he drifted off to sleep and I slipped out. I hope he doesn't freak out when he wakes up on the floor.
On a happier note, Alex was SO excited and happy to have gone to Chuck E. Cheese with his NaNa and Aunt Karen today for lunch.
Scott and I love that boy so much, it makes dealing with the tantrums really hard. I'm sure every parent goes through it. You want your kid to be happy but that can't happen all the time, and you aren't doing your job as a parent if you don't set boundaries and help the child learn to operate within them and manage such strong emotions. But, boy we hope this stage passes quickly!
Jun 16, 2007
Today we took Alex to the Snoqualmie train museum and went on a short train ride. I think he had fun -- he liked the rusted out old train cars and engines. He also liked telling the cars to stop when we passed a railroad crossing. He especially seemed to like the kettle corn that Aunt Karen got for him. I forgot the SD card for the camera so I had to buy one of those disposable film cameras; I'll attach a photo once we get them developed and scanned.
Alex is still climbing out of the crib so Lynn and I have lowered his bed height and pulled off the front rails. He can now get up into it and out of it by himself... but he doesn't seem to want to sleep on it. For his nap he ended up sleeping on the floor halfway under his train table. I'm trying to bribe him into sleeping on his bed by saying that if he does a good job sleeping in his converted crib we can get him a big boy bed soon. I was hoping to save that reward for a potty training bribe... oh well.
Tonight is Nana and Karen's last day on the west coast and we went out to an Indian restaurant for dinner. At dinner Alex tried a sip of Lynn's beer and liked it. Then announced in a loud voice: "I want more beer!" He continued to say "I want beer!" a few more times before we could get him distracted. Funny. I imagine he'll appreciate this story when he's in college.
Tomorrow is Father's day and all I want is for Alex to sleep through the night on his converted bed without waking up and without falling out. Oh, and for him to wake up sometime later than 6am (which is what time he woke up today).
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